2018 in Review: Politics

In what passes for tradition here at Wickersham’s Conscience, we spend the last week of each year thinking about the year that is ending, and making our wishes for the coming year. This fifth blog post is firmly in that tradition.

A year ago now, WC wrote:

WC wrote a year ago, “United States voters proved themselves incapable of distinguishing lies told about Secretary Clinton from facts about Donald Trump. They will live with the consequences.” WC suggests you hold your nose and join him in a brief review of those consequences: the politics of 2017.

WC has put it off as long as possible, but it’s time. On this penultimate day of 2018, let’s once again hold our noses and dive into the sordid mess that is American politics at the end of 2018.

The train wreck that is the Trump Administration continues it destruction of America and everything America formerly stood for. The train hasn’t just run off the tracks. IT has tumbled down the hill, burst into flames and exploded. Consider:

  • As WC writes, more than half the federal government is shut down over a fight over a meaningless chunk of construction of a proven ineffective wall to address a non-existent threat.
  • The offices of Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of the Interior and Chief of Staff are vacant, along with 245 other appointed positions, despite the Republican Party control the Presidency and both houses of Congress.
  • Trump economic policies have reduced soy bean exports to China – formerly the United States’ biggest customer – by 97%, destroying the soy bean industry.
  • At least five Trump advisors and former advisors have been convicted of crimes. There are dozens of indictments and cases pending.
  • Tax reform, the signature law from the Trump Administration, has only worsened the rich/poor divide, set the country up for stagflation and made Americans even more cynical about the role of government.
  • Trump has been documented to have lied to the voters some 7,500 times as of December 21, including an appalling 139 times in a single day.

WC obviously could go on a long time about Donald Trump, but despite appearances, there are other political issues.

A record number of Republicans were convicted of crimes over the last year, ranging from penny-ante corruption like Steve Stockman to frightening perverts like Tim Nolan. Sure, Democrat politicians were convicted of crimes in 2018, but the ratio is overwhelmingly Republican.

Congress hasn’t exactly covered itself with glory, either. The Republicans’ appalling embrace of Trump was bad enough; by Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, leaders in their respective branches of Congress, have managed to seriously damage the ability of Congress to get the nation’s work done. Depsite control of both houses, their accomplishments are pitiful.

And McConnell’s cramdown of Brett Kavanuagh damaged the U.S. Supreme Court: we now have a ill-tempered rapist on the nation’s highest court.

There aren’t enough adjectives in the English language to accurately describe how awful politics have been in 2018. Leave it there.

Here’s to better politics in 2019 <clink>.