It’s been quite the year, America. The news of 2017 brought us everything from former White House press secretary Sean Spicer allegedly hiding in a bush to avoid reporters, to threats of nuclear war from our “Commander-in-Chief”, to a Women’s March that was possibly the largest protest in U.S. history.
In sum, this year has really put a twist on reality, so we figured we’d go back through some of the more positive developments this year has brought us. And there truly have been quite a few victories!
Two words: grassroots organizing. This year has seen stunning rebukes of Donald Trump from across the spectrum. From staunch Republicans to the radical left, we’re all in agreement that Trump poses a dangerous threat to the health of our Democracy. The impeachment movement continues to grow!
Democratic victories in state and local elections. This year, Virginia elected its first transgender women to the House of Delegates. Danica Roem replaced the man who authored Virginia’s version of the anti-trans bathroom bill. There were electoral victories across the board for people of color, the LGBT community, and the progressive left. We can expect a wave of success in the new year!
The #MeToo movement. How could we leave this one behind? Women across the country and around the world have been speaking out against sexual assault and harassment and have taken quite a few powerful men down in the process. The voices of women matter. And the January Women’s March sent a message to the Trump administration that women will not stand for his history of sexual assault or Republican legislative assaults on women’s rights.
Mueller’s indictments. Four of Trump’s campaign associates were officially indicted in Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and Trump’s potential obstruction of justice. Currently, there are fears that Trump may attempt to fire Mueller. That would be unfortunate considering that nearly 140,000 activists are planning to march if Trump follows through. Needless to say, we can expect more indictments to come. So much for Steve Bannon’s “deconstruction of the administrative state” – the American people are standing up.
Colin Kaepernick and the NFL protests. This year we saw one brave athlete use his platform to spark a movement. When they kneeled during the national anthem, Kaepernick and his fellow protesters sent a message to the world that protesting racism is perhaps the most patriotic thing Americans can do. Kaepernick has been shut out by the NFL, but his legacy lives on and he has inspired millions to work for change.
Roy Moore, anyone? The man lost the race for Jeff Sessions’ vacated Senate seat and has yet to concede. Alabamans decided to take their state’s legacy and give it back to the people, not a racist, homophobic, Islamophobic accused child molester. And for that, we can thank Alabama’s black voters, who in staggering numbers came out to vote for Democratic candidate Doug Jones.
A national reckoning with our history of racism. Remember when Donald Trump refused to condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists at the Unite the Right rally in the wake of Heather Heyer’s death? Well, that sure backfired, didn’t it? America has been launched into a national conversation on the presence of racism and white supremacy in our society. The Trump administration may be trying to send us back in time, but they can’t make us forget our history.
And finally, a global rebuke of the Trump administration. Just last week, the global community came together to rebuke Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. In doing so, countries around the world stood up against the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and apartheid in Israel. The nations of the world do not stand for regression, and Trump will not win.
So – all in all, we’ve made some progress amidst all of the havoc that a Trump presidency has wreaked on our Democracy. Get your rest and gear up to keep fighting, because we’ve got quite the year ahead of us.