Saturday, December 31, 2016

A little perspective on 2016

Hillary fans and Trump Haters (which are not necessarily the same) are convinced 2016 is the worst year ever.  For the non-politically minded, the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Ron Glass, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, George Michael and Bob Denver (to name a few of the celebrities who passed away this year), 2016 has also been the worse year ever.

But was 2016 nearly as bad as April 1945 was for Japan when the US dropped two atomic bombs killing 128,000 Japanese?  Or was it as bad as 1979 in Cambodia, the final year of the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields which estimates are over 1 million executed Cambodians?  Or what about 1353, the final year of the Black Death which by then had seen the deaths of over 100-125 million?  Perspective is a mothefucker sometimes.

For all of Mr. Trumps shortfalls, are let's be honest he has many, since winning the election he seems to have calmed much of his anti-immigrant and anti-NATO rhetoric.  But fear not for Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry are spending their final days in office pissing of Israel and Russia.  For an administration that has prided itself on using diplomacy over force, the handling of the Israeli settlements (which Mr. Obama and company successfully ignored for the previous years) and the 35 Russian "spys" (which Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry knew about for years!) that were expelled seem particularly ham-fisted approaches.  It is telling that now Mr. Putin appears to be the elder statesman compared to Mr. Obama's rather petulant approach.

As I had been saying all year, 2016 is certainly one of the more interesting years of late but is is by no means deserving of all of the angst and tears (real as well as virtual) that I've seen being shed on social media.  Mr. Trump is the next President, no matter how much many don't want that to be.  Funny how these are the same people who were so angered and puzzled by Mr. Obama's critics and demanded that they (his critics) remember that he is their President.  Absolutely correct except guess what?  Now you all have to do the same thing for Mr. Trump.

Going into 2017, there is potential for the US and Russia to form a new relationship that hasn't been seen since WWII.  Old alliances and relationships may change or fall by the wayside as a result but that should deter the US from trying.  Thus far, Mr. Putin has stayed his hand even after a Russian ambassador was assassinated in Turkey, Russia was accused of hacking our elections, and even after 35 of his diplomats were sent back home.  Could all just be a ruse of course but let's take it a face value for now and try to forge something new and better in 2017.

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