If we thought 2016 was bad, it had nothing on 2017. The whole year was one long nightmare. Federally, the Trump presidency has been hell to anyone with a conscience. He was pretty much exactly what we were expecting. A vile, disgusting, lying bastard with no ethics, empathy or even the slightest understanding of what it takes to be a competent leader. He brought us closer to war and our status as an international leader has come to as screeching halt. We have now more enemies than friends. From declaring Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel to insulting political foes to kissing up to dictators from the Philippines to Saudi Arabia. Let’s just hope that Iran and North Korea don’t take the bait. From the day he took office it has been a struggle not to have a nightly drink or 2 at what he has been doing.
Unfortunately, many people don’t truly understand the extent of the damage that he has foisted upon us. Here is a rundown — starting with his administration. All of them are despicable. Every last one of them. Devos, Sessions, Pruitt, Zinke, & Carson are probably the worst of the bunch. We have climate change deniers heading the EPA . We have an Interior Secretary, Zinke who not only wants to destroy our national priceless monuments, but wanted to kill elephants for trophy hunting. Then Devos who single-handedly wants to defund the entire public school system and sell them all down the river to the highest predatory private Christian for profit bidder. We now have Sessions as Attorney General who wants to send us back to the stone age and pretend that marijuana is the devil’s cigarette – while not having a problem with the real cancer sticks. All of the departments that are designed to protect the public are run by greedy incompetents who want to dismantle and destroy the very foundation of why we have the departments in the first place. The damage being done will cause havoc for years to come, yet people are still more concerned with Russia.
2017 brought us closer to environmental armageddon. We had one horrific disaster after another. Major snowstorms, hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and more caused this country a staggering amount of $$$. But the climate change deniers could give a shit. Parts of Puerto Rico are still in the dark, yet this Congress is completely incapable of doing the right thing and put people before politics.
Tweets and hashtags were definitely a thing in 2017. Trump brought us almost daily disgusting tweets lashing out in 140 characters or less. His tirades reeked of obstructionism, intimidation and bullying and he has so far gotten away with it. As a wrap up here are some of the lowlites. I am afraid of how much lower he will go in 2018 – and now thanks to Twitter we have to endure 280 characters from this idiot in chief…just ugh!
Hashtags of 2017 became dominant talking points in social media. The #resistance was a rallying cry for many of those despondent over the elections. Then there was #notmyPresident #BlackLivesMatter, #DACA and my personal favorite #takeaknee. My vote for person of the year goes to Colin Kaepernick. There were too many 2017 hasthtags to highlight, but Mashable put together a most impressive list.
One hashtag did seem to cut to the chase more than many and that was #MeToo. Women dealing with the trauma of sexual violence, harassment and discrimination felt it safe to come out and join the chorus against a taboo topic. Progressives and conservatives alike lost influential members of their respective parties due to this profound #. The most controversial one by far was the take down of Senator Al Franken from Minnesota.
Resistance is never futile and 2017 will be considered the year for it. From the historic Women’s March in January, to environmental protests standing up to fossil fuel industries across the country and across the state. We had some wins, some losses, and draws. I am particularly proud of the RI resistance, Our NoLNG and No New Power Plant resistance did not lose any steam in 2017 and showed great strides in organizing and really learning the process. A major loss however, did occur in December when the Coastal Management Resource Center did not even pretend to listen to the people of Providence and went along with National Grid in approving of the LNG expansion. The northern end of the state had better results with the Energy Facility Siting Board, who in December did question Invenergy and their intent of the “privately funded” aspect of their application for a fracked gas diesel oil burning power plant in Burrillville. In 2018 we will all be relieved when Invenergy packs their bags and goes back home to the windy city and leaves the Ocean State behind.
I must admit though my favorite resistance win was when the world came together and condemned the efforts to make hunting and butchering elephants a thing – and the A OK to sell dead elephant parts in the US was denied. Our Interior Secretary Zinke, is probably one of the most evil members of Trump’s administration. 2017 showed how he wanted to take down anything that had the word Monument in it. Opening up our country’s beautiful preservation areas to fossil fuel and mining companies is pure slime and brought the administration to a new low. We can only hope in 2018 that we can salvage them.
And finally nothing was more grotesque, anti-American and inhumane than the massive giveaway of our country to the 1%… or maybe that is 100% American. Trump supporters will be in for a rude awakening when they finally realize that their personal savior, who they thought would drain the swamp in 2017 realize that the swamp will get the last laugh and those good people will be swimming through major sludge.
Our resistance ended the year on a very sad note. Erica Gardner daughter of Eric Garner who was killed at the hands of the NYPD passed away the last week of December from a heart attack. Other organizers we lost this year include journalists, environmentalists, and dedicated people who really stood for people vs corporations. The losses are many.We can only hope that others in the state, the country and across the world will learn from these remarkable women heroines.
2018 we all have to keep the resistance going – we need to preserve DACA and immigration rights, continue the fight to save the environment and fight global climate disruption, bring the word democracy back and we need to get it through to our representatives, on the local, state and federal level that no one in 2018 will get a pass because of the letter in front of their name and we will hold them accountable for their actions and inactions.