Hoping — yet again — for a turn for the better

I was so hoping that when 2016 disappeared that the next year might bring a brighter outlook.

It turned out that 2017 was no better than the previous year.

While it is true the world didn’t lose as many iconic figures in 2017 as it did in 2016, my hope was that a new president’s performance might not be as horrific as I feared.

I regret to say I was mistaken.

Donald J. Trump’s first year in office was worse than I feared.

He didn’t get anything done. He didn’t make America any greater than it already is. He didn’t unify the country. The president didn’t deliver on the vast bulk of his campaign promises — although he did make good on some of them; I’ll get back to that in a moment.

The president’s “America First” mantra has brought further isolation for the United States in an era that has produced a shrinking globe.

He pulled the nation out of a worldwide effort to curb carbon emissions; he scolded our NATO allies over whether they’re paying their fair share of defense against Russian threats; the president insulted key heads of state of allied nations; he has used his Twitter account to launch tirades against the media, pro football players, and to promote falsehoods on all manner of issues.

The tax cut? That’s a promise kept. The president is crowing about it and he has earned the right to boast. It remains an open question, though, about how it will succeed. Will millions of jobs be returned specifically because of the corporate tax cuts? Is the economy going to continue to accelerate as it has done during the year?

And will the tax cut explode the federal budget deficit, which used to be anathema to Republican politicians?

Yes, indeed, there’s also that “Russia thing.”

The investigation into alleged collusion with Russian agents seeking to influence the 2016 election outcome is getting hotter by the week. Trump calls it a phony story. Fine. Let it proceed and prove him correct, if that’s the outcome we get.

The year we are about to enter, I’m sad to say, doesn’t look any better than the one we’re about to set aside.

Sad.

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