2016: Where do we stand now?


Samuel Kim, Staff Writer

As we all pour into Times Square (with our noisemakers, bottles of champagne, and selfie sticks), a good question to ask is, “Where are we now?”

We, as an American community, have come a long way from New Year’s Eve 2015. This year has brought out the best and worst of mankind. From the streets of Aleppo to that sad evening in the Javits Center, this year has been the most turbulent, political one I have reported in years. As I see it, however, there is one major conflict that has played out a lot in 2016: the conflict between globalism and nationalism.

We stand in a world that wants to go back to the age of the nation-states — thehe words of the far right. the nationalists, the socialists, and other less-than desirable characters (i.e. Cenk Uygur, Alex Jones) have left us in a politically polarized world.  First, what began as a long plan to stay out of the failing Eurozone, resulted in Britain leaving the European Union. This revolution, by the working-class, against the corporate elite, the college educated, and the political class. The “Brexit” vote was just a preview of what we were about to see in our own election.

The U.S. election of 2016 will be known as the most divisive, nasty political election in our history. In this election, the use of deplorable language, insufferable innuendos, and computer hacking all contributed to the election of a Republican, who did not represent of the values of the Republican party. Name-calling, slogans, and rallies of reminiscent of 1930s Germany have plagued our television screens and our computers. Fake news sites and radical media outlets (i.e. the Young Turks, InfoWars, Breitbart, etc.) have poisoned the minds of hopeless Americans looking for real change. This divisiveness has tore our country apart so much that, for the first time in decades, mass demonstrations against the fair outcome of our election have occurred. For the first time, in ten years, Republicans control a majority of Congress, a majority of the governorships; they have also won the white working class. This shows us that our country is swinging towards the right of the political spectrum.

What does this tell us? I believe that Obama’s presidency will not be looked upon as an economic success, but as an era of social reforms. However, for millions of people in the Rust belt states, social reforms did not matter. To them, the acceptance of Syrian refugees, the state legalizations of marijuana, the amnesty programs, and the recognition of same-sex marriage did not matter. Their jobs were still being replaced by machines, the Chinese, and means of production. To them, the populist message of nativism and negativity provided an answer.

What should we do? We are left with a president-elect who has a short-temperament, an ego, and a misogynistic mindset. However, I urge the public to do what is right and support our president. When he does what is wrong, let him know. When he does something right, applaud him. We, as a nation, must make America great for everyone. The only way to prepare for 2017 is to unite together. We must set aside our differences and unite under our flag, our nation, and our creed.