We live in interesting times. Not necessarily the safest, or best, or hopeful, but interesting nonetheless. There have been no other times in my life when so many storylines have emerged that could have played out in some work of fiction. Is that a good thing or bad thing? I guess it all depends on how much you prefer excitement and turbulence versus calmness and monotony.
I like to spend some time reflecting back on the past year’s big events as I see them.
The COVID-19 Pandemic Ends
I got COVID for the first and only time in August 2022. Almost 18 months after the pandemic began, I came down with a fever, cough, and other symptoms that took a full week to subside. Actually, the cough would continue for an additional four weeks, but the major symptoms went away after a week.
The pandemic has been the biggest news story over the past three years, and it will likely continue to be a major story for at least several more years. However, the world has decided to move on this past year. As it became more and more apparent that COVID restrictions were a type of theater rather than a rational response to a virus, the game was up. A stream of stories of Democratic politicians ignoring their own restrictions stretched the narrative thin before the narrative collapsed at the 2022 Superbowl in February. There, with millions watching on TV, maskless celebrity after maskless celebrity was shown partying and drinking at the event in Los Angeles. It’s kind of hard to pretend there’s a life-threatening disease in your midst when one of the most COVID-repressive states didn’t seem to care.
There was also the collapse of the narrative surrounding the vaccines. Simply put, the vaccines didn’t do what they told us it would do. From the President of the United States to the Director of the CDC, the people in power told the American public that those who got the vaccine wouldn’t get COVID. As it became clear during 2022 that this was not true, the game was up.
On September 18, President Joe Biden declared in an interview with 60 Minutes that the “pandemic is over”. Although many people had no need for Biden’s permission to come to this conclusion, the fact that even Biden had to admit this reality was significant. After all, prolonging the pandemic served his party’s ideological interests the most, and giving up on it meant their own power would decrease.
However, by now COVID and the pandemic had turned into a religion for some, and the true believers did not so easily capitulate. Instead, they doubled down, insisting that the pandemic was still ongoing. They expressed alarm as COVID was no longer being treated like a potentially fatal disease, and that people were going back to business-as-usual in public. As late as December 2022, someone tried to make the case that masks should be a permanent fixture in American life. The true believers will be hanging on for a long time.
The Russia-Ukraine War
In early March, Russia invaded Ukraine, beginning a war that continued through the rest of the year. Russian aggression was met with fierce public backlash by the West, as well as pouring of sympathy onto the Ukrainian people. Romanticized stories of Ukrainian might in the face of oppression began to circulate in the media, and it eventually became evident that the public wasn’t exactly being told the truth about the affair.
Soon enough, a hero emerged amid the chaos: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Often appearing in video clips wearing olive drab military-casual clothing, he rallied Ukrainians while the Russians laid havoc on Ukrainian cities. Images of him widely circulated in the West, and his aura became so powerful that his clothing style seemed to influence other world leaders. By year’s end, Zelenskyy would be named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year”.
Zelenskyy was was unstoppable, and he seemed to know this. He leveraged his new-found status to start on what may be the greatest lobbying effort of all time. Tens of billions have been sent to Ukraine from countries around the world help with military and other forms of assistance. Not surprisingly, the vast majority has come from U.S. taxpayers. However, according to Zelenskyy, even more money needs to be given. Also not surprisingly, both Democrats and Republicans seem willing to give it to him.
Of course, the massive question mark hovering about this is how sending Ukraine a blank check benefits American citizens who are increasingly being abandoned by their own politicians. While the vast majority of Americans likely cannot point to Ukraine on a map and wouldn’t know how that war affects their own lives, American politicians are all too eager to keep sending more and more cash to the other side of the world. Times like these help the public understand how the two parties in D.C. are ultimately joined at the hip.
Roe v. Wade is Overturned
One of the most monumental Supreme Court decisions ever was published in June of this year: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The decision, which reversed Roe v. Wade, removed the Court’s role in the regulation of abortion and threw it back to the individual states. This meant that states could choose to keep abortion legal or criminalize it altogether, which would seem to please the vast majority of citizens who believe in democratic government.
It was an astounding blow to the politics of the left, which have largely evolved over the past several decades around this one, “sacred” issue of abortion. Abortion has had at least some role in almost every major election since 1973 when Roe v. Wade was decided, and so gutting the so-called “right to abortion” as claimed by the left was a major feat. It was a major win for preborn human rights, and a testament to the unsung movers of the pro-life movement who worked behind the scenes for decades to make this possible.
News of the possible overturning of Roe was leaked in early May by someone who had access to a draft of the opinion. Normally, such a leak from within the Supreme Court would be unheard of, but because this dealt with such a core issue for the left, it was not entirely surprising. What is surprising, however, is that seven months later, we still do not know who the leaker was.
2022 Midterm Elections
Despite a predicted “Red Wave” or political wins by Republicans, the 2022 midterm elections only mildly shifted the political landscape within the U.S. While the GOP did gain control of the House, they were unable to capitalize upon the impressively sad state of America today by winning back the Senate. Perhaps the expectations were simply too great, or unrealistic, but the reality is that it was a disappointing performance for the right and a mind-boggling display by the American people. They have to live under the policies of the politicians they’re voting for, after all.
Trans-ideology Hits a Wall
Transgenderism as a socio-political issue has been mounting for years, but it seems like 2022 was the year that things finally broke open. This year, there was an effective pushback to the absolutely absurd claims made by trans-ideologists, the most visible of which was a film created by The Daily Wire pundit Matt Walsh which posed the simplest of questions: what exactly do we mean by the word, “woman”? Although answering this question has been so simple that the question itself had no reason to be formulated since humanity began, in recent decades leftist academicians have caused enough confusion in the mainstream culture as to cause legitimate harm in our society within the last few years.
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The Conspiracy Theories Strike Back