What a year.
When future historians look back on the United States in the early 21st century, special attention will certainly be paid to 2017. And with good reason. On a number of levels, this has been a year unlike any in the history of our nation.
In so many ways, 2017 was a year that highlighted the worst parts of our nature. It began with the swearing in of a divisive president who won the office with a campaign based in large part on xenophobia, bigotry, and hate. During the ensuing months, this man lied, bullied, whined, smarmed, and raged his way through his first year in the Oval Office. We watched in abject horror as he undermined the press, attacked our intelligence agencies, demeaned our allies, coddled neo-Nazis, endorsed a credibly-alleged pedophile, and tossed schoolyard insults at nuclear powers. Of course, all of this also happened under a cloud of scandal regarding Russian interference in the election and the investigation that has already led to four indictments and two guilty pleas (including charges against Trump's campaign manager and National Security Advisor).
And the lies. Oh, the lies! A year that started with outright lies about his inaugural crowd size and electoral victory spiraled into an unending series of falsehoods that make the average two-faced politician look like Honest Abe. He lied about conversations he had with world leaders, about how the tax bill would impact his personal wealth, and about how previous presidents treated the families of fallen soldiers. Some of these lies (like his recent whopper about how Obama and the Democrats were preventing people from saying "Merry Christmas") are amusing in their ridiculousness. Others, including those dismissing Russian interference in the election, are much more dangerous.
There's no point in denying that Trump and his ilk have notched some major victories this year. They have completed the heist of a Supreme Court seat, eliminated numerous regulations protecting consumers and the environment, overturned net neutrality, and gave corporations and the wealthy a massive tax cut at the expense of working-class Americans.
And yet when those future historians look back on 2017, they won't just see a year full of scandal, hatred, and executive incompetence. They will also see the beginnings of a movement that galvanized the country. They will see that 2017 was the year that millions of Americans stood up to reject sexism, nativism, bigotry, and greed.
They will see 2017 not as the year of Trump, but as the year of the Resistance.
Despite Trump's win, his momentum, and his Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, all of you stood up and fought unceasingly from the moment he was sworn in. You could have crawled into a hole and just accepted the damage Trump and his cronies would do over the next four years. But you chose to fight.
Millions of you showed up the day after the inauguration to make your voices heard at the Women's March. You clogged airports to protest the various travel bans. You made phone calls to your representatives every single day to sound off on the issues important to you. You are the reason the Affordable Care Act is still alive today. In November, you put progressives and Democrats into office in Virginia, New Jersey, and across the country. And just this month, you sent a Democrat from Alabama to the Senate for the first time in 25 years.
2017 will be seen as the year where America fought back. It will go down in history as the year where the blue waves that will swamp the elections in 2018 and 2020 first began to build in fury and intensity. And it will be seen as the beginning of the end of the national embarrassment that is the Donald J. Trump presidency.
2017 is in the history books, and 2018 will bring challenges the likes of which we have never faced.
After the last 12 months, I know the Resistance is up to the task.