A Reflection on 2017 by Arman Becan
Note: This brief is intended as an introduction to current events or specific policies. Any opinions expressed herein reflect only those of the author.
2017 has been a long year for Democrats. One of the best presidents was replaced by one of the worst and all our fears came true. Many hoped that the power and weight of the Oval Office would humble President Trump. It did not. From his inaugural address about "American carnage" to inching us closer to nuclear war by calling Kim Jong Un "rocket man,” to his weak response to the Charlottesville demonstrations, Trump has shown us time and time again that he is clearly unfit for office and the Electoral College has, once again, robbed the country of a progressive, pragmatic president.
The Trump-era had a rocky start with Trump claiming he had the largest inauguration crowd in history and dispatched Sean Spicer to berate those who disagreed. Trump then, falsely, claimed that Obama wiretapped him, which was immediately disproven. In the first 100 days, Trump barely did anything but tweet, complain, and sign executive orders that undid many regulations imposed under the Obama administration. Most of his actions stem from his vendetta against our former president. If Obama has done something, Trump must undo it, regardless if it endangers our country. Trump is governing out of spite of Obama and Democrats.
Time and time again Trump has proved that he is not willing to be a president for the people, but a president for his core supporters and his billionaire buddies. His ego is so inflated that he was desperate to get a "win" within the year. After comically failing with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans in Congress passed a tax bill that was highly flawed and widely disliked by many Americans. Over 50% of Americans disapprove of the tax bill yet Trump and the Republicans in Congress hailed the bill as something that will save the country from certain economic doom. This was never about helping the people - this was about improving their chances in 2018. The American people aren't buying it and it is looking more and more likely that the Democrats will overtake the majority in the House and Senate.
Despite how challenging 2017 was, Democrats have seen many victories that should hearten us all. Glimmers of hope appeared the day after the inauguration with the massive Women's March throughout the world. Millions of men and women marched in solidarity against the rising sexism and misogyny embodied by President Trump. Democrats across the country came very close to winning deep-red special election seats. On election night in November, Democrats swept in New Jersey, Virginia, and here in New York City. Ralph Northam easily defeated racist, Trump-loving Ed Gillepsie in Virginia and Democrats picked up assembly seats. Danica Roem became the first open transgender to win a seat in Virginia's state legislature. Democrats gained momentum which got a shot in the arm when Doug Jones shocked the nation by defeating Evangelical hero Roy Moore in the special election to replace Jeff Sessions in December (Roy Moore still hasn't conceded). From Trumpcare, to the Muslim bans, to the ban on transgender troops, the Democrats have fought back and not only delivered the GOP humiliating losses, but garnered victories for the American people.
Democrats are anxiously waiting for November while Republicans are dreading it. We are more united than ever and we are eagerly waiting to unseat the Republican majority and bring balance back to Washington. As Democrats, our New Year's resolution is to take back the House, Senate, governorships, and state legislatures throughout the country and we will do this by registering people to vote, phone banking for candidates, knocking on doors, and fundraising for Democratic candidates. We have a long three years left but we will get through this together with our courage, our bravery, our passion, and some SNL.