What A Year, America
As of this writing, it is October 25th, 2017, 8:35 p.m. PST.
Last year at this time was — you guessed it — October 25th, 2016, 8:35 p.m. PST. If you find yourself struggling to glean anything significant about those two sentences, then I couldn’t blame you. The only conclusion you could make is that it has been one year since the last time it was October 25.
But man, oh man, what a difference one year can make.
Last year at this time, most of us presumed that a Clinton presidency was right around the corner. Last year, most of us looked at Donald Trump as nothing more than the greatest sideshow in American history — an ignominious last stand of America’s dying political right that could only have been written by the most postmodern comedy writer.
Last year, our first black president would be succeeded by our first female president, the Trans Pacific Partnership would be ratified, Merrick Garland would be our newest Supreme Court Justice, and November 8th, 2016 would go down in history as the day when America decisively turned towards the left for the foreseeable future. And last year, as usual, Americans would cheer or boo depending on who voted for whom, but after a couple of weeks, would accept the results and carry on with their lives as we have done after almost every presidential election in our nation’s history (which for me, meant going back to figuring out why my InVision prototype isn’t fucking working).
What ended up happening however, was that November 8th, 2016 would go down in history as the day that the end of history was over. America, long seen as the anchor of global stability, could very well draw it into World War III. Our democratic process, whose legitimacy Americans never bothered to even think about questioning, might now have been contaminated by foreign meddling, with its very credibility being called into question. Even more ominous, truth is now only what one chooses to believe, and facts now nothing more than what one chooses to see. History has indeed returned, and with Donald Trump as president, made sure that we all took notice.
Last year, at this time, October 25th, 2016, 8:35 p.m. PST, America was a completely different country.