The Associated Press delivered its traditional Top 10 list last month and while the choices actually made more sense than usual, they were particularly antiseptic — as if the AP were afraid to give context to the stories.
What was missing, it seems, is politics. Every story on the list is a bone of contention between liberals and conservatives, between Democrats and Republicans, between Trumpists and Never-Trumpers.
Here’s the AP list, from No. 1 to 10: Sexual misconduct, Trump’s first year, Las Vegas shooting, hurricane onslaught, North Korea, Trump-Russia probe, Obamacare, tax overhaul, worldwide terror attacks and Islamic State.
When you think about every one of those stories, the first thing you think about is how they are lightning rods of political divisiveness. The media proved this year they could spin anything into a complaint about President Trump, his Cabinet and his policies. Trump is to blame for mass murder. Trump is to blame for climate change. Trump is to blame for that little guy in North Korea being off his rocker. Trump is to blame for Obamacare sucking. Trump is to blame for you paying less in taxes (not sure how this one works!). Trump is to blame for Muslims hating America, and Obama is to get full credit for ISIS getting its butt handed to it by Trump.
As for the No. 1 story of the year, sexual misconduct, that was a story that broke across the entire spectrum of American society last year, but the involuntary poster child for the “me-too” accusations was Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who was tepidly endorsed by President Trump, as the mainstream media mentioned every 10 minutes during the final weeks of the campaign. Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein probably considered sending the GOP an anonymous donation in thanks for Moore taking the heat off Hollywood for its longstanding culture of sexual predation.
As for “Trump’s first year” … if that was only the second biggest story of 2017, why is it that CNN and MSNBC spent 90 percent of the time talking about it? If you lump Everything Trump (including Never Trump) all together, it should definitely be the No. 1 story of the year, and if you break it down into its component parts, it probably should take up at least five of the Top 10 slots, maybe more.
Here’s a reasonable list of 10 significant stories from Trump’s first year that will have a major impact on the country for years to come:
1) First and foremost, exposing the national news media as the opposition party. It was not the Democrats who rallied citizens against the president; it was CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Remarkably, President Trump remained standing despite having sustained numerous bites to the ankles during repeated attacks by swamp creatures.
2) Putting Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court plus appointing conservative judges to the top federal courts. If Hillary Clinton had been elected, the courts would have been a rubber-stamp for unconstitutional policies for decades to come.
3) Revamping U.S. energy policy and opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Don’t forget: Trump also kept his promise to withdraw from the bogus Paris climate agreement.
4) Overhaul of tax policy, resulting not just in tax cuts for most Americans but also an incentive for corporations to invest in this country and its great workers.
5) Trump’s Twitter account rattled the NFL, North Korea, Democrats, and establishment Republicans, among many others. Bravo!
5) The economy and stock market soared under President Trump, in large part due to the massive deregulation that took the shackles off most of our major industries.
6) ISIS is on the run. (Oh wait, I forgot — that was President Obama’s plan all along!)
7) Trump took on the “corrupt” leadership of the FBI and the Department of Justice for failing to do its job. Does anyone remember how FBI Director Jim Comey, after being fired by President Trump, broke the law by leaking classified documents to the New York Times in order to get his buddy, Robert Mueller, appointed as special counsel in order to dig up dirt on Trump? “Twilight Zone” rerun maybe?
8) Repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate, which is probably the death knell for Obamacare, which itself was an affront to the liberty-minded principles on which this nation was founded.
9) Fulfilling the promise of not just himself, but also Presidents Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama, to order the U.S. embassy in Israel moved to Jerusalem. That’s something new. Call it reality-based foreign policy.
10) Of course, the so-called Trump-Russia probe got its own spot on the AP list. I’ll go along with that, but for me the reason it is news is because it represents the bloodless coup d’etat being sponsored by the mainstream media against President Trump and the forgotten men and women who voted for him. When it was revealed that the Hillary Clinton campaign had paid for the Fusion GPS “Russian dossier” that was used to brand Trump a traitor, it should have been enough for any honest American to acknowledge that it was Trump who was betrayed and targeted for removal from office
The fact that he has nonetheless gotten so much done in the Year of Long Knives is a testament to his endurance, vision and intestinal fortitude. Whether he can survive another year of living dangerously remains to be seen, but my money remains on Trump for the win.
Frank Miele is the managing editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. He canbe reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org