2017: Year of disappointment?

Last year was an eventful one, but was not all that bad

Tess Peterson, Staff Writer

Many people think 2017 May have been one of the worst years ever, full of political disappointments and horrifying natural disasters, but maybe it wasn’t.

The past year could also be labeled as the year of the Breakout.  The same week Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President, millions of Americans took to the streets starting the “Resistance”.  Women, men, black, white, gay and straight came together to resist.  Political tides began to turn in the off-year elections.

One example of a political breakout was the election of Doug Jones, a Democrat, who won a Senate seat in Alabama. Jones is the first Democrat statewide office winner in Alabama in a quarter of a century. Other political breakouts occurred in the Virginia Governor and State Legislature races with an overwhelming Democratic victory sweep.   Another unlikely breakout occurred in Minnesota when Ilhan Omar was sworn into the State House of Representatives in January 2017.  Omar is the first Somali Muslim women ever to be elected a State legislature.  

Who could forget the powerful hurricanes of 2017?  One example of a powerful breakout following these natural disasters is Carmen Yulin Cruz, the female Mayor of San Juan Puerto Rico, who against demonstrated passionate leadership and empathy for her people forcing the US federal government and the world to come to the aid of her city and Puerto Rico.  A long rebuilding process is underway, now, because of her courage.  

Possibly the most emotional and enduring 2017 breakout is the “Me Too” movement which has empowered women to finally confront powerful men in business, politics, and entertainment.  This grassroots movement has created a cultural moment for our country.  Who would have thought that Oprah would be a potential candidate for President in 2020!

All these small, large and major victories gave us hope that someday we might care more about the people we are around than the latest Facebook post. We might take time to go out and peacefully protest instead of going to our favorite brunch spot. We might take a class in political science or American government to learn more about our judicial system and the balance of power. Also, we might truly learn to respect each other no matter the color of our skin, our sexuality, religion, the people we hang out with or our family backgrounds. Then maybe we can finally be the united nation that the Statue of Liberty stands for.