The next year will be an interesting time for us all. For the many who supported President-elect Donald J. Trump, 2017 will be a moment of truth — the moment when he makes or breaks many of his promises. For those who opposed him, it will be a time for fears to be validated or soothed.
There’s no doubt many will continue to say that Trump is “not my president.” Both within and without the government, he will surely see opposition, to the extent that it can be mustered under near-total GOP domination. Assuming Republicans do not move to get rid of the filibuster, which requires 60 percent of the Senate to vote for something, then Democrats will still have a degree of power and the ability to obstruct parts of Trump’s agenda.
Obstructionism aside, there may be some common ground between the two parties. Trump has indicated that he likes parts of the Affordable Care Act: for instance, he had expressed support for there being no consideration of pre-existing conditions, but favors deregulating many aspects of healthcare as well.
As for whether or not the Republicans will fall in line behind Trump, I have little doubt that they will. Ted Cruz went from harshly denouncing Trump and refusing to endorse him at the Republican National Convention to endorsing him for president (after being called “Lyin’ Ted” and seeing his father accused of murdering John F. Kennedy, no less).
Now, Trump has met with Mitt Romney to discuss the Secretary of State position in the White House. The former presidential candidate called Trump a “phony” among other things on national television, but apparently it was all just a big misunderstanding.
And so we have seen many of Trump’s harshest critics give up the ghost.
Around the world, 2017 will be a time of global evolution (or devolution, if you prefer). While we focus on our own part of the globe, Europe and Asia are on the same spinning Earth. The United Kingdom is on track to leave the European Union in March, despite a recent revelation from their supreme court that the passage of Brexit would require support from parliament rather than a simple popular vote.
Further east, Turkey has begun a slide into dictatorship, after President Recep Erdogan began a purge of the government following a failed coup earlier this year. Turkey is a very strategic ally in Europe and the Middle East, and any drastic change there is bound to have big reverberations.
In the East China Sea, where several governments disagree on the extent of their territory and ownership of islands, Japan and China seem to have worsening relations. There is talk from the Japanese government of amending their post-World War II constitution to become less pacifist.
These things represent only a fraction of what the New Year, and many years following, will hold. Will Trump be able to deal with these things professionally?
What about right here, on this side of the ocean? Will he be able to maintain a productive relationship with the long-suffering Cuban people? How will he continue to navigate the war on drugs that spans so many countries? Whatever Trump decides to do, I am not rooting for him to fail us or anyone who depends on him.
None of us have to be spectators. Watching the news and hearing the stories can leave you feeling like you are on a roller-coaster. I only ask that you enter the next year with curiosity and decency.