A year ago today, I was looking forward to 2019 with skepticism. I expressed concern about a number of things. Not everything unfolded according to my expectations, and that’s good news. What can I say, I hope 2020 will continue the trend of defying pessimistic predictions.
- The political crisis in the United States continues to simmer with Trump’s impeachment, but it remains less dramatic than I feared;
- NATO and the EU remain intact for now, though unresolved issues remain;
- An orderly Brexit is now possible with Johnson’s election victory; I still think the Brits are shooting themselves in the foot with this idiocy, but an orderly Brexit may be the best possible outcome at this point;
- Sliding towards authoritarianism in places like Hungary and Poland remains a grave concern, but there is also pushback;
- Russia continues to muck up things in untoward ways, but there was no significant (e.g., military) escalation;
- China is ramping up its campaign against the Uyghurs with an ever widening system of concentration camps but there was no significant escalation with respect to their neighbors;
- Japan, sadly, resumed whaling, but so far I believe the impact is minimal;
- Brazil continues to wreak havoc in the rain forest, but there is pushback here as well;
- Lastly, Canada did have elections, but populism was crushed (for now at least) with the defeat of Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party.
And now here we are, entering the roaring twenties! A decade that will bring things like Prohibition and organized crime in the United States, institutionalized antisemitism in Hungary, the rise of fascism in Italy, the Great Depression… no, wait, that was a century ago. Here’s to hoping that humanity got a little wiser in the past 100 years.
Speaking of that century, my wife’s Mom and mine can now both tell us that they lived in every decade of a century, having been born in the 30’s and now living in the 20’s.