Next year’s got to be better?
2018 begins in a few days, and not a moment too soon for a nation weary of its scandal-ridden, pathological liar of a president and a Congress whose only accomplishment this year has been to reward the rich while punishing the poor. One can imagine the wealthy hidden behind their walls in gated communities, counting their gold and cackling with greed. It’s been a very long year.
Making predictions in our unstable political environment is a fool’s errand but irresistible just the same. One thing we know for sure: 2018 promises to be a year of continued resistance to Trumpism and its incompetent acolytes who show disdain for anyone not lucky enough or devious enough to be rich.
As Trump’s approval ratings sink to historic lows, our president is busy banning certain terms in government reports, terms like “vulnerable,” “diversity,” “transgender,” and “science-based.” He tweets vicious attacks on the FBI and the Department of Justice while scores of seasoned diplomats are missing from the State Department. We watch in anguish as Republicans pass a disgraceful tax bill but refuse to reauthorize CHIP and ensure continued health care for children of the working poor.
In 2018, I predict the anger over the tax scam will turn to rage in reaction to the “Corker Kickback,” a provision inserted into the tax bill that personally enriches Sen. Bob Corker and President Trump. Corker maintains he had nothing to do with it, but no one believes him. All year, we’ve been told innumerable bald-faced lies, and the Republicans have lost the benefit of the doubt over their veracity on anything. And by the way, Sen. Dean Heller, we know this tax bill exacerbates income inequality and sets the stage for massive cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. You’re not fooling anyone with your rosy tweets about all of your hard work on our behalf.
I predict health insurance premiums will explode in 2018 as the market reels from instability caused by the Republicans’ removal of one of the essential legs of the Obamacare stool, the individual mandate. They’ll try to blame Obama and the Democrats for the insurance price hike, but we all know who’s responsible, and the blowback won’t be pretty.
I predict the second Women’s March in January will be even bigger than the first, as women and their allies take to the streets again in Reno on Jan. 20 to express their frustration and demand change. The focus this year is boosting turnout in the 2018 midterm elections, capitalizing on the momentum from 2017 when Virginia replaced 11 male, Republican incumbents with progressive women, including the nation’s first openly transgender woman elected to a state legislature.
And who can forget this month’s Democratic victory in one of the reddest states of all when Doug Jones defeated accused child molester Republican Roy Moore for an open U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, reducing the Republican majority to just one senator. Women—specifically African-American women—made all the difference when they exceeded turnout expectations and 98 percent of them voted for Jones.
It’s already obvious a record number of women will seek public office next year throughout the nation. There will be female candidates up and down Nevada’s November ballot, including the governor’s race featuring former assemblymember Chris Giunchigliani. You’ll hear lots of the usual “she can’t win” nonsense from the usual male suspects, but she’ll prove them wrong when women and progressives show up and vote.
I also predict the #metoo movement is far from over. In 2018, we will continue to hear from women who have silently endured workplace harassment and assault by powerful men for far too long. Empowered women will continue to share their stories next year and watch the chips fall where they may.