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Top 10 News Stories of 2020

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The Top 10 for January, published a few days early

And in case you forgot, a reminder… 2020 was the Year of the Rat according to the 12-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

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#10 Cancel Culture

In June, when the New York Times published an OpEd by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) that had the audacity to suggest it might be prudent for President Trump to use force to shut down rioting in American cities, the outrage by leftist readers and employees resulted in the removal of Editor James Bennett. Later, when hundreds of various liberal celebrities, authors, and activists including JK Rowling and Mathew Yglesias wrote an open letter in Harper’s Magazine criticizing the cancel culture phenomenon, it didn’t matter that the letter included the assertion that President Trump was a “real threat to democracy.”  It’s heresy to criticize cancel culture, and if you do? They’ll cancel you. Multiple signatories of the open letter later withdrew their support in an effort to un-sign the open letter. Scary stuff.

#9 The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump 

It might seem like a decade ago, but yes, Trump’s impeachment happened this year. It was only the third time in our 244-year history that an American president had been impeached, and it only ranks as the 9th top story of year. Though that rating speaks volumes about the  amount of tumult we experienced in 2020, it says a lot more about the farcical nature of the actual impeachment. The articles of impeachment didn’t even include a real crime, as there is no statute regarding “Abuse of Power” or “Obstruction of Congress.” Impeaching Trump on those two charges was akin to impeaching him for “Being Orange and Obnoxious.” At least Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were impeached for allegedly violating actual laws.

#8 Republicans Increase Share of Minorities, Likely Retain Control of Senate 

Republicans have indeed lost control of the Executive Branch with President Trump’s loss, but virtually every other aspect of the election was exceptionally good news for the GOP. Trump increased support in every demographic aside from white men; oh, the irony. Republicans gained double-digit seats in the House of Representatives, and need to win just one of the two Senate seats in Georgia on January 5th in order to keep control of the Senate. And all of these results happened in spite of widespread predictions of a “Blue Wave,” unprecedented voter turnout, and equally unprecedented biased and dishonest media coverage.

#7 Peace Breaks Out in the Middle East

Facilitated by the Trump Administration, and due in large part to its hard line foreign policy approach to Iran, Israel signed peace treaties with four different Middle East Nations: United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. During the previous 71 years (1948-2019), there were a total of two such agreements (Egypt and Jordan), and in the last four months of 2020 Trump has doubled the feat. This accomplishment isn’t just the greatest foreign policy achievement of President Trump, it’s one of the greatest of any president we’ve ever had. Trump and son-in-law/advisor Jared Kushner rejected the long-held notion that Middle East peace efforts must focus on Palestine and they correctly identified Iran as the true agitator and not Israel. After dealing Iran multiple setbacks such as the dismissal of President Obama’s disastrous nuclear agreement and the assassination of Iranian terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani, the administration teamed with Israel to negotiate with nations as sovereign, individual entities while concentrating on the nationalist instincts and best interests of each. The remarkable results are clear evidence that it was a masterful strategy. Bravo, President Trump and Mr. Kushner.

#6 The Election of Joe Biden

Any similar list of “Top Stories” from the Left and their media would likely describe this event as “The Defeat of Donald J. Trump,” rather than the victory of Biden, which was their true objective all along. But for the purposes of this discussion, we will give credit to the presumptive President-Elect. At 78, Mr. Biden is the oldest person ever elected president, and won the election on his third attempt at the presidency. The campaign was intense, and the voting irregularities and potential fraud in various states will rightfully be a topic of discussion for years to come. The biggest scandal regarding the election is the actual interference that was executed by our corrupt mainstream and social media (not the imaginary variety they tried to sell us for four years with the Russia Hoax), who had their thumbs on the scale throughout the election cycle. How much of Biden’s agenda he will be able to implement will depend largely on the results of the aforementioned Georgia Senate Election on January 5th. If Republicans win just one of those seats, the most radical aspects of the Democrats’ agenda will be thwarted.

#5 Racial Unrest

After the death of George Floyd in Minnesota on May 25th, protests and violence broke out across the country, and the Black Lives Matter movement was revitalized as they continued to push the narrative of America’s “systemic racism.” The earlier death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of police in Louisville in March gained renewed attention, as did various other incidents. It didn’t matter that only one of the four police officers dealing with George Floyd at the time of his death was white, and it didn’t matter that it was later determined that Floyd had lethal amounts of fentanyl in his system when he died;  BLM and the Left labeled it as “racism” without any evidence. It also didn’t matter that Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend was actually shooting his gun at police from behind a locked door with Taylor present when she was killed by police, BLM and the Left again labeled the death as racist police brutality. And the list goes on.

#4 Wokeness

On the heels of the peaceful riots by BLM and their AntiFa siblings, the shift to wokeness by the American left gained significant momentum. Joe Biden openly declared that he was going to base his pick of a running mate on gender and race, proudly promising to pick a “woman of color” for VP. Our friends on the Left will likely have a conniption when reading this, but there are only two words that can accurately describe employing such criteria in decision-making: sexist and racist. Yet Biden won anyway. Other moves towards wokeness were far less successful. Hollywood implemented new standards for the Oscars as their revenues plummeted. The NFL, NBA and MLB all went over-the-top in their efforts to be more woke than the other, and viewership nosedived. The hashtag #GoWokeGoBroke came into vogue as our ongoing culture war worsened.

#3 The COVID Pandemic

There have likely been hundreds-of-millions infected worldwide, with millions having died from the deadly coronavirus. Government officials in scores of countries locked down their citizenry, sending the global economy into a tailspin. People everywhere lived in fear, and in some cases panic. But healthcare workers in the U.S. showed Americans what true heroism looks like, as exhausted doctors and nurses went to work at jam-packed hospitals and doctors’ offices to care for the sick. And the development of vaccines by pharmaceutical scientists, most of whom are Americans, is one of the greatest achievements in human history, demonstrating once again the greatness of American ingenuity and capitalism.

#2 The Outrageous Reactions to the COVID Pandemic

This story should not be confused with item #3, as they are entirely different stories. To be clear, there were no easy answers to the handling of the virus, and aside from administering a successful vaccine, there still aren’t. First they told us masks were useless, then they told us we’d be killing the elderly if we didn’t wear them. Most of us were willing to cut leaders slack in the spring as they gained their footing on how to proceed, but then the clear duplicity and dishonesty of so many of them became obvious. Government officials in various states, mostly Democrat-controlled, closed down barber shops and churches while allowing marijuana dispensaries and liquor stores to continue operating. Landscapers in Michigan couldn’t cut lawns but Hollywood’s elite went on operating as “essential” services. The rest of us were forbidden to dine and go to gyms while California Governor Gavin Newsom enjoyed a dinner with lobbyists at the posh, $400/plate French Laundry and Nancy Pelosi went to a beauty salon. What should have been an opportunity for elected officials to show true leadership was instead used to exploit and seize power.

#1 The Corruption of Social and Mainstream Media

In a year with so much turmoil, the top story of 2020 is nonetheless a no-brainer. Throughout the past four years, the slightest impediment to the Left’s agenda by Republicans was held up as a “threat to our democracy.” Meanwhile having such blatant corruption overrunning our press – which is supposed to be the unofficial fourth branch of government – is a genuine threat not only to our governmental system but to our entire culture. While leftwing media bias has been evident for years, that bias evolved into pure corruption this year as our legacy and social media giants lifted their skirts for all to see. In late-August, The Atlantic ran a piece based on anonymous sources claiming that President Trump had called fallen American soldiers “losers” during a visit to a French military cemetery. The story was so easily debunked, even anti-Trumper John Bolton who had just released a book strongly criticizing the president scoffed at it, and Bolton was present when the supposed comments were made. The mainstream media, Facebook and Twitter actively suppressed the wholly legitimate Hunter Biden email story in October, a probable difference-maker on election day. Other examples of their deceit and favoritism are too numerous to mention. Throughout 2020, social media and the mainstream media became the observable, unsanctioned communication wing of America’s Left and the Democratic Party. There may indeed by a silver lining to their exposure, however, as President Trump earned the second-most votes in presidential election history and Republicans likely held control of the Senate and made huge gains in the House despite the media’s efforts. Americans clearly recognize their treachery and a reckoning may be forthcoming.

PF Whalen

Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash