As 2017 closes out, as cold as it was on the way in, it’s hard to find words to describe just what is going on around us. Divisive, chaotic, and juvenile come to mind quickly. So does bizarre.
But what defined this year more than anything else was conflict. Despite a decade long war in Syria and some other regional battles, the world is actually more at peace than it has been for many centuries. Yet it doesn’t seem like it.
Forged after the horror of World War II, American hegemony around the world was not driven primarily by a desire to create an empire – that was only a side effect. The main purpose was to bring peace to the world by feeding the hungry, empowering the oppressed, and bringing the world closer together than ever before. It was far too easy to slouch into global domination even as many of those goals came into reach.
This year, America fell down mightily. Or rather, American vigilance took its eyes off the world and stared at the freak show no one can avoid staring at.
It’s only reasonable that one of the net effects is that the world feels closer to war than ever before. Indeed, it’s one of the main reasons why Saudi Arabia feels comfortable heating up the growing Sunni-Shia proxy war with Iran. It’s why North Korea has accelerated and flaunted its weapons program. And it’s also why Russia feels comfortable accelerating its program of destabilizing the world with a new method of warfare, engaging from within.
The only force strong enough to bring down America is, indeed, America.
Here in this nation, the year was marked by constant conflict. Some of it was productive, such as the unmasking of the horrors of not just sexual predation but the lives and careers it has destroyed. Most of it was utterly pointless, fueled by gaslit citizens convinced that the war on liberals or whatever it is they think they are at war with is meaningful and winnable.
And the left has responded in kind, of course.
If the elections in 2017 showed anything, it’s that people are largely sick of it. Democracy actually works, at least in its own time. Voters have only so much appetite for conflict that has no point whatsoever other than to provide a constant distraction away from those who are plundering the nation.
And so the year comes to a close with a kind of peace at hand. More people are sick of the nonsense than actually support it. The realities of foreign threats is rather obvious. The gains from fighting each other are not.
This year of conflict is resolving like all other years. The next year will bring more conflict, certainly, but it may be the kind which has a useful resolution. We will see how long it takes for this nation to regain its sanity. It may not be long.