The year of 2019 ends with more global anxiety than it started–#DeathToAmerica was the trending topic on New Year’s Eve, and World War III trended after one full day of the new year. Somehow the world has become far more toxic with protests popping up like a fungus over much of the world. Nationalism-an ideology one would learn from history is rotten–runs rampant. Earth somehow feels smaller. This now popular ideology did not just appear but has been festering in the depths of outwardly sane democratic societies. A voice–however misguided–grew into a scream; bellowing their xenophobic chants until they hear their presence recited in politics. A flurry of crises over the years bred a tsunami of refugees. Like Hitler blaming the Jews on Germany’s misfortunes, refugees have proven to be an excellent scapegoat; establishing an “us versus them” mentality in weak-minded individuals whose corneas are so opalescent they cling to the loudest blurry mass cajoling them with flowery untruths. This disturbing behavior has weighed heavily on those with an ounce of empathy–and often humanity. The shifting sands of blame have shredded the very fabric of our attention, rapidly exhausting anyone who follows the daily news cycle. Too frequently you see those with antediluvian ideologies make pathetic excuses for objectively abhorrent behavior, like the heartless detention of children on the U.S. southern border. The election of the TV star and failed realtor, Donald J. Trump in 2016 expedited the already present cracks strewn across our country, giving others around the world with similar mindsets the strength to push their own sick changes.
I no longer start the year optimistically. Each day ushers more uncertainty over our future. The year’s final months set us up for a miserable 2020: we have seen a partisan senate defending an impeached president; Erdogan’s Syrian war crimes committed after Trump retreated from the country, allowing for the slaughter of our allies (the now emboldened Turkey has expanded troops into Libya); North Korea’s constant nuclear threat after countless failed meetings by our inept president; the assassination of Iran’s general, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei by Trump’s command, seeing the possibilities for a new Middle Eastern conflict; the bushfires engulfing Australia while their coal defending and climate-denying prime minister does nothing; and Russia’s revealing their hypersonic missile, Avangard, ushering the start to a new arms race. All these global misfortunes have carried over to the new year and show no sign of amelioration. I dearly hope that we as a species will improve.