In many ways, I will not be sorry to see the back of 2016. The year got off to a rocky start with the death in January of David Bowie and continued on through the double whammy deaths of Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds.
In between, a number of famous and important people left the scene, and a minority of Americans succeeded in handing the keys to the candy store (and the nuclear arsenal) to an rude and overbearing reality TV host. It's as if The Truman Show (the Jim Carrey movie in which his entire life is fodder for reality TV and he's the only one not in on it) has been flipped on its ear, the script pages mixed with those of Panic In The Year Zero (the 1962 Ray Milland film about a family which must learn to survive in the aftermath of nuclear war) to give birth to some sort of Nightmare on Elm Street revision in which the nightmare is all too real.
I have little in the way of expectations for positive change from the incoming administration, and based on some of the names on the transition team and those being bandied about for Cabinet posts, I doubt I'll be pleasantly disappointed.
I am lucky in that I do not expect my life to be negatively impacted much by the Trump presidency. My fear is that millions of others will not be able to say the same.
Based on the rhetoric coming out of Washington since the election, attempts will again be made to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and the elderly. This, even though those two groups make up a smaller portion of federal spending than military spending, federal subsidies, and tax breaks for large corporations.
I expect to see racism become, if not more prevalent, more visible and overt over the next four years. The change is already taking place as evident in the turning of a family's outdoor Menorah display into a swastika. The incoming President may not be a racist, but I believe he is an enabler of such behavior.
This last year, quite frankly, sucked in a lot of ways, and I could continue to lament what happened and outline my fears regarding what lies ahead. Instead, I will hope to be wrong and will hope that in 2017 fewer people than I expect will suffer a rolling back of rights; that fewer people than I expect will be excluded from the safety net that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security were created to provide; and that more people than I expect will find love in their hearts for people who are different from themselves.
Happy New Year, everyone.