It is a testament to their cushioned, detached lives that so many in the political and media classes have described 2016 as the worst year ever. They’ve moaned about 2016. Memed about it. Written books about it. ‘Dark Age’, ‘populism’, ‘fascism’, ‘END TIMES’ – the keywords of the 2016 haters.
I guess none of these people lost their homes in 2008, eh? Or their jobs in the fallout from that crash. Or their feeling of political power over the past three decades of rising technocracy and shrinking democracy. Never mind their historical illiteracy. What does 2016 have on 1347 or 1914 in terms of awfulness? Nothing, of course. If you think 2016 was an unspeakably bad year, then all that tells us is you’ve led a cloistered, lovely life, blind to the economic deprivations and sense of political exclusion experienced by others these past years. Bully for you.
A good point. 2008 saw millions lose jobs, houses and investments. 2016 merely saw some election results people didn’t like.
Sadly, these people’s narrative, their Brexit-bashing, Trump-fearing interpretation of 2016 as a most awful year, is becoming the narrative. Because they have the newspaper columns, the book contracts, the platforms. Everyone who disagrees with them is ‘post-truth’. Every vote that toppled their Third Way worldview was an act of hatred. Every revolt against the EU is racism, every criticism of Hillary misogyny, and every mention of ‘the elite’ evidence that people are beholden to a new fascism, because didn’t the Nazis also bash ‘the elites’? ‘Sixteen reasons why 2016 was the worst year ever’, their mad headlines declare.
Enough. We can’t let their tantrums, their petty fury that their political outlook has taken a pounding, come to define 2016. For this has been the most exciting political year since 1989. Here are five reasons why.
Their five reasons:
- It’s the year we said ‘We can say that’
- It’s the year TINA was sent packing
- It’s the year we said solidarity is better than identity
- It’s the year the masses returned
- It’s the year we took a risk