At the beginning of this year, I remember friends, relatives and colleagues commenting that it was going to be a very interesting one. This pithy utterance was motivated mainly by feelings of immense curiosity about viewing the upcoming election in the United States and the scheduled Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom.
At the time, Hillary Clinton was the subject of not one, but two imminent agency probes into her conduct over the deaths of her diplomats and two CIA operatives in Benghazi, Libya, while she was serving as Secretary of State, and the use of her homebrewed email server on which she controversially sent and received classified, State Department information.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump was battling not only 16 other candidates in his run to win the Republican Primaries, he was constantly battling a condescendingly arrogant news media hell-bent on preaching to the American public that his run was nothing more than a mere public joke.
On the other side of the great Atlantic, European parliamentary member Nigel Farage was doing his level best to persuade British citizens that leaving the dictatorially globalist and multicultural European Union would be the only way forward for Britain to remain a nation with any kind of meaningful sovereignty or borders. Angela Merkel’s leadership in Germany had seen fit to usher into Europe’s nation states untold masses of Islamic “refugees” – due in part to Assad’s destructive war on his own people, though the amount of immigrants far exceeded those from just Syria; the numbers included tens of thousands of people seeking to leave Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan and Libya - this, at a time when Islamic terrorism in Western countries was reaching an unprecedented high.
The context at year’s beginning could not have been more infused with opportunity for radical outcomes, not if people were paying any kind of serious attention – yet, by the end of the year, half the populations of Western countries were utterly blindsided by the results of these portentous democratic events.
Nigel Farage’s matchless powers of persuasion worked and the Brits voted to exit the EU. David Cameron resigned as Prime Minister in gentlemanly fashion, though also in abject embarrassment (he only agreed to a referendum in order to shut the dissenting "leavers" up once and for all). Trump wiped the floor with all his competitors and won the Republican ticket, then went on to spectacularly win the general election with every single possible odd stacked heavily against his favour. Hillary Clinton, the most cocksure woman on the planet who was leading in almost every reputable and disreputable poll, suffered a well-deserved defeat, along with a total spiritual collapse as Americans decidedly showed her the door out of politics for good. Angela Merkel, arguably the most miserable woman in (what used to be) Christendom, has admitted that her open immigration policies have been very flawed (read: have wrought rapine havoc in Europe) and is now taking a slightly less mechanically mothering stance toward muslimas in her nation, in a desperate bid to try to win a fourth term as Chancellor. One could easily contend that Mama Merkel ought to be banned from public appearances if she is not wearing the burka.
Last month, Cuba has both celebrated and mourned the loss of their iconoclastic ex-leader Fidel Castro. Most of those who celebrated had the gumption to run away from Castro's idea of a fair democratic revolution - complete with firing squads and prison sentences for those who publicly dissented or broke his dictates. The people who mourned him were ordered to do so compulsorily including a nine day ban on selling alcohol and forbidding any spectacles of public mirth (a tall order considering the jeep towing his coffin broke down during his funeral procession and had to be physically pushed). Contrast this with the death of British statesman Winston Churchill, the greatest man of the 20th Century, who would've risen out of his coffin in sheer horror at the idea of any self respecting person enduring nine days without alcohol. Public mourning for his passing was voluntary - and here's what that genuinely looks and feels like.
Last week, Dutch-right-wing-politician-with-the-hair, the indomitable Geert Wilders, was found guilty of hate speech (inciting discrimination) against Moroccans in Holland. His Party for Freedom, the PVV, has since gained in rising popularity and numbers; have the elites who condemned him learned nothing about the events of this year? Have they not learned that the great moral lesson of 2016 is free people do not care to be told what to think, what to say, how to act or to which ideas they must pay homage? This year has seen the monumental rise of the iconoclastic leader who dares to defy the status quo and assert a more individualist ethic and a bolder personal character. In light of the deep and forboding geopolitical problems the West now faces, it could not have come soon enough.
Looking ahead to 2017, Western leaders will need undauntable leadership when it decides to finally face the aggressively authoritarian regimes and antics of Iran, Russia, China and North Korea. Theocratic Iran, as late as last week, still makes threats to destroy Israel, their excuse this time is if Trump threatens the status quo of President Obama's suicidal Iranian Nuclear Deal. Oligarchic Russia thinks it’s entitled to invade the sovereign borders of other nation states in order to keep expanding its diminished empire. Communist China indulges shamelessly in cyber attacks and currency manipulation, as well as seeks to expand the reach of its power in the South China Sea. Totalitarian North Korea proliferates ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads with the express goal of being able to hit any city within the United States. There's also the urgent problem of ISIS - I won't even begin to go into that vile and current evil, for we all know they need to be deleted.
In mankind’s relatively short existence on Earth, war, brutality and tyranny have been the norm, not the aberration – it is peace, freedom and prosperity which have been elusive for long periods throughout history. I have no trouble asserting that Western culture is fundamentally superior to all other cultures because it is the only one which has consistently made peace, freedom and prosperity its defining daily character – and that has been the major source of its influence over all other cultures which have sought to emulate it, in whole or in part. If new and bold leaders manage to uphold these core values of the West – regardless of whether any other cultures seek to emulate them or not – then the world will continue to have shining examples of what thriving, freedom oriented civilizations actually look like; nothing could be more precious and rare than the continuity of these examples. But hell help the people who try to make war and mayhem on free and prosperous lands! They will deserve no mercy, for peace through strength actually means something very unusual - it means the good guys win because the bad guys can only resort to their one crude value - destruction. At great cost though, sometimes this can be altered. Ask the Japanese.