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Those Who Came Out on Top in 2017

Image: Those Who Came Out on Top in 2017
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Thursday, 28 December 2017 12:59 PM Current | Bio | Archive

As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to shine the spotlight on those who came out on top:

Strong Women

By far, the biggest winners are the strong women who had the guts to step forward and name names in sexual harassment cases. The first titans to fall were FOX’s Bill O’Reilly and Hollywood serial harasser Harvey Weinstein. It all snowballed from there.

From politics (Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn, and Judge Roy Moore) to entertainment (countless producers and actors, like Kevin Spacey), and from the media (Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose) to business (celebrity chefs and executives from the Miss America pageant) to sports — the high and mighty continue to drop.

For the most part, the allegations have proven true, resulting in long-overdue changes in how American men interact with women. There must be diligence, however, to avoid turning it into a Joe McCarthy-like witch hunt, where the accused are immediately tarred and feathered without due process.

Not all accused men are guilty, and not everything is sexual harassment. Common sense must be employed. Each case must be judged on its merits. Otherwise, we minimize the credibility of true victims, and we destroy natural communication between the sexes.

Sorry Hollywood, but no credit for the top-name actresses who chose career over conviction, especially after making it big. Their willful action of looking the other way allowed the next crop of aspiring young actresses to walk into the lion’s den, unaware of lurking dangers. That’s not courage. It’s cowardice enabling the behavior of monsters.

The American Taxpayer

Say what you want about President Trump, he delivered on his promise of a significant tax cut. It's a tremendous benefit for everyone; great things always happen when people — not the government — control their hard-earned money. The resulting rising tide will lift all boats, just as it did following the tax cuts of presidents Kennedy and Reagan.

Yet there are still the naysayers — "expert economists" in their ivory towers  — who seemingly are opposed simply because tax relief was by Republicans. Their argument that it will add $140 billion a year to a national debt is absolutely irrelevant, given the America’s debt currently stands at $21 trillion.

Moreover, the resulting boom will actually provide more tax revenue (not less) because Americans will gleefully spend their windfall, kicking the economy into overdrive. The real question is whether Congress will have the guts to cap its spending. If they do, America’s place as the world’s foremost economic powerhouse will remain unchallenged.

Charity and Volunteerism

America was hit hard by natural disasters in 2017, from raging wildfires on the Pacific coast to hurricanes that walloped Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico (and the Caribbean). But, as always, the American government and its people rose to the challenge of helping those in need.

First responders from across the country flooded into the stricken areas to bring order out of chaos, restore power, and coordinate rebuilding efforts. And most endearing, they were there of their own volition to assist those who had literally lost everything — including loved   ones.

Sure, they lent their lifesaving expertise and skills. But infinitely more impactful, they provided their fellow countrymen an ear, which listened to harrowing stories; arms, which provided that special hug that says, "everything will be alright;" and shoulders, on which people could cry, but shoulders strong enough to lift the grief-stricken out of despair.

Donating money to charities providing disaster relief is admirable and desperately needed. But there is a special place for those who leave their loved ones behind for weeks on end, braving unfathomable conditions, to bring heart, soul, and spirit to those who lost all three. Seeing a first-responder’s smiling face, and feeling the embrace of kinship, restores that which is needed most to rebuild homes — and lives: humanity and hope.

And speaking of generous spirit, a collective "thank you" to all who donate to the less fortunate, especially during the holidays. From a turkey at Thanksgiving to a child’s winter coat, and from Christmas presents for the poor to the $200,000 anonymous contribution dropped in a Salvation Army kettle, Americans once again demonstrated why they are the most benevolent, kind-hearted people on the planet. Since that charity extends across the political spectrum, maybe, just maybe, we’re not as divided as we think. Here’s hoping.

Democrats

The Democrats outworked, outhustled, and out-messaged their counterparts in 2017. That effort, combined with the effective use of Donald Trump as motivation to vote Democratic, resulted in substantial electoral gains. Such success could well be a harbinger for the critical 2018 midterm elections. Or, conversely, it may have lit a fire under the derriere of a complacent GOP base.

Many "ifs" remain that will determine if Republicans face a blood bath, or whether they can right their listing ship. Passing the tax cut — not long ago an iffy proposition — was a step in the right direction.

If the president can rein in his bombastic personality and start acting  — well — presidential; if the GOP can free itself from the beltway mentality and start communicating its message to the American people; and if the Republicans make good on their promises: reducing college costs, making infrastructure improvements, eliminating the North Korean threat. And if Republicans can also reform immigration, and revamp bad trade deals — they will return to the driver’s seat, which means they'll control their own destiny.

But for a party that often snatches defeat from jaws of victory, nothing is a done deal.

Either way, it promises to be a wild ride.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.


 

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Freind
Say what you want about President Trump, he delivered on his promise of a significant tax cut. It's a tremendous benefit for everyone; great things always happen when people, not the government, control their hard-earned money. The rising tide will lift all.
cuts, tax, volunteerism, women
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Thursday, 28 December 2017 12:59 PM
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