Even though we're struggling through the darkness of Trump Year One, Americans have much to be thankful for. Here are ten political reasons to give thanks.
1. The Resistance: Trump took office on January 20th and immediately met an active resistance thanks to Indivisible and many similar groups. January 21st saw a massive "Women's March on Washington" with far larger crowds than those at Trump's inauguration.
On January 27th Trump signed his first broad-brush immigration order, the so-called "Muslim Ban." This was immediately met with nationwide protests. Indeed, each of Trump's initiatives have been met with widespread organized resistance. Trump had promised to repeal "Obamacare" immediately but his efforts were thwarted due to prolonged protests.
2. Angry Women: While Trump has dominated each news cycle, a persistent secondary theme has been women taking political power. (At least in California) much of the resistance leadership is composed of women. they've led the efforts to save Obamacare, protect immigrants, and (recently) thwart draconian tax cuts.
In early October, the New York Times published an explosive expose about movie producer Harvey Weinstein; multiple women alleged harassment by Weinstein. This opened the floodgates resulting in a torrent of stories alleging that prominent American men have assaulted women in Hollywood, the halls of Congress, everywhere.
The flood of women talking about sexual abuse is a landmark event. This will likely end with women, en masse, turning away from Trump - who has been accused of sexual abuse by at least 14 women -- and the Republican Party. In 2018, we'll see a female political tsunami.
3. Sanctuary Providers: Trump has not only led a savage crackdown on immigrants but promulgated intolerance and related violence. (There's been an upswing of hate crimes since his election.)
In the face of Trump's politics of white supremacy, there have been many brave Americans who have provided shelter and support for those who are being persecuted for their race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or just because they "look different."
4. Environmental Activists: Trump took the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord and, in general, led an assault on climate science. His Administration appears to be controlled by the fossil-fuel energy.
In the face of this unprecedented onslaught, environmental activists have stood up to Trump, and his lackeys, at every turn -- even sending an alternative team to the International Climate Talks in Bonn, Germany.
5. Gun-Control Advocates: It's been a terrible year for gun violence, culminating in the October 1st Las Vegas massacre where 58 were killed and 489 injured. Trump and the Republican Party continually respond that the answer is more guns; they are beholden to the gun lobby.
Meanwhile, commonsense gun-control advocates, such as former Congressman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, have led a determined push for reasonable gun control.
6. California: Throughout 2017, I've continually given thanks for being fortunate enough to live in California. It's not just that the Golden State is a great place to live, overwhelmingly blue, and has a booming economy. Californians actually care about the environment and the creation of a fair economy.
7. Robert Mueller: Like many in the resistance, I've held out hope that the day would come when Donald Trump would stand in open court and be revealed as a mendacious thug. Since May, this hope has rested on the broad shoulders of Robert Mueller, the Department of Justice special counsel charged with investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. So far there have been three indictments -- of the low-hanging fruit, as it were -- that indicate Mueller's investigation is on track.
8. Tom Steyer: During the past year there has been a lot of cocktail party conversation about impeaching Trump but only one prominent liberal has "put his money where his mouth is," Tom Steyer. Steyer is running a $10 million ad campaign calling for impeachment (https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/10/28/tom_steyer_trump_has_met_the_boundaries_for_impeachment_american_people_in_great_danger.html ): "This president has met the basis for impeachment through already obstructing justice in the emoluments clause."
9. Republican who stood up to Trump: One of the biggest disgraces of the year has been the unwillingness of Republican members of Congress to stand up to Donald Trump. No matter how outrageous Trump's behavior, the Washington Republican orthodoxy looks away. Except for Senators Corker and Flake who have called Trump out. (By the way, neither Senator is running for reelection in 2018.) And, when it appeared the battle to save Obamacare was loss, Republican Senators Collins, McCain, and Murkowski stepped up.
10. Real Christians: Over the past year, conservative evangelical Christians have been an important segment of Trump's base -- which has held steady at about 38 percent of the electorate. Writing in the Washington Post, Liberal evangelical Christian Jim Wallis (https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/a-year-into-trumps-presidency-christians-are-facing-a-spiritual-reckoning/2017/11/17/551dc318-cafd-11e7-b0cf-7689a9f2d84e_story.html?) calls attention to this moral inconsistency: "Christian compromise with Trump and his ilk has put faithful Americans at ... serious risk. Central to the health of our society is for American Christians to rescue an authentic, compassionate and justice-oriented faith from the clutches of partisan abuse, and from the idolatry of money, sex and power. "
My thanks to everyone who spoke truth to power. "The arc of the moral universe bends towards justice." Resist.