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Terry Manning

At least I had a better year than Elon Musk

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By Terry Manning

This past year was a doozy on many levels. Looking back at my columns gives me the opportunity to use where I was right, where I was wrong, and where I was so off-base it’s hard to measure.

From January: “Even state and national elected officials openly call for armed rebellion in service of supporting the defeated president and his return to power.”

Update: Politicians of character made a stand in 1861 against senators from Confederate states who “engaged in … conspiracy for the destruction of the Union and Government, or, with full knowledge of such conspiracy, have failed to advise the Government of its progress or aid in its suppression.”

Any member of the current Congress who supported the January 6 insurrection against the U.S. Capitol has earned expulsion. Any member who voted to reject the results of the November 2020 popular election has earned expulsion. Any incoming member who campaigned and was elected on a platform of rejecting those results does not deserve to be seated.

From February: “The ultra-conservative Federalist Society literally made a list of judicial nominees used by Republican leaders to stock the nation’s judicial system with right-wingers expected to roll back decades of advances in civil liberties.”

Update: Roll back they did. With Covid-era immigration policies; student loan forgiveness; tech companies’ liability for user content; and state legislatures’ control of elections on the upcoming docket, I am certain they aren’t finished making a mockery of the law.

From April: “I don’t know if there will be a second season, but this season of “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” was, as Lizzo would sing, ‘Good As Hell’.”

Update: In September, the singer told the world, “When I was a little girl, all I wanted to see was me in the media – someone fat like me, Black like me, beautiful like me” as she accepted the show’s Emmy award for Outstanding Competition Program.

From May: “We are stuck in a cycle of violence, followed by outrage, followed by inconsequential response, followed by more violence.”

Update: To quote the Bruce Hornsby song, “That’s just the way it is. Some things will never change.” He adds, “Don’t you believe them,” but I have my doubts.

From June: “Missteps by members of Democrats’ Squad show there is a learning curve for serving in public office, but the GOP is busy electing people for whom the curve is a vertical line.”

Update: Ladies and gentlemen, George Santos. The Republican congressman-elect from New York admits almost everything on his résumé is a lie, but he has no plans to step down. House Speaker hopeful Kevin McCarthy can’t afford to do or say anything because he needs Santos’ vote to help hold off right-wing nut jobs in his own party.

From July: “Accountability could restore hope. Despondency could yield to optimism. Folks will become more committed to making society work when they share in the rewards. Those who have felt empowered to act in bad faith will realize consequences are real and likely.”

Update: Sentences for the leaders of anti-government groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys and the men who planned to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have been heartening. Bigger fish are still out there flapping, making waves. Let’s go, DOJ!

From October: “The Brookings Institution tallies more than 300 Republican candidates who refuse to acknowledge the results of the last general election; most are expected to win next month, according to The Washington Post.”

Update: The Washington Post followed up by reporting 179 Republican candidates who denied the 2020 election results indeed won their midterm race. South Carolina’s Ralph Norman had better enjoy his seat while he can. His own party won’t do anything to him, but revelations he urged Trump White House Chief of State Mark Meadows to urge “marshall” law against the November 2020 election should not — and likely will not — be ignored.

From November, on social media platforms: “They aren’t built for longevity. For the most part, they live fast, die young and leave behind a few good-looking bank accounts — and a lot of ugly empty ones, too.”

Update: After becoming the second person to amass a personal fortune of $200 billion (behind Amazon’s Jeff Bezos), late last year tech magnate Elon Musk became the first to lose $200 billion of personal wealth. His car company Tesla was last seen slowing production and offering discounts of $7,500 per purchase on its most popular cars. King Sadim strikes again.

Here’s hoping 2023 gives all of us less to worry about. More big grrrls and fewer big dummies.

Terry E. Manning is a Clemson graduate and worked for 20 years as a journalist. He can be reached at teemanning@gmail.com.

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