Human misconduct takes too much of the stage in 2017
Human misconduct was part of most of the major national and international storylines of 2017.
The annual survey of The Associated Press judges sexual misconduct allegations as the top story of the year.
Those allegations crossed the borders of the entertainment, political, business and media sectors of our society. The stories and degrees of the allegations varied, but none of it is acceptable behavior.
There were versions of human misconduct that were addressed during the year.
North Korea belligerent behavior with nuclear bomb tests and missile launches raised worldwide tensions and was an ever-present threat to our nation.
The cloud remains at year’s end.
After lengthy assaults, coalition forces did capture strongholds of the Islamic State threat, blunting the physical presence of that Islamic terror network.
It remains to be seen if the online brainwashing by the entity can be stopped.
There was tragedy wrought by human misconduct at home also, with a gunman in a Las Vegas hotel room firing more than 1,000 bullets at a country music concert, killing 58 and wounding hundreds.
A different form of misconduct was pursued in the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump. The probe cast a cloud over Trump’s first year in office.
At year’s end, no collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russians had been brought to light, though there were charges against a campaign manager and a national security adviser, both of whom had been dismissed after brief tenures with the president.
The story took a different twist by year’s end, with public disclosures of plans by some within the FBI to trip up Trump and many of those involved having direct connections to Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.
At year’s end, the entire Russian probe story and its many tentacles are far from a wrapped-up package of outcomes.
Trump’s combative nature and some natural opposition to his election triggered unprecedented resistance throughout the year, some of it amplified by a national media that made embarrassing mistakes in a clear effort to undermine him.
The obstacles to Trump included many traditional Republicans, but he was able to cobble a coalition by year’s end that achieved the country first major tax reform in three decades that includes a tax cut in 2018 for 80 percent of the country’s population.
And he was able to get Neil Gorsuch appointed to the nation’s Supreme Court, an appointment that had broad-based agreement.
Trump also used the power of his office to produce a radical reduction in strangulating regulations, triggering strong economic results and record stock market numbers.
In summary, it was an uneven year underscored by some uneven human misconduct at practically every turn.