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A Tale of Two Years

It was the best of years, it was the worst of years.

To hear some folks tell it, 2017 marked a hideous cataclysm in the affairs of man.  “So long 2017, you won’t be missed,” wrote Robert Schlesinger in US News & World Report. “Little went well in 2017,” this sage confided in his threnody, “but maybe 2018 will be better.”

Mel Robbins, writing for CNN, sounded a similar note. “This year,” Robbins wrote, “I heard so many people ask, ‘Is this really happening?’” 2017 was “bizarre,” an “alternate reality.”

What happened in 2017 to mark it out as a year that will live in infamy? Dear Reader, I hope that you are sitting down. You will hardly believe the hideous truth. Quaff a bit of brandy. Have the smelling salts at hand. What was the unspeakable reality that sent almost the entire U.S. media, the academic establishment in toto, nearly all of Hollywood, and Democratic politicians from Washington state to Florida into hysterical mourning? Are you ready?  Steady on. Take a deep breath. OK, here it is.