In January of last year, the American government shut down with a funding fight over the border. The same month, the United States and other nations recognized Juan Guiado as president of Venezuela. Maduro holds on, though the United States helped build an international coalition against him.
In March, there was a mass shooting in New Zealand and Notre Dame burned before our eyes in April. There were mass shootings in the United States as well and attacks on churches and synagogues.
Also in April, little noticed, a malaria vaccine rolled out in Africa and researchers figured out how to eliminate HIV in infected mice. Oh, and we got the first ever picture of a black hole in outer space.
In July of 2019, President Trump met the North Korean leader for a historic world summit. Nothing was resolved. That same month, we destroyed an Iranian drone in the Persian Gulf.
During the summer, a massive wave of migrants from Central America overwhelmed our southern border. The Democrats finally became concerned about Obama era policies of separating families and caging children. Some Democrats accused the President of operating concentration camps. A man died tried to firebomb an ICE facility.
In September, a Saudi oil refinery came under attack from Yemeni rebels. Around the same time, the media became fixated of fires in Brazil and Greta Thunberg showed up in New York City via a royal yacht.
Brexit happened then didn’t and conservatives swept the field in the UK elections. The US bailed on Syria. Australia began to burn. The United States ended the year determined to retaliate against Iran in Iraq and moved into 2020 killing Suleimani.
Ukraine and impeachment happened and most of you forgot all that other stuff had happened in the last 365 days.
In four weeks, impeachment will be old news. We will move on to other distractions. We will forget all about it. It’ll come up as a rant for some politician, but otherwise there’ll be something new to distract us. We are all Doug the Dog from the movie Up, perpetually distracted by squirrels in an ever more frenetic news cycle. All of us are distracted, looking for distractions, and willing to be distracted.
Meanwhile, more American troops will go to Afghanistan. More soldiers will die there. We’ve all forgotten about the Washington Post story that even our military no longer knows why they are there. But they go and are forgotten by a people who are distracted by a news cycle that ever shifts and changes.
Our soldiers are held hostage to a news cycle that makes it easy to forget them there in the desert. We will all move on. Impeachment will fade. Campaign 2020 will beckon. Our troops will stay in Afghanistan for reasons no one can explain. Squirrel!