Opinion | How About Some Predictions for the New Year?

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Gail, let’s look back on the old year, too. What do you rank as the best moment? And what was the worst?

Gail: As a political person I’d have to say the elections were the best. Not just that the Democrats did much better than expected, but that many of the loathsome Trumpian Republicans were rejected in races a rational member of their party would have won.

Bret: We are in total accord in the politics department. But I’d expand the categories a bit. The best moment, in terms of statesmanship, was President Volodomyr Zelensky’s Churchillian riposte to the American offer to get him out of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion: “I need ammunition, not a ride.”

Gail: I agree — that’s a keeper.

Bret: The best moment in terms of courage has come from the magnificent women of Iran, leading a revolution against their misogynistic rulers. The best moment, cosmically, were the images of deep space and distant time taken by the Webb telescope. And probably the best moment, as far as future generations are concerned, was the fusion breakthrough by the brilliant scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It gave me faith not only that human ingenuity will ultimately solve our long-term energy and climate challenges, but also that the United States can continue at the frontiers of discovery.

Gail: Super choices. Now we’ve got to tackle the worst. And I’m sorry to say that pretty much every year it’s a story about mass shooting. Actually, many stories about mass shootings: innocent citizens mowed down when they’re shopping, or going to school, or working at extremely nonviolent jobs or just out having a good time. Who can ever forget that student slaughter at Uvalde? And it was just a month ago that a gunman in Colorado killed five people and injured at least 18 others at an L.G.B.T.Q. nightclub.

Bret: Not to mention the everyday gun violence that barely gets reported because it’s so ubiquitous.

Gail: And unlike some of our other political crises — say, the Supreme Court ruling on abortion — the gun situation just doesn’t seem to get the political push it needs to get better. Will try to block the memory of Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s recent quote-unquote joke about how it would have been so much better if the folks attacking the Capitol on Jan. 6 had been better armed.


Bret: Agree again. I’d add that repulsive dinner between Donald Trump, Kanye West and the Holocaust-denier Nick Fuentes.