We are ending a decade in nine days from today, although technically a decade begins with a “1”, not a zero, but to most people, the fact that the number changes from “1” to “2” as the first digit, marks it as a new decade.
So looking back ten years, what are the major events in public affairs that have had an impact?
In no special order, here are the most significant events of the past decade:
The “Arab Spring”, which led to turmoil in the Middle East, and led to civil war and massive bloodshed in the area, but ultimately being overcome by authoritarian leaders and conditions of anarchy and chaos.
The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), accomplished in the second year of the Obama Presidency.
The death of Al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, after avoiding capture for nearly ten years.
The election of Pope Francis by the Catholic Church, having a massive impact on Catholic doctrine, and liberalizing the church’s doctrines and teachings.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, leading to sanctions against Russia by the US and many European nations, and leading to Vladimir Putin working to undermine western democracies for the remainder of the decade.
The rise of the terrorist group ISIS (ISIL), which controlled large portions of Iraq and Syria, and engaged in massive abuses and tortures and executions, eventually mostly overcome by efforts of European nations and the United States.
The candidacy and election of Donald Trump to the Presidency, despite his divisive rhetoric and elements of nativism, racism, and misogyny.
Gay Marriage decision of the Supreme Court, a revolutionary change in American society.
Restoration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, after five and a half decades of total isolation.
The massive tragedies of gun violence in schools, theaters, churches, synagogues, nightclubs, open air concerts, shopping malls and supermarkets, with no attempt to address the issue due to the power of the National Rifle Association over Congress and President Donald Trump.
Russian intervention in the Presidential Election of 2016, helping to secure the victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College, while losing the popular vote by 2.85 million votes, largest loss of popular vote of an Electoral College winner in American history.
The effects of the “Me Too” movement of women exposing sexual harassment against prominent public figures, causing many to lose their careers and reputations.
The horrendous policy of separating migrant children from their families at the southern border with Mexico and Central America, causing great condemnation of the Trump Administration.
The Robert Mueller investigation of the Trump Presidential campaign, and the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections of 2018, leading to the impeachment of Donald Trump after exposure of the Ukraine Scandal.
The growing reality of climate change and global warming, with the US under Donald Trump refusing to keep the Paris Accord of 2015 on goals for lowering of carbon emissions.