No need for “it’s been a crazy year” cliches because they always are in the minds of some. Here are my top and bottom performers of the past 12 months from the political and cultural world — with a special concluding message:


Winners of the Year

The Israeli Defense Forces: Roughly 80 days after the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust, and with the media and academic world execrably choosing Nazism over Jewish survival, these brave men and women push along on their way to eradicating the Hamas death cult from earth.

The Supreme Court: Rulings against affirmative action in colleges, the Biden administration’s illegal student debt relief plan, and the effort to enforce progressive blather over religious objections reinforced a sense that the Constitution still matters.

Elon Musk: In an era when hypocrisy about free speech expression is rife within our cultural institutions, he is showing that at least someone can create a forum for the genuine exchange of ideas.

Taylor Swift: She may be an obtuse imbecile on serious matters, but you cannot deny her immense success. She singlehandedly boosted the U.S. economy throughout the year, and maybe she’s finally found love in her mid-30s.

Donald Trump: A year ago, he was a disaster, dining with antisemites and grifting innocent people, seemingly politically dead after costing the GOP Senate control. Now, buoyed by four criminal indictments and the Colorado Supreme Court, Trump is again the Republican frontrunner. But the former president is also set up to possibly be a 2024 loser due to those identical indictments and a hypothetical general election that’s up in the air.


Losers of the year

Joe Biden: All this should be self-evident, but he’s still falling in the polls, seems older, less lucid, more out of touch with his staff and Americans, and is somehow losing a hypothetical rematch to the only old man less popular than he is.

China: A decade of financial excesses and mismanagement sapped its strength at the same moment demographic challenges threaten to weaken its economic growth. As they will not supplant the U.S. economy in size, the world has mostly stopped worrying about the implications of China’s strength and begun worrying about its dangerous decline.

Ron DeSantis: Coming off his re-election as Florida governor, he was ahead of Donald Trump in polling a year ago. Now, DeSantis is probably a few weeks away from dropping out of the presidential race without a single delegate. From his disastrous May rollout to horrid advisors, he wasted $200 million, promoted niche policies, and alienated voters he needed, yet he still misunderstands why it all backfired.

Elite colleges/DEI: A major pushback against these bigoted programs has taken place all year, including recently. After the court ruled on racial preferences, leaders of overrated institutions proved themselves to be intolerant and hypocritical enablers of ideological extremism antithetical to American values.

Kevin McCarthy: In less than a year, the California Republican went from the second most powerful man in America to out of Congress.

Honorable mention to contemptible fraud Vivek Ramaswamy and, of course, Kamala Harris. It is cliché to add the vice president because she is the least talented, least likable politician I’ve followed in the circus. And I knew this years ago. With Biden’s myriad deficiencies, anyone with an IQ over 85 would be ready to take over, but she is too enthusiastically ignorant to be considered.

Lastly, our losers of the year cannot compare to the lowest scum, which is not only Hamas but their enablers, like urban dwellers who rip down posters of kidnapped Israelis in public places. A place in hell is reserved for these morally depraved people, often young and female.


Ari J. Kaufman is the managing editor of the Tri-Cities Business Journal. He’s written for several newspapers, authored three books, is a frequent guest on radio programs, contributes to Israel National News, and is a featured columnist at The Lid.