LOS ANGELES, Dec. 31, 2015 — Good riddance to a terrible year. By the grace of almighty God, the global nightmare known as 2015 will soon be over. For those wanting a better year, find a Frank Sinatra album. When he was 17, it was a very good year. For those trying to survive since late 2008, good years have been hard to find.
News is not always bad. In 2010, over one billion people of all races and faiths around the world hugged, cried, prayed and eventually cheered when 69 Chilean miners were rescued. In 2015, the news was mostly bad.
This brings us to the Top 10 News Stories of 2015.
This list is not about stories that the media deemed important. Media elites care about Time’s “Person of the Year.” Most of the seven billion inhabitants of the world do not.
Caitlyn Jenner, Rachel Dolezal, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West did not make the list. Celebrities are famous. That does not make them remotely relevant.
Rowan, Kentucky, county clerk Kim Davis did not make the list. Religious and ideological zealots have existed for centuries.
Black Lives Matter does not matter. They are no different from Occupy Wall Street, leftists who want free stuff.
The Paris bombing did not make the list. Paris bombings are old news. There will be more. Europe is finished.
The Planned Parenthood videos did not lead to any concrete action. The story faded.
The climate change deal is not news. Again, most of the people in this world have zero interest in rich white liberal fantasies.
The Syrian refugees did not make the list because right now the story is what will happen if they enter America. That is conjecture.
The 2016 GOP primary itself is not news until the first caucus and primary votes are cast.
Hillary Clinton’s harassing the Laugh Factory could turn out to be a major story, but for now she has not faced any consequences for threatening comedians who dare to tell jokes about her.
The NFL dealt with Deflategate and the concussion issue, but neither of those stories has concluded yet. Unresolved issues become news when the complete story is known.
The Bowe Bergdahl prisoner exchange would have made the list, but there are still facts that have yet to come out. That story is incomplete.
The collapse of the Affordable Care Act is looking more likely, but still theoretical. Until it becomes an official certainty, the obituary must be delayed for the sake of accuracy.
With that, here are the Top 10 News Stories of 2015.
10.) Late night end of an era — For three decades, David Letterman and Jay Leno entertained late night audiences. They were NBC teammates until the bitter battle to replace Johnny Carson in 1992 made them rivals. When company man Leno was fired for the second time, Letterman was able to retire knowing he had lasted longer. In 2015, they both left, as did Craig Ferguson and Jon Stewart. The new generation will choose between Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien and Trevor Noah. Carson and Bob Hope remain the gold standards, but Letterman and Leno deserve silver status.
9.) Bill Cosby — This is sad for so many people. Cosby was one of the most beloved entertainers of all time. He even bridged the racial divide. Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable was loved by blacks and whites. Cosby was America’s father, a role model for the ages. To see him accused by over 40 women of sexual assault makes it difficult to give him a shred of the benefit of the doubt. On Wednesday he was officially charged with a crime. Even if he is eventually exonerated, his reputation is in shambles. So many lives have been ruined needlessly.
8. Hillary Clinton’s private server — Forget her past scandals. This is about 2015. The Benghazi investigation that she wanted shut down revealed that she used a private server to conduct government business. At worst, she broke the law and would face criminal charges if she were not above the law. Even if people contort themselves into pretzels to explain why she broke no laws, her behavior is still paranoid. She is obsessed with secrecy and control, which are not admirable qualities in a woman promising to be a transparent president. She compromised national security for her obsessions.
7. 2015 Elections — Normally the elections that take place between the midterms and the presidential election are a snoozefest. 2015 was a big deal. Local elections saw a sharp shift to the right. Kentucky elected a hard right tea party governor and lieutenant governor. San Francisco fired a liberal sheriff. Houston fought back in the culture wars. While these elections are rarely predictors of future elections, the national message was clear. While people like President Obama personally, they detest his policies.
6. Charleston shooting — Mass shootings like this have been taking place since Columbine in 1999, but this one was different. Charleston, South Carolina, was motivated by racial hatred. A white man walked into a black church and murdered nine people in cold blood after praying with them. Liberal activists used the shooting to call for a ban on the Confederate flag at all government buildings. The flag was irrelevant to the shooting, but down it came.
The worst of the exploitation came when one television network banned “Dukes of Hazzard” because the characters’ car, the General Lee, featured the Confederate battle flag. The battle flag is not the Confederate flag. Yet there was a positive development: Blacks and whites, Republicans and Democrats, came together in unity and hugged each other. They did not let the shooting tear Charleston apart. That is the real news story. In the darkest of times, when it matters most, Americans do unite.
5. Gay marriage is legal — The Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of gay marriage was the biggest social policy decision since Roe vs Wade legalized abortion in 1973. While plenty of people oppose gay marriage, times are changing. The younger generation is overwhelmingly in favor of it only a decade after the overall mood was against it.
The issue is not whether gay marriage is an abomination or a cause for celebration. This is not about equality or religion, but codified law. The next major issue in the culture wars will be whether gay couples can force religious institutions to perform ceremonies that violate their own doctrines. The original gay marriage debate was a powder keg. This new dispute is the cultural equivalent of nuclear Armageddon. This would rank higher if not for two factors. Many Americans do not care at all either way about this issue. More importantly, domestic policy will always take a back seat to foreign policy. 2015 is a year about foreign policy.
4. Donald Trump — Whether one likes Trump is irrelevant. He has his supporters and detractors. What matters is that he has turned the 2016 presidential campaign upside down. The media is obsessed with him, covering his every word. He has taken the normally staid Republican Party and approached it like Rodney Dangerfield in “Caddyshack.” Every time he makes controversial remarks, his poll numbers only go higher. Pundit predictions about him are repeatedly wrong. The GOP race is normally boring and predictable. The establishment candidate always wins. Trump has a legitimate shot at being the exception to the rule and permanently upending the entire GOP. This would be the top story of 2015 if not for more serious global events.
3. San Bernardino — This was the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001. Every leftist narrative about this attack collapsed. The left spoke of workplace violence. It turned out to be terrorism. The left denied the religion angle. It turned out to be radical Islam. The left still believes most Syrian refugees are women and children. The main San Bernardino killer was a radicalized Muslim woman.
The Obama administration claims that it can keep Americans safe, but more gun control is needed. Legal firearm purchases are skyrocketing to a public opposed to gun control. The 14 people murdered by the San Bernardino Islamists have shifted the foreign policy debate sharply to the right. The left still stubbornly pursues their agenda, but the American public knows radical Islam is what caused the San Bernardino shooting.
2. ISIS — The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria was dismissed by President Obama as being the JV team. He ordered the military to conceal the extent of the land ISIS captured. Repeated assurances that America was making progress have been exposed as factually false. ISIS is murdering people at will. The American media is mostly liberal, and they are more interested in protecting President Obama than the American people. President Obama keeps insisting that his ISIS policy is working. The people know otherwise. He will not concede the role Islam plays in ISIS despite everybody knowing what the acronym stands for.
Normally the savagery of San Bernardino and ISIS would be the biggest news story of the year. It takes something far more serious to top those stories.
1. The Iran Deal — Iran has now been given the green light to build nuclear bombs. The purpose of going nuclear is so the mullahs in Iran can wipe Israel off of the map and then eliminate the United States. Again, the left insisted that the Iranian regime was just saber-rattling. Secretary of State John Kerry gave away the store. Repeated assurances about enforcement provisions turned out to be outright lies. There are no snap-back sanctions. America did not get its prisoners back. Iran is allowed to self-inspect. Iran has already violated the deal without consequences. To make matters worse, the Democratic Party is led by people who all deeply believe that climate change is the greatest world threat. Republicans obsess over radical Islam, but they will be out of the White House for at least one more year.
Every life issue is irrelevant if Iran gets the bomb. World War III could be on the horizon, and American leaders led by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are willing to let it happen. They care more about political correctness than in saving lives. Their ideological narrative must be protected at all costs even when it is repeatedly proven wrong. Americans who challenge the leftist narrative are demonized, called bigots and warmongers, and declared a bigger threat than those trying to blow up the entire world. The threat is not overstated just because the global left is unwilling and unable to deal with it.
Allowing Iran to get the bomb puts global civilization at risk. That is the biggest story of 2015, and could be the story of the entire decade in the same way Sept. 11, 2001, dominated the last decade.