2022 in Tribune editorials: America and the world

Vladimir Putin is angry. Sam Bankman-Fried on the Fritz. And Queen Elizabeth, after a lifetime of service, took her final bow.

Here’s a look—via excerpts from our editorial—how the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board envisions 2022 in the realm outside of Chicago.

February 25: Vladimir Putin attacked the independent country of Ukraine.

There was a time when Putin seemed to see himself not as the head of a reconstituted Soviet state, but as a king—an all-powerful monarch ruling over a quiet, obedient, grateful people. In his autobiography, published in 2000, Putin said: “The monarch should not worry about being elected or not, about petty political interests or how to influence the electorate.” He can think about the fate of people and should not be distracted by small talk.”

When a biographer asked him if the return of the monarchy was possible in Russia, Putin replied: “You know, there are many things that seem impossible and incredible, and then – bang!”

Putin may pretend to be a king, but now the whole world knows that his true nature is even worse. Indeed, the world has long doubted Putin’s true nature, but his brutal and bloody invasion of Ukraine confirmed it. Putin is a despot, a brutal thug in the same pantheon of infamy as Bashar al-Assad, Robert Mugabe, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Augusto Pinochet and Joseph Stalin.

May 31: A draft opinion that appears to herald the end of Roe v. Wade is released from the Supreme Court.

This editorial board has long supported a woman’s right to choose abortion. We reaffirm that support here is based on our belief in a woman’s autonomy over her own body and our long-standing commitment to individual liberties, even as we mourn the release of the US Supreme Court’s preliminary ruling on Monday night. The fabric of the United States is essential to a functioning democracy.

Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, both of these positions can coexist.

August 9: Feds raid Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.

Trump World is calling the efforts to investigate the former president’s actions a “witch hunt,” the same label a group of Trump supporters outside Mar-a-Lago used Monday to describe the FBI’s search of the former president’s estate. For Trump and his loyalists, any attempt to contain the former president is a “witch hunt.”

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Although there is a better and more accurate label for it. Responsibility.

August 12: Salman Rushdie was attacked.

We bring the good news of Rushdi’s art, wit, literary skills and compassion to his companions.

In “Satanic Verses”, Rushdie wrote about the poet’s works: “Anonymous name, a reference to fraud, taking sides, arguing, shaping the world and waking it up.”

Namely. Hello to him.

August 31: The former president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, died.

Gorbachev was not selfish. He did not refuse to leave the stage. He was a wonderful observer of human nature, especially the way insecurity and thirst for power often manifests in the human male, often with dire consequences. He knew that in order to counter Russian exceptionalism, which is now widely seen in Ukraine with a terrible global recession, he also had to remind Americans not to brag about their own exceptionalism. And let’s not forget that neither glasnost nor perestroika did much to preserve Gorbachev’s personal power. On the contrary. Compared to the actions of Donald J. Trump couldn’t be more extreme.

September 8: Queen Elizabeth II dies at Balmoral, Scotland.

Queen Elizabeth II had so much fun at work – watching prime ministers and presidents come and go, going to Chicago to dine with the exciting Mayor Richard J. Daly was traveling in 1959 – when his son, Prince Charles, recently told the British people that they were the thing that wakes Queen Elizabeth in the morning, the statement was not even ignored.

Obviously, this was true. You can usually read it on her face.

Another truth revealed itself when the queen’s health declined. He was loved and adored by the people he promised, and admired by at least as many.

This list includes those who do not declare themselves monarchists if the topic of conversation involves any other monarch or lineage. You can say that the princess has become a grandfather or grandmother in a changing world.

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September 28: Liz Truss becomes British Prime Minister. He is immediately overwhelmed by his own crisis.

Truss is faced with a truly terrifying set of choices. He could hold back growth and risk things getting worse: potentially, house prices will fall, small businesses will collapse, retirees will lose their promised pensions. Or he could roll back the unfunded tax cuts that sent global investors apoplectic and take it on the chin. Honestly, this is her best option, if the most offensive.

Truss moved to the walls, OK, but the markets told him he was out. They also hinted to someone that we don’t live in a sustainable world anymore. If he persists, it could be one of his shortest and most damaging premierships. The honeymoon was over and the storm began immediately after he shook hands with the late queen.

November 10: Elon Musk takes over Twitter. Many users say they will quit now. Actually less.

Let’s be clear about a few things. Twitter was losing money, and for a public company, that’s generally a problem. Even in the days of concern for social media, otherwise known as the pandemic, Twitter has not seen any significant increase in shareholder value, certainly not compared to other channels such as Facebook.

And on Wednesday, even Facebook announced massive layoffs of nearly 11,000 workers; certainly not as a drastic percentage of Twitter, but the sheer number of tech jobs lost. Social media used to eat traditional media’s lunch with the lean and mean, but over time they became quixotic, bloated, complacent and vulnerable to competition.

November 10: When it comes to winning the election, Donald Trump’s election doesn’t look like it used to.

Former President Donald Trump’s name was not on the ballot. But his presence – for better and for worse – seemed so big and bold that it reminded us of a blimp in a circus tent that had to go off.

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In his continued effort to prove his enduring influence as a political kingmaker after withdrawing from endorsements following his defeat in 2020, Trump has endorsed more than 330 candidates, held some 30 rallies and raised millions of dollars. Many of his picks were inexperienced and otherwise flawed candidates, but all passed the litmus test of preparing to defend against the former president’s false allegations of a stolen 2020 election.

However, after raising expectations of a “red wave”, his Republican Party failed to deliver anything more than a pink wave.

December 2: The crypto empire of Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, declares bankruptcy.

A business-focused live event sponsored by The New York Times allowed Sam Bankman-Fried to lay out what was essentially a preventative measure for any personal meltdown ahead following the collapse of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX is to install.

No doubt on the advice of his lawyers, Bankman-Fried spoke via video link from his boat in the Bahamas, generally stating that the problems with FTX were the result of bad management, honest mistakes and unpredictable market events.

Anything but a felony. Those who wonder where their money went may see it differently.

December 7: The Brazilian football team brings joy to the World Cup. For a while, at least.

Other teams and players have clearly struggled with the absurd level of pressure that runs through the quadrennial tournament, where entire nations gather to watch champions shoulder the burden of responsibility with ease. they eat it in their homeland, they eliminate it. their nails when they huddle around the beautiful game.

Not Brazilians. Clearly, they want to have fun, and so far at least they have made a strong case for a causal link between enjoying their work and putting the ball into the back of their opponents’ nets.

Join the discussion on Twitter @chitribopinions and further Facebook.

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