Top Ten Most Impactful Moments of American Politics

By: Rachel Spears and Jack Conlon—Political Editor and Correspondent

#1: Roe v Wade Overturned (June 2022): 

In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion was a fundamental right, ensuring that any pregnant woman who wanted or needed one would have the ability to do so. However, at the beginning of this year, that decision was overruled by the Supreme Court, as they deemed abortion to not be “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history or tradition” thus revoking the position that the right was fundamental. This overruling revoked federal protections on abortion, making the right a state-by-state decision. This decision has already been detrimental to many women in mostly Republican states where the right to abortion has been revoked. Because of its very obvious and important effects, it gets a place on this list. 

#2: January 6th Trials (June 2022-Present):

After an attack on the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6th, 2021, a House investigative committee was formed to explore the causes of the insurrection. Made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, the group was chaired by Congressman Bennie Thompson (MS). Each of the trials was televised, some on primetime TV, and included never-seen-before footage of the insurrection as well as testimony from capitol police and aides to the former President and former vice president. In October the committee voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump as a part of the investigation and is reportedly considering criminal referrals for the former President. 

#3: Nancy Pelosi Steps Down (November 2022): 

In November, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA), 82, announced that she would be stepping down from her position in leadership but would remain a member of the House of Representatives. She held that position for nineteen years after being elected to house leadership in 2002. This statement came weeks after an attack on her husband Paul Pelosi in their California home. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY) has been selected to be the next leader of the Democratic party in the House as the House Minority Leader. His election to a leadership position is a first for both parties as he will be the first minority to serve in that position. 

#4: Midterm Election Denying From GOP (November 2022):

Totaled together, the Republican midterm nominees for House, Senate, and state offices who have denied or casted doubt on the 2020 election comes out to a total of 291 candidates. 173 of those Republicans went on to win their midterm election. The tactic of using logical fallacies in order to boost a campaign has been around for decades, but this past midterm election showed that the trend of election-denying is only getting worse. Notable figures from this past midterm include people like Kari Lake, who is still denying her loss during the midterm a month later. This dangerous practice leaves a lot of uncertainty in the future of American elections—will people continue to vote for representatives who do not, themselves, believe in the Democratic process?

#5: Trump Announces 2024 Campaign (November 2022):

Trump has announced that he will be running again for President in 2024. Additionally, right before Thanksgiving, Trump dined with Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and known white-nationalist Nick Fuentes. Because of Ye’s constant anti-semitic behaviour on Twitter and Trump’s track record throughout his former presidency, many disapprove of his 2024 run. The Republican party is split—some who still support Trump, and others who have reached their tipping point and refuse to support him any longer. This divide may sink the Republican candidacy in 2024, as the split seems to have no dominance: it’s an even divide between Trump=lovers and Trump-haters in the Republican party as of now. 

Top Five Political Moments That Didn’t Feel Real:

(With special thanks to the SHS student body for the suggestions)

#1: Biden’s Falls: 

By popular request, Biden’s falls were some of the most memorable moments of this year in political news. From the infamous bike to the stair slip-up, Biden’s trips have been the target for countless internet memes and jokes. While mostly harmless, the falls do bring up a serious question that many Americans have been wondering throughout Biden’s presidency: how old is too old to be President? As the younger generations begin to gain voting power, America might see preference towards younger candidates in the years to come. So, Biden’s falls: cautionary tale for future voters, or just a laugh-able moment? You decide. 

#2: Herschel Walker’s Campaign Blunders: 

Did he really just say he wants to be a werewolf? Herschel Walker’s campaign for U.S. Senator left many with questions about the candidate… and his sanity. Encouraged to run by his personal friend former President Donald Trump, the former pro football player led a campaign filled with multiple questionable moments. He pulled out a false police badge during a debate and even told his supporters that he was a  “country boy.”  “I’m not that smart,” he even added. Walker lost in a runoff election to incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock, failing to become the next Georgia Senator. 

#3: Sen. Kennedy Tells Opponents to “Call a Crackhead”:

In recent years, candidates for various positions in government have turned to television advertisements to speak directly to their potential voters. While most ask for your support, Republican Senator John Kennedy took a different approach. “Next time you’re in trouble call a crackhead,” he said as he concluded his ad. In his home state of Louisiana, he was favored to win but still felt the need to create an ad about a surge in “violent crime.” This strange campaign moment left many speechless and trended on Tik Tok only days after the ad was released. 

#4: Dr. Oz Shops at ‘Wegners’: 

For much of his campaign U.S. Senate candidate, Dr. Oz, claimed residence in the State of Pennsylvania despite evidence pointing to the fact that he actually lives in New Jersey. In an effort to prove his love for Pennsylvania and expose shocking inflation, he released a clip of himself shopping at a local grocery store. He quickly came under fire for the video in which he called Wegmans “Wegners.” This blunder led to more questions about the candidate’s true state of residence until the November election which he lost to Democrat John Fetterman. 

#5: Brian Majewski’s Campaign Rap: 

Brian Majewski, candidate for Ohio’s congressional seat, had a campaign that stuck-out. From his massive pro-Trump lawn paintings to his “Let’s Go Brandon” rap, Majewski left his mark on Ohio—but it wasn’t enough to win the seat. His outlandish methods, while amusing, were inherently ineffective for his campaign. In fact, Majewski went on to come under fire for misrepresenting his time in the military, gaining him hate from Republicans and Democrats alike in Ohio. Pair that with his love for the far-right site QAnon, his loss is not a surprise. 

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