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Opinion | Unprecedented political change seen in 2013

meachabp@miamioh.edu

Published: Friday, December 27, 2013

Updated: Friday, December 27, 2013 23:12

The events of 2013 have undoubtedly shaken the world with an unprecedented vengeance and foisted dramatic political changes.

One such change was the obliteration of the United States’ reputation as being the trustworthy, morally righteous policeman of the world. This can partially be attributed to Edward Snowden’s disclosure of the U.S. government’s mass surveillance programs, perturbing everyone from Americans to foreign heads of state.

It can also be blamed on a deteriorating relationship with Russia, which is partially due to previous disagreement over potential U.S. military intervention in Syria. This dispute led to Vladimir Putin’s shocking op-ed in the New York Times, which served as the ultimate check on U.S. foreign policy and turned the heads of everyone around the world.

Now, the United States has been cornered on the world’s political stage, and the outlook going forward does not look so promising.

Another major political change was seen in the once-immutable Catholic Church. Since the election of Pope Francis in March, the Church has seen not only internal bureaucratic reform, but also radical social policy change. Although Catholic doctrineremains unscathed, Pope Francis has been promoting widespread inclusion within the Church, including expanding the involvement of women.

In addition, when responding to questions regarding gays in the church, Pope Francis stated, “Who am I to judge?” These claims made by the Pope did not formally alter traditional Church teachings, but they certainly broke down many barriers hindering progression.

In addition to these profound political changes, many other events have defined the year 2013, including the U.S. government shutdown, the death of Nelson Mandela, the Boston Marathon bombings, the Egyptian coup d’état, and others.

Looking back on 2013, it is necessary to consider all that has changed. Right before our eyes, we have witnessed social and political revolution on multiple fronts. Without question, it is our duty as citizens to reflect on the past in order to prepare for the coming year, which could prove to be just as overwhelming.

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