What to worry about

By | 02.12.2017

Exhausted yet? As the year draws to a close and thoughts turn to holiday plans, there’s one place where business is still very much unfinished: Washington, DC. The past week has been one of the most uproarious of the 10-month-old Trump presidency. On the first day of December, major issues like the future of the US tax system, Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, and North Korea’s nuclear threat were still hanging in the balance.

It’s hard to keep it all straight, much less figure out what’s worthy of serious attention. Should you focus on Congress’s tax reform vote? What about Donald Trump’s Twitter harassment of Muslims around the world, and provocation of heads of state from Teresa May to Kim Jong-un? Or Congressional indiscretions, and when #MeToo will start laying low the rest of government? What about former national security advisor Michael Flynn confessing about lying to the FBI?

That’s not counting the rumors: Who the next target is in Robert Mueller’s probe. That US secretary of state Rex Tillerson will soon be replaced. That the US might recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital next week. That North Korea has robust nuclear capabilities.

Such a flood of news comes with a uniquely modern affliction: paralyzing information overload. Take a deep breath and a closer look, though. While it may seem chaos has been unleashed at the heart of the world’s most powerful government, many of the revelations are coming from campaigns of rectification: special counselor Mueller’s investigation to figure out what happened in 2016; the #MeToo movement to expose and bring justice to an epidemic of sexual harassment.

Trump’s first Christmas as president (which will almost certainly be spent at Mar-a-Lago and not the White House) will not be a peaceful one. But many people are trying hard to fix wrongs of the past, even in Washington, DC. So, this too shall pass.

This was published in the weekend edition of the Quartz Daily Brief, our news summary that’s tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe and Africa, or the Americas. Sign up for it here.

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