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In early 2016, Supreme court justice Antonin Scalia died. Following the controversial decision of the Senate not to consider Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland, the seat was left vacant until 2017 until President Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch.
Following the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh, which was controversial due to sexual assault allegations made against him during the confirmation process. The vote to confirm Kavanaugh was among the closest in American history, with only 51.02% of senators voting to approve his nomination.
Amy Coney BarrettEdit
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in September 2020, saying on her deathbed "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.".
North Korean TalksEdit
On a January morning in 2018 an accident triggered the emergency warning system in Hawaii, with messages blaring from cell phones radios, and televisions of impending nuclear attack, leading to real panic as people rushed for cover, and attempted to make peace with a harrowing future.
During this time, the US saw it's first publicly traded company, Apple , reach a value of 1 trillion dollars in 2018. Apple then became the first American publicly traded company to reach a value of two trillion in 2020, again Apple.
In 2018 the administration began a trade war with China, where both nations placed tariffs on the goods of the other nation. The trade war was caused in part by a growing trade deficit with China, as well as controversy surrounding protection of technology and intellectual property. The trade war resulted in economic damage to both economies, as well as the shifting of some supply chains away from China to other areas of the world.
The national debt grew significantly under the Trump administration, even before the COVID-19 pandemic required additional spending.
Many of the technology trends that started in the George W. Bush or Obama Presidencies continued to mature during the Trump administration. More importantly, many technologies had left the realm of enthusiasts and labs, and began really impacting society by 2016 once their adoption had become significant enough. Voice and Facial Recognition technology began seeing widespread use in the field. Electric Cars became a status icon widely available in the mass market, with a number of competing manufacturers vying to release electric vehicles. VR headsets became more affordable and higher quality than ever before, though struggled in the market. Renewable energy costs continued to decline. More automation found its way into society with smarter cars and more customer facing automation finding its way into metro areas.
Many controversies surrounded the use of technology during this time. Concerns were raised about algorithmic bias, as well as the potential to misuse large datasets such as in the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Other concerns were raised about counterfeit products being more commonly sold online, as well as technology companies conflicting with local and state level regulators. Near the end of 2020 a few major technology companies see significant antitrust action from various parts of the American Government, threatening to break up companies that used their monopolies improperly.
Space heats back upEdit
Billionaire Space RaceEdit
The 2010's in space were hallmarked by a number of private space companies backed by billionaires like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk competing for achievements in privately run space ventures. This came to be known as the Billionaire space race.
In December of 2019, the Space Force was established as a separate service branch, instead of operating under the Air Force, as its preceding organization had since 1982. In December of 2020 members of the space force are named Guardians.
In 2018 SpaceX sent an automobile from its sister company Tesla into space. This served as both a dummy payload, and a successful advertisement.
The last state to fly a flag with blatant confederate imagery, Mississippi, redesigns their flag in 2020 without such imagery following calls from citizens.
Immigration issues were a key point of President Trump's 2016 campaign, including a promise to replace preexisting fencing and barriers on the US Mexico border with a wall.
In 2017 Trump signed an executive order which restricted travel from certain countries. Similar bans would be implemented throughout the Trump administration, with many protesting the decisions.
The family separation policy pursued by the administration proved to be very controversial, as the policy resulted in families split, often with no way put in place to reunite them. Harsh immigration policies continued to result in American Veterans waiting for expedited citizenship promised to them being deported.
Notable shootings from this time include the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, Stoneman Douglas High School shooting / Parkland Shootings, and the 2019 El Paso shooting.
Notable Protests, Demonstrations, and RiotsEdit
Aided by social and mass media, protesting was widespread and visible during this time, with many protests ranking among the largest in American history.
2017 Women's MarchEdit
Dakota Pipeline ProtestsEdit
Unite the RightEdit
Major marches and RalliesEdit
The March for Our Lives, March for Science, 2018 Women's March,Telegramgate, Juggalo March and the September 2019 climate strikes were other major protests against the administration during this time. The Mother of All Rallies, the Trump Free Speech Rally, and the March 4 Trump were notable rallies in favor of President Trump during this time.
George Floyd ProtestsEdit
By May 31st, 2020 credentialed journalists across the United States attempting to cover the events were being targeted by members of a number of police departments,, with many calling these targeted attacks violations of the First Amendment. By the 14th of July federal police began forcing protestors into unmarked vehicles with no warning or explanation. Critics called the detainments by officers who did not identify themselves unlawful, while proponents of the action said it was needed to protect a courthouse. The arrival of paramilitary forces fueled even larger protests, leading to their withdrawal.
President Trump at St. John's Episcopal Church. The removal of the peaceful protestors for the purpose of a photo op upset protestors and church officials.
2019 College Admission ScandalEdit
In 2019 a college admissions bribery scandal broke, when it became publicly known that many wealthy Americans had paid for their children to gain unfair advantages when applying to well ranked schools. The scandal fueled feelings of racial injustice in education, as well as economic inequality between the wealthy elite and the average low income or middle class American.
Following a number of controversies and impeachment by the House of Representatives, President Trump was put on trial for impeachment by the Senate in early 2020. He was acquitted by the Senate, and remained president.
Withdrawal from AfghanistanEdit
In February of 2020 President Trump struck a deal with the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan by withdrawing US troops.
At the beginning of 2020 the World Health Organization began monitoring a disease emerging near Wuhan, China. By early 2020 the pandemic had spread across the globe, including to the United States of America.
On March 13, 2020 President Trump declared a national emergency, allowing the Federal government to more effectively respond to the pandemic. By late March a bipartisan two trillion dollar stimulus bill was passed, the largest in American history at the time. The CARES Act included one time direct payments of $1,200 to many, but not all, individuals who made less then $75,000, and added an extra $600 a week to anyone on unemployment for a period of four months.
Despite the S&P500 and NASDAQ reaching all time highs in February 2020, the pandemic caused a significant economic downturn. A number of anti-lockdown protests occurred as a result of the economic damage from lockdown measures, with President Trump supporting a number of the protests.
A US Navy Comfort Ship docked in New York City during the pandemic.
On December 13th, 2020 the first COVID-19 vaccines approved for widespread use began being distributed across the United States.
The 2020 census encountered a number of difficulties owing to the unique circumstances surrounding the year 2020.
The 2020 ElectionEdit
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden Campaign focused on virtual events, as opposed to the Trump Campaign use of in person events.
Early on in 2020 the recently appointed Postmaster Dejoy ordered a number of existing postal sorting machines to be removed without a reason given. Many industry professionals questioned this, as it would have been easier to just turn the machines off.
During the election a number of issues with Election mail occurred as a result of cuts to the United States Postal Service early in 2020.
Joe Biden won the election receiving 74 million votes and winning the Electoral College.
President Trump made a number of attempts to challenge the election results. Notably, in December of 2020 President Trump requested that the Supreme Court overturn 2020 election results in several key states where he lost, a request which the Supreme Court rejected.
On November 17th, 2020 following a statement that the election was secure by federal cybersecurity official Christopher Kerbs, President Trump announced he had fired him on Twitter.
During the transition period, a call between President Trump and the Georgia Secretary of State was leaked in which President Trump urged the secretary to overturn the election results in that state in his favor.
Following a inciting speech by President Trump, on January 6th, 2021 the US Capitol building was stormed by a pro-trump mob as Congress tallied electoral college votes. As a result of this event President Trump was impeached by the House for a second time on January 13th, 2021, notably with greater support from House Republicans then during the previous impeachment.
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