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Top 10 Reasons Why 2018 Was the Worst

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
So, what do you think? Was this a terrible year or what? For this list, we’re taking a look at the events, trends and tragedies that made 2018 an especially difficult year for us all to get through. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Reasons Why 2018 Was the Worst. Special thanks to our user ABOhiccups for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Reasons+Why+2018+Was+the+WORST.

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Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Reasons Why 2018 Was the Worst

So, what do you think? Was this a terrible year or what? Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 reasons why 2018 was the worst.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the events, trends and tragedies that made 2018 an especially difficult year for us all to get through.

#10: Crumbling Infrastructure

On March 15, a 175-foot long section of the pedestrian bridge in front of the Florida International University collapsed onto U.S. Route 41, crushing eight vehicles and killing six people - and injuring a further nine. A study concluded that the engineers had overestimated the strength of the bridge and underestimated the load volume. Sadly, five months later, a large section of Genoa’s Morandi Bridge suddenly collapsed when the southern stays gave out, plunging dozens of vehicles to the ground and river below and killing 43 people. Hey guys? It’s 2018: you’d think we’d have this whole infrastructure thing down by now.

#9: Brett Kavanaugh’s Divisive Confirmation

In July 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. This news prompted psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford to come forward with allegations that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when the two were teens. Two more women eventually volunteered similar stories about Kavanaugh, forcing the Senate Judiciary Committee to address the claims during the confirmation process. In a highly publicized national event, both Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford were questioned at length at the confirmation hearing. But in the end, Kavanaugh was confirmed by a narrow margin, further diving an already politically polarized nation.

#8: Trump Tariffs

Accusing China of unfair trade practices and the theft of intellectual property, the Trump administration initiated a trade war against the economic powerhouse in July. China retaliated with tariffs of their own, and the U.S. responded in kind, while also broadening the fight with tariffs on the EU, Mexico, and Canada. The results so far have included losses in the U.S. and Chinese stock market, and grim forecasts for trade, especially in agricultural and manufacturing industries.

#7: The Jamal Khashoggi Case

The murder Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi Arabian Consulate shocked the world. Khashoggi was a vocal critic of Saudi prince Mohammad bin Salman, and a CIA investigation has reportedly implicated the prince in the killing. Countries around the world condemned the action, although President Trump downplayed the possibility of bin Salman’s involvement, citing the importance of oil and arms deals with Saudi Arabia, and praising the prince as a “strong person” who “loves his country.”

#6: The Alt-Right

According to the Anti-Defamation League, in 2017, most of the extremist violence in the U.S. was related to this group – and that trend continued in 2018. Although the group’s showing at Washington’s Unite the Right II rally on August 12th attracted more counter-protestors than supporters, the alt-right has not disappeared: on October 27th, white nationalist and anti-Semite Robert Bowers killed 11 people at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh. The alt-right also entered the political arena in 2018, with several white nationalists and neo-Nazis running as Republicans, including Arthur Jones, Paul Nehlen, Russell Walker and Patrick Little.

#5: The Humboldt Broncos Bus Crash

On April 6, a coach bus in Saskatchewan, Canada, carrying players from the junior hockey team the Humboldt Broncos, crashed into a semi that had run a stop sign at 60 mph. The collision killed 16 people and injured another 13, leading to national mourning and countless tributes. A GoFundMe campaign launched with the intention of helping the affected families raised over $15 million, making it the second most successful campaign in GoFundMe history. The truck driver, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, was charged with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death, and the trucking company owner Sukhinder Singh was charged with violating safety regulations.

#4: Dangerous Mail

In October, Florida resident Cesar Sayoc Jr. mailed 16 pipe bombs to various critics of President Donald Trump, including former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Robert De Niro, and CNN. Luckily, none of them exploded and no one was hurt. Sayoc was charged with five federal crimes and faces 48 years in prison. After his arrests, Sayoc’s far-right agenda came to light, with his social media feeds full of white supremacist, anti-gay, pro-Trump leanings. The President attributed “the anger we see today in our society” to the mainstream media, and lamented that coverage of the bombing had slowed Republican “momentum” in the midterms.

#3: No Peace in Schools

There were 36 reported school shootings in 2018, up from 11 the previous year. Those 36 shootings combined for 43 deaths and 82 injuries, with the worst shootings taking place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Santa Fe High School. President Trump’s proposed solution to this ongoing violence was to arm school faculty, and as of May fourteen states had introduced legislation. In March, Florida governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 7026, which called for tighter gun control, but also allowed for the arming of school faculty.

#2: Border Agents & Migrants Clash

In April, the Trump administration’s zero tolerance family separation policy saw migrant children taken from their parents, until it was suspended in response to public opposition. But immigration became the focus again in the lead up to the midterm elections, when President Trump sent troops to the border to meet a migrant caravan. Tensions came to a head on November 25, when border agents fired tear gas after migrants rushed barriers. Tear gas has been used at the border since 2010, but critics called its use on a desperate group with small children overkill. In one of the more surreal moments of 2018, the President at first denied that children had been gassed, despite plenty of photos.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Eating Tide Pods
- The White Rhino Becomes Functionally Extinct

#1: Climate Change Is “Nearly Irreversible”

It’s been a bad year for natural disasters: a major earthquake and tsunami hit Sulawesi; Guatemala experienced its deadliest volcanic eruption since 1929; numerous hurricanes and typhoons made landfall; and California was on fire. Some of these might be attributable to climate change, which experts have declared is “nearly irreversible.” The 2018 Emissions Gap Report calls our curbing efforts insufficient and says we’re nowhere near the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. The Trump administration’s Climate Assessment came to similar conclusions, but the administration dismissed the report.


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