2020 Year in Review, McLaughlin Group Style

News & Politics

Every year since college, my best friend Dan and I have compiled our best observations on a wide range of topics that reflect on the year that has just expired. We follow the well-established template of The McLaughlin Group program. We lost the venerable John McLaughlin in 2016, after decades of shaping how political analysis and debate programs should be done. Safe to say, no year-end analysis we’ve ever done will come close to what we have to say about 2020.

Here are my 2020 submissions, in the tradition of the McLaughlin Group.

Biggest Winner of the Year

The Professional Left. In 2020 they successfully burned and looted many American cities; used flawed martyrs to advance the cause of socialism that were the products of misrepresentation and outright lies; elected soft-on-crime prosecutors in major cities who let arsonists and rioters out because of their political leanings; and fully deployed their stooges in the mainstream media to create sympathy for anti-American sentiments in an ever-widening swath of the nation’s citizens.

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Biggest Loser of the Year

The republican form of government. Between a stolen national election, antifa destroying our cities and murdering those it disagreed with without prosecutions, the arbitrary power taken by governors in their reaction to the coronavirus pandemic—without legislative oversight or a judiciary willing to stand up to them—and the never-ending lockdowns with ever decreasing scientific evidence to justify them, too many citizens have willingly given up their liberties for the illusion of security provided. The representative form of government was replaced in 2020 by the tyranny of the experts, the strongman governors, and the bureaucrats. Instead of deriving its power from the governed, state governments have been weaponized against the people.

Best Politician of the Year

This one is a no-brainer. Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota refused to succumb to the panic porn and the security theater of 2020’s coronavirus lockdowns. She kept a level head, governed as a servant leader for her state, and positioned herself deftly as an early frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.

The Worst Politician of the Year Award

Nancy Pelosi’s ice cream.

Honorable Mention: Jerry Nadler, who, when not crapping himself during press conferences, was calling antifa riots a “myth.”

Most Defining Moment of the Year

The voluntary removal of COPS and Live PD from the television menu. The willingness of corporate America to fall on BLM’s sword and prostrate themselves, groveling for forgiveness for perceived crimes by previous generations, defined an American culture in steep decline. The unfounded attacks on the integrity of municipal police departments painted all police officers with a wide brush, blaming all for the actions of a tiny fraction. Television shows showing police in a neutral or positive light, like COPS and Live PD, were first on the sacrificial pyre. This was the first indication that our society is in much more trouble than many realized.

Best Spin of the Year

That Joe Biden, after two previous failed presidential bids and 47 years of ineffectiveness as a DC swamp creature, gained more than 81 million popular votes (12 million more than Obama) and 306 votes in the Electoral College, despite losing Ohio and Florida. Yeah, ok.

Most Boring Politician(s) of the Year

Everyone who supports Adam Schiff or listens uncritically to a word he says.

Most Charismatic Politician of the Year

You wouldn’t know it from the press coverage that was 95% negative, but Donald Trump had a helluva year. The thousands of people who turned out at his rallies, in spite of coronavirus, proved it.

Bummest Rap of the Year

The history of America.

Honorable mention: Statues.

Fairest Rap of the Year

The Democratic Party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party. Between Hunter Biden’s influence peddling, Eric Swalwell (allegedly) banging a Chinese spy, and the deep connections between the CCP and Diane Feinstein, John Kerry, and Joe Biden, the CCP can look forward to much more favorable treatment than they received from the Trump administration.

Best Comeback

Ron Desantis, Republican Governor of Florida. He was victimized by a rabidly anti-conservative press that attacked any message that differed from the Branch Covidian orthodoxy. Polling showed him going from one of the nation’s most popular governors to one of its least popular, as pandemic panic porn raged on. Yet he kept the course, and expressed exemplary character in declining to vaccinate elected officials in Florida until the most vulnerable citizens could get the vaccine first. As PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil points out, this flies in the face of Democrats who have flaunted their own lockdown rules because they think their elite status grants them some sort of moral exemption.

Most Original Thinker

Radio and TV personality Mark Levin, who made it his personal mission in 2020 to take a flamethrower to the New York Times and its insipid, virulently anti-American and pro-marxist 1619 Project.

Most Stagnant Thinker

The Black Lives Matter movement. Used as a front to advance radical communism in America, the best one can say is that they were slow to resist such influences. The worst one can say is that they agree that the American concept of personal liberty should be destroyed, with Marxism taking the lead. After all, the co-founder of the movement describes herself as a trained Marxist. As if that ideology hadn’t been proven completely meritless throughout the 20th century.

Best Photo Op

Justice Clarence Thomas performing the swearing-in ceremony for newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. This marked a turning point, in which a majority of Scalia-aligned justices have definitively ended the activist court of the past half-century, and restored an originalist United States Supreme Court.

Honorable Mention: The Republican National Convention, which was an unalloyed, days-long celebration of what makes America great: our first responders, our history, our military, our Constitution, our liberties, law and order, and our very reason for existence.

Worst Photo Op

What do California Governor Gavin Newsom, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Oregon Secretary of State-Elect Shemia Fagan, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Erie County (N.Y.) Executive Mark Poloncarz, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, and many other elected officials all have in common? They’re Democrats who have enacted or enforced draconian lockdown orders in the face of the CCP Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, but completely disregarded their own orders when it suited them. They have all, inadvertently, in their own way, proven that they don’t believe in the efficacy of their own orders, and thus it’s all about behavioral control instead of stopping the spread of the virus.

Honorable mention: Donald Trump’s first debate performance. What seemed to be a sure course towards a 2020 reelection was jarringly thrown off the tracks. Yes, he was set up by a horrid moderator. Yes, he spent more time debating the format than Joe Biden. Yes, it was a rigged setup. And, sadly, it worked.

Enough, Already (also known as the “Shut Up and Get Out Award”)

The experts. Elected leaders at all levels used medical experts (READ: bureaucrats) to abdicate their constitutional responsibility to protect the liberties of all citizens, in favor of creating tin-pot dictatorships at the state, county, and city level across America. Why can’t we call in constitutional experts, along with epidemiologists, to balance out the response to the pandemic? Yeah, we all know the answer to that one.

Honorable mention: Yeah, Joe Biden allegedly will be our president come January 20, but I’m already sick of the Kamala Harris administration. Between her annoyingly nasal voice, her lecturing tone, her rank hypocrisy, and her radical Marxism, I have started hating her presidential addresses before they’re cool. It ALMOST makes me pine for the days of Hillary. ALMOST.

Worst Lie of the Year

George Floyd. A man with fentanyl and methamphetamine coursing through his veins—so much that the medical examiner said that if he had been found dead at home, the cause of death would have been ruled an overdose—became the symbol of police brutality against blacks in America. LeBron’s t-shirt should say, “I can’t breathe because all these drugs gave me a heart attack.”

Capitalist of the Year

Sadly, this honor does not denote dedication to free markets or true capitalism. Rather, it rewards crony capitalism at its very worst. 2020 saw coronavirus lockdowns pick winners and losers like never before, crushing small business and elevating billionaires to new heights. In my report, As CCP Coronavirus Lockdowns Expand, Small Businesses Shutter and the Left’s Billionaires Get Richer, it becomes clear that Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and other billionaires have made out like bandits with the lockdowns.

Person of the Year

Donald Trump. Despite everything thrown at him this year to destroy his presidency, he ended Barack Obama’s twelve year reign as the most admired man in America, according to Gallup.

Honorable Mention

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who awkwardly but effectively defended their home from BLM/antifa rioters over the summer. When threatened with physical and property violence by an out-of-control mob set on destruction, they showed restraint while properly defending their lives and home with firearms. Their form could use a little work, of course.

BONUS: they executed a SICK troll job against protesters who accosted them at a print shop.

Destined for Political Stardom

Nikki Haley, still. Look out, 2024.

Destined for Political Oblivion

Social media and big tech platforms whose management teams believe they know best what truth and fiction are, and what their users want to see. The marketplace will explode with alternatives at an ever increasing rate. Can anyone say Myspace?

Destined for the Other Kind of Oblivion

Joe Biden. I still have little faith that he’ll make it to Inauguration Day. Even if he does, Kamala Harris is already measuring the Oval Office for new drapes.

Best Political Theater

Every citizen, business owner, elected official, and group that stood up against the governors who tried to destroy our economy in 2020. You think 2020 was bad? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Worst Political Theater

Nancy Pelosi tearing up Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech. I know this came in the beforetimes, and you may not remember, but it was the absolute epitome of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Oh, and it was totally staged. If only we’d realized at the time what a harbinger it would be for the toxicity of 2020.

Most Under-reported Story

Hunter Biden. I went into great detail recently as to how the corporate media helped their chosen candidate and buried the story. The media were problematic before, but have become a full-on enemy of representative democracy in 2020.

Honorable mention: The disastrous effects of lockdowns and school closures on every aspect of American society.

Most Over-reported Story

Black Lives Matter, and the 1619 Project it uses as intellectual justification for tearing down our nation and its history. Critical Theory, which begat Critical Race Theory, has thus birthed an anti-Americanism in our citizens that was unimaginable even five years ago. The media reports this as protesting for racial equality in 2020, hiding its true intentions.

Biggest Government Waste

The shameless pork-fest that masqueraded as coronavirus stimulus. Corporations got bailouts while Main Street got the shaft, and our grandchildren will be paying this off for a century.

Best Dollar Spent

The record-breaking number of American consumers who have exercised their rights to purchase firearms in 2020 and commit to their natural right to self-defense. As leftist politicians allow thugs to run amok in American streets without prosecution, everyday Americans have taken self-defense seriously. Exercising your rights—especially in the face of tyrants who would remove them by force—is an excellent hedge against future stupid policies.

Honorable mention: Here’s a List of American Heroes Who Should Go in Trump’s New National Garden

Boldest Political Tactic

Using the coronavirus panic to extend lockdowns and tank the economy to defeat Donald Trump on Election Day 2020. It takes brass nuggets to destroy a nation to save it from someone you don’t like.

Best Idea of 2020

As the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020 unfolded in the spring, more Americans became self-reliant and prepared for emergencies.

Worst Idea of 2020


Honorable mention: Michael Bloomberg blowing a billion dollars of his personal fortune to prove to America he’s unelectable as president.

Sorry to See You Go

2020 saw too many to count. The ones I remember most are Olivia de Havilland, Alex Trebeck, Chuck Yeager, Carl Reiner, Buck Henry, Eddie Van Halen, Bill Withers, Kevin Greene, Gayle Sayers, Fred Willard, Max von Sydow, Sean Connery, Kirk Douglas, Don Shula, and Neil Peart.

Two of my political heroes also left us: Herman Cain, and Tom Coburn.

Honorable mention to Orson Bean.

The Kim Jong-il Not Even a Little Bit Sorry to See You Go Award

Ghislane Maxwell, who has so far been spared from a Clintonian suiciding, but will nonetheless not breathe free air for a long, long time.

15 Minutes of Fame

Carole Baskin.

Turncoat of the Year

Chief Justice John Roberts, whose deciding vote allowed the Pennsylvania Secretary of State to change election law set by the legislature, in an upheaval of everything that makes constitutional representation important. We should probably just rename this award in Roberts’ honor.

Most Honest Person of the Year

Jimmy Lai, who reported to the world what the Chinese Communist Party was doing in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and worldwide with its 5g technology.

Most Overrated Person, Event, or Story of the Year

Anthony Fauci. Please, just read the Constitution once. I beg you.

Honorable mention: Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who inexplicably became a cultural icon in 2020 despite the vast majority of her supporters having no idea what she actually did for a living.

Most Underrated Person, Event, or Story of the Year

The deep communist ties revealed in 2020 between the Democratic National Committee, Black Lives Matter, antifa, and the Chinese Communist Party.

Grade the Planet (A through F, pluses and minuses accepted)

F-. America is in for a political and economic realignment, and that will have massive geopolitical consequences.


The United States is headed for a divorce. It remains to be seen whether it will be amicable.

New Year’s Resolution

To live a more purpose-driven life of self-reliance.

Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, and on Parler at @RealJeffReynolds.

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