Anybody who was expecting Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to pull a repeat of the 1945 Yalta Conference during their first meeting at the G-20 Summit went home sorely disappointed. Absent the handshakes, the hundreds of camera clicks from photographers, and the customary pleasantries between world leaders, the Trump-Putin confab concluded after two hours and fifteen minutes with only a few small achievements. Those people in Washington and Brussels who were concerned that Trump and Putin would carve up the world into western and Russian spheres of influence could rest easy that no groundbreaking diplomatic agreements had been made behind closed doors.
When the crystal ball dropped in Times Square this past Saturday, millions of people in New York threw the confetti, kissed their loved ones and sang Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” with an eye towards a more hopeful future. Tens of millions of additional Americans across the country celebrated with a huge sigh of relief that 2016 came to an end; the year was bizarre, exciting, historic and fantastical all rolled into one.