Heroes and Zeroes of 2022 - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Heroes and Zeroes of 2022
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House on Dec. 21 (ABC Action News/YouTube)

This is my first annual top five list of the past year’s heroes — people who made our country, if not the world, a better place — and zeroes — losers who sank even lower in 2022.


Elon Musk. The new Twitter owner incensed his elitist peers and their big media lackeys by granting the riffraff they deplore the near absolute freedom to communicate. Until this year, none could challenge their approved false narratives, such as Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation, vaccines prevent catching COVID, and trans-women are women. And any who did were canceled, including the sitting President of the United States, America’s oldest daily newspaper (the New York Post, established by Alexander Hamilton), and prominent doctors, scientists, and scholars.

Ron DeSantis. The cheerful governor of Florida took on previously rampant leftwing lunacy, including COVID doomsayers, child perverters, and their not so Magic Kingdom, and trounced them all, even running Disney’s CEO out of a job. As a result, he won re-election in a landslide, turned the whole state red, and is a favorite to be the next President of the United States. And even should he run, he has another whole year as governor to drive progressives madder than they already are.

Volodymyr Zelensky. Many conservatives, like Tucker Carlson, Matt Gaetz, and Matt Walsh, might balk at the Ukraine president’s inclusion on this list. But as a once Cold Warrior, I state that even if he’s the corrupt, anti-democratic tyrant they claim, he accomplished something few people thought possible early this year. He inspired his nation’s badly outnumbered and outgunned soldiers to not only resist one of the most feared armies in the world but stagger it. And to those who question how this benefits America, my answer is — by degrading the Russian military so badly that a competent future commander-in-chief like Ron DeSantis — and unlike the current zombie (see Zeroes) — can concentrate our forces on the much greater Chinese threat.

Matt Walsh. The conservative provocateur and Daily Wire podcaster was the most effective, and funniest, culture warrior of the year. He started it with the still bestselling children’s book (published December 2022), Johnny the Walrus, that lampooned transgender delusion yet still got listed by Amazon as an “LGBTQ+ Book,” infuriating queer activists. He followed it with the blockbuster documentary What Is a Woman?, which asked everyone the title question — and only transgender activists could not answer it. And he ended the year by helping to shut down Vanderbilt University’s repulsive “gender affirmation surgery for minors.”

Tom Cruise. I’ve never been a fan of the durable movie star, but he earned my kudos this year for his production of Top Gun: Maverick. A fun if nowhere near great film, it violated almost every tenet of modern Hollywoke in featuring white male macho leads who are also the best at their business — war, romance with a feminine pretty white girl (Jennifer Connelly), and, most incendiary of all, patriotism — to become the highest-grossing picture of the year, and sixth of all time, with a billion-and-a-half dollars worldwide. That the lesson will be lost on current film industry mavens too deeply entrenched in money-losing wokeism only confirms Cruise’s heroic standing as a maverick and adds to the fun.


Joe Biden. President Biden is the Picture of Dorian Gray. Not the character, Dorian Gray — the actual portrait, which reflected all the corruption and decadence of its subject. Observe Biden long enough and you can almost see the shell of what was once a decent, even patriotic, man, who sold his soul to the diabolical Left for the power he always craved but can no longer enjoy. This past year, he decayed further by turning the White House into a transgender-celebratory freak show, demanding “gender affirming care” for children, and nominating an unqualified yet equity-satisfying Supreme Court justice who couldn’t even answer Matt Walsh’s question.

Harkle — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Renegade UK Prince Harry single-handedly diminished fairy-tale princehood by marrying a narcissistic, grating, classless shrew instead of a Cinderella-like lady fair, then having to tolerate her utter contempt for the thousand-year tradition he inherited. No scene better exemplified Harry’s curse last year than his obvious cringe while wife Meghan Markle mocked curtsying before his world-beloved late grandmother.

Democratic Fallen Stars — Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams. All the media worship in the world couldn’t win an election last year for the two most lauded Democrats since Barack Obama — Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams. Following his failed 2018 Senate run in Texas and flop presidential run in 2020, fading liberal cover boy lost to incumbent Texas governor Greg Abbott but won a ticket to oblivion. As for Stacey Abrams, she may be Star Trek’s President of a United Earth — in an unintentionally laughable segment — but she’ll never be governor of Georgia.

Republican Fallen Star — Liz Cheney. The soon-to-be former congresswoman must have spent all last year in front of a picture of Donald Trump reciting Captain Ahab’s dying speech from, and to, Moby Dick (“From hell’s heart I stab at thee: for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee”), besides being one of two useful idiot Republicans on the House’s kangaroo Jan. 6 Committee. Wyoming primary voters rewarded her passionate defense of “democracy” by booting her out of office in the second worst loss for a House incumbent in 60 years.

Pope Francis. The death of retired Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) only crystalizes the contrast between one of the most brilliant scholars of the modern Church and his semi-liberal successor. We are grateful that Francis — while embracing irreligious positions on climate change, overpopulation, and Communist China — has maintained traditional opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage, and transgenderism. But by defrocking anti-abortion activist priest Father Frank Pavone last year, he ceded sacred ground to the demonic Left.

Happy New Year!

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