From a fashion point of view, 2018 peaked – or rather, troughed – one Thursday in June, when the US first lady wore a green army jacket emblazoned with the slogan “I really don’t care. Do U?” to visit a shelter for unaccompanied children. Many of the children were in the Texas facility after being separated from their parents, an immigration policy for which President Trump was being denounced as heartless.

The jacket was 2018 in a nutshell. A story almost laugh-out-loud in its absurdity, and yet deadly serious. (The strapline for this year could surely be: “Yes, that really happened.”) An outrageous White House play that became a lightning rod for the spotlight. A Trump move that does not even pretend to appeal to voters’ highest instincts, but instead encourages their darkest, meanest side with an enabling wink.

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Vijay Nanda

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