As 2015 comes to a close, the staff here at Firebrand Left decided we should look back on the news stories of the year, and try to sum up the state of American politics by giving out online “awards” to the most exciting political figures of 2015… as well as the most God-awful right-wing nuts who made all of us cringe.

Firebrand Left is a super-young website; we’ve only been around for a few months. But we want this to be something we do each and every December, because hey, why not?

So here’s how it will work: The staff at Firebrand Left will “nominate” a list of contenders; everyone on our team is welcome to suggest whomever they feel deserves nods. Then, we’ll give out the “awards” in a series of articles near the end of the month. We’ll give out each award twice: The “Staff Picks” will each get their own individual articles, while the “People’s Choice” list will go out in its own article.

So please, take a moment to review the categories listed below, and vote for whichever candidate you feel deserves it the most. Each category has a minimum of four nominees (some might have more), so please, choose wisely, because this is super-important and will change the world and stuff!

Good Folks:

Progressive of the Year

Awarded to the person or group who propelled progressive ideals the furthest in 2015. The Progressive of the Year is, simply put, the most progressive, most proudly liberal figure impacting politics today. Our nominees include DREAMer Erika Andiola, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

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Woman Of The Year

Awarded to the woman or women’s rights group who fought the hardest for women’s rights in 2015, and/ or made America a better place for everyone. Our nominees for 2015 include 2016 Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, #BlackLivesMatter activist Tia Oso, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai.

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Activist Of The Year

Awarded to the person or group who fought the hardest to make America and/ or the world itself a better place; a true champion of a righteous cause whom all of us should be thankful for. Our nominees include hacker group Anonymous, civil rights activist group #BlackLivesMatter, the HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and Malala Yousafzai.

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Moderate Conservative Of The Year

Talk about a difficult category. Just coming up with moderate conservatives is in and of itself an almost impossible task these days; America’s right has become so radicalized that people we may have considered to be radicals ten years ago almost look like democrats now. But hey, we promised you four names, so you’re getting four names! Our nominees include Pope Francis, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Fox News pundit Shep Smith, and conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan.

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Progressive Facebook Page Of The Year

Awarded to the Facebook group that shares the best content, proudly promotes progressive values and liberal ideals the most, and keeps liberals everywhere entertained with the smartest and/ or funniest memes. Our nominees for 2015 include Brave New Films, Occupy Democrats, Think Progress, and US Uncut.

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Progressive Tweet Of The Year

Awarded to the best, most progressive tweet of 2015 from a Twitter user. Our nominees include Wire and Treme star Wendell Pierce for his excellent knock on the NRA, “Muslim Marine” Tayyib Rashid for his epic Donald Trump takedown, Bernie Sanders‘ winning the GOP debate without even being in the room, and Igor Volsky‘s war with the NRA.

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Bad Folks:

Wingnut Of The Year

Awarded to a proper right-wing nut-job. Someone who leans so far to the right that they’re offsetting the Earth’s balance from its axis. A figure so unbelievably nuckin’ futs that you can’t tell if they’re hilarious or horrible, but you’re sure they’re definitely both. This year’s wingnuts include sleepy douchebag Ben Carson, government-slayer Ted Cruz, Kentucky homophobe Kim Davis, and America’s favorite Islamophobe (and every other kind of “phobe”), Donald Trump.

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Douchebag Of The Year

Awarded to the King or Queen of all the assholes in Dickhead Kingdom, this is the person you’d most love to watch fall down some stairs… repeatedly. Nominees include Ted Cruz, Kim Davis, right-wing domestic terrorist/ violent extremist John Ritzheimer, and pharma-dick Martin Shkreli.

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Bigot Of The Year

Awarded to the most racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic bigot of the year; a person so filled with hate you wonder if they have any capacity whatsoever for compassion or love. This year’s nominees include Kim Davis, Mike Huckabee, John Ritzheimer, and Donald Trump.

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Gun Nut Of The Year

Awarded to the person who has the most ridiculous, religious attachment to their guns. We’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill gun owner here: if guns could be the victims of sexual assault, you’d have called the police on them already. This year’s nominees include America (the whole country), “machine gun bacon” aficionado Ted Cruz, the NRA, and John Ritzheimer.

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Right-Wing Comedian Of The Year

Awarded to the right-wing figure whose killing us with laughter… when they aren’t scaring the crap out of us, that is. This year’s nominees include Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, and Donald Trump.

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Right-Wing Nut-Job Tweet Of The Year

Our final award of 2015, the RWNJ Tweet of the Year goes to the person who put out the most insane, asinine, totally unhinged tight-wing tweet of 2015, or the person who tweeted the most insane gibberish all year. Our nominees for 2015 include Ann Coulter (“how many f–king jews do these people think there are in the US?”), Rupert Murdock (Ben Carson would be a “real black president”), Dan Patrick (On San Bernardino shootings: “God hears our prayers”), and Donald Trump (pretty much everything he says on Twitter).

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Photo by DonkeyHotey