Ann McFeatters, Tribune News Service
Anyone who says he or she knows what is going to happen in 2020 is either arrogant or crazy or both.
So let’s get to some predictions. Donald Trump has a 60 per cent chance of being re-elected. Yes, he’s been impeached (which we must always point out will be the irrevocable first line of his obituary). But his cult-like supporters have been swayed by admiration for his disdain for morality and societal norms, improbable hair and skin tone, and their false belief that a man who declared bankruptcy six times knows what he is doing about the economy. Their passion for him overwhelms the ennui of those in the middle.
Democrats’ failure to produce a presidential frontrunner who can convince a majority of people she/he can defeat Trump is not a good omen for democracy. But the election will come down to Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida. Ohio, once THE swing state, now is reliably Republican because its farmers and factory workers think Trump knows what he is doing about the economy.
(I really hope I am wrong about Trump’s re-election. It would be catastrophic for the rule of law, civility, the Supreme Court, science and normal family get-togethers, if a godsend for cable TV.)
The House will gain Republicans but stay in Democratic hands. The Senate will remain narrowly in Republican control. Kentucky’s gift to the nation, Sen. Mitch McConnell, will continue to rule Congress.
The fissures in NATO will widen and Brexit will prove to be the beginning of the unraveling of Great Britain. (They may have to change its name.) The disdain for America’s lack of leadership will mean the end of the US as the world’s moral arbiter. No one will trust the White House to keep its word on anything, meaning nothing will change.
Tensions will escalate between the West and Russia, the West and China, the West and North Korea. Trump and Vladimir Putin will continue courting each other.
The evil spate of hate crimes and gun violence will intensify, but the backlash is building. More retailers will follow Walmart’s example in ending sales of guns. The House will pass more gun-control legislation; the Senate, as usual, will not, citing its old mantra “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.”
Climate change will mean more natural disasters – more droughts, more flooding, more melting of ice packs and glaciers, more extinctions of species. Trump, unfathomably, will continue to insist that climate change is a hoax unless it can be used to guarantee perfect weather the 75 percent of his week that he plays golf at one of his resorts.
There will be a huge hacking of American infrastructure, probably the electric grid, which will shake Americans’ belief that technology will solve all their problems. Nonetheless, solar power in 2020 will be more economical in half the US than regular electricity.
Technological advances in all sorts of arenas by researchers working against all odds will continue to amaze and astonish and give us hope. Every day thousands more people get electricity and running water. Every year routine killer childhood diseases decline. More people have phones than electricity.
By the end of the year only those people who got Pelotons for Christmas and are routinely taking selfies for TV ads will still be keeping their New Year’s resolutions.
The largest age group in America will be Generation Z, those born after 1996. Millennials are so yesterday.
Finally, here are some buzzwords for 2020 politics. Immigration. The wall. The economy. Turnout. The senior vote. The youth vote. Women voters. Women’s issues. White male anger. Tweets. Social media. Polling. Donor lists. Turnout. And turnout.
There. Now you know everything they teach in pundit school. You can predict with the best of them.
At the time, Trump averaged just five false claims a day. In the past seven months, that total has risen to an average of nearly 23 every day, made at rallies, on Twitter, in speeches or in encounters with the media.
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