Despite pleas to the Electoral College, Trump got almost all the electors pledged to him. While 2016 was a record year for faithless electors (most on Hillary’s side, interestingly enough) it was an order of magnitude short of what would have been needed to move the needle. So we have Trump for four years. While Democrats seem convinced that our country will end up as some alt-right dystopia somewhere between Fury Road and Hunger Games, I’m trying to form a more realistic picture of what the next four years might look like. Here are some predictions in no particular order:
- Business cycles being what they are, we’re overdue for a recession, and it will probably hit in 2017 if it’s not here already. It will probably be on a par with 2008, and it will be blamed on Trump’s economic policy, even though by the time we’re in the midst of it he’ll have barely outlined a proposal, much less implemented anything.
- One of the first big showdowns will be over downsizing or reorganizing some major federal agency. There will be picket lines of civil servants chanting “We Will Overcome” and the stories will claim that this is the last stand of the labor unions. It will end much like Reagan and the air traffic controllers or Walker and the teachers’ unions.
- There will be a major scandal in the media about some Trump company and conflict of interest. It will go absolutely nowhere, but every left wing pundit will find a way to work it into into every discussion about Trump for the next four to eight years.
- The Republicans will learn nothing, claim their own permanent majority, and screw the pooch in the midterms, losing the Senate, possibly the House, and one or two governorships.
- Because of this, the Trump presidency will tack to the center in a mirror image replay of (Bill) Clinton’s. Another similarity is that this will coincide with an economic recovery as we exit the 2017 recession. Trump will claim credit for it.
- Like Clinton with welfare reform, Trump will piss of his base with some grand compromise on immigration reform. It will please no one, might actually work, and effectively take the issue off the table for the next election cycle.
- Race relations will improve, not because of any structural or policy change, but because people’s perceptions of the black-white tensions will improve. This will happen because the media will shift focus away from racism and on to immigration and the economy.