In the off chance you’ve been in a coma the past few weeks, I have some unsettling news. You might want to sit down. Donald Trump is our new President-Elect. Please, put down that sharp object.
As denial about this shocking outcome gives way to anger, then depression and finally acceptance, pundits are deeply divided as to whether Trump’s election means four years of utter chaos, financial collapse, violence on the streets, nuclear Armageddon, and the end of civilization as we know it – or perhaps something far worse.
If the 2016 election taught us anything, it’s that if you’re running for the most important job in the world, political experience and proven competence are serious liabilities. Trump has re-written the political playbook. In past elections, having no previous relevant experience, combined with a vengeful temperament, a campaign built around stoking anger, fear, hate, racism, misogyny and a knee-jerk impulse to tweet insults at anyone who makes a joke about your hair might put you at a disadvantage. But that kind of thinking is so November 7th.
Unless our President-Elect amends the Constitution to do away with elections and installs himself as Supreme Commander-for-Life (which experts put at slightly less than 50% odds), then in four years there will be another election. Candidates are already lining up for the chance to go for politics’ brass ring. Here’s a sneak peek at the early frontrunners for the 2020 presidential race.
Kim Kardashian: For those people hoping 2016 would be the year we finally elected a female president, low-education white truck drivers overwhelmingly agree: Hillary was a lame choice – what with all those bland pantsuits, wonky policy papers and annoyingly high intellect. As Trump repeatedly pointed out, Hillary’s not exactly moving the needle on the 10-point beauty scale. No, what this nation is looking for in its first female head-of-state is a hot, curvy reality star who lets her body do the talking. Another qualification: Kim K has 49 million Twitter followers – almost five times as many as Hillary. (We checked.)
Every year since this blog began during the Nixon Administration, I have made bold predictions about the year ahead – in politics, world affairs, pop culture and advances in cutlery. I possess an uncanny ability to peer into the future and predict fascinating events no other prognosticators are able to see. The fact that my predictions historically have had about as much chance of coming true as Lady Gaga has of becoming the next Pope is the only small blemish tarnishing my otherwise stellar reputation.
To show you what I mean, here are a few notable predictions from previous years which would have been newsworthy except for the minor inconvenience that they failed to materialize:
2002: A resoundingly brisk victory will be won in the war in Afghanistan after just 11 months, and a flourishing democracy will spread throughout this previously troubled region. Afghani women will be elected to several prominent political posts, as Pakistan and the USA become bosom buddies.
It’s time for my annual gaze into my crystal ball to see what the year ahead has in store for us. If you happen to be Arnold Felderman of Waukesha, Wisconsin, I would just pack up now and head for a cave. For you, it’s going to be a really bad year. Sorry to be the one to tell you.
As for the rest of us, the future is a bit more hopeful. Oh sure, some politicians will stumble, some new war will likely break out between two minor countries our teenage kids have never heard of, like India and Pakistan, and some Hollywood celebrity will come out of the closet to confess he’s Republican. And no doubt some sports star will forever tarnish his legacy when it is discovered that he has illegally high traces of high fiber cereal in his urine. (more…)