Making predictions of what will happen in the future, be it tomorrow, this year, or further into the future is, I believe, a worthwhile task. I wrote about this before, in disagreement with E. H. Carr, professor and author of the book What Is History?. For me, the idea of ‘predicting’ what will happen is an academic exercise – you don’t know for certain, but with the facts and circumstances surrounding the issue you can make a reasonable guess. Whether you’re right or wrong, you learn to analyse events with a keener eye. So, my US 2020 election prediction? Trump.
I’ve predicted a fair number of things with sketchy success. When the Brexit vote struck with a Leave victory, it was obvious Cameron’s successor would not succeed. In 2017 I predicted Iran would be the next Middle Eastern country to be invaded by the US, and the world is dangerously close to making that a reality. Early 2018 I predicted there would be a coup in Venezuela, and sure enough there was an attempt through Juan Guaido that ultimately failed. This year, despite the polls saying Labor would win the Australian Federal election, I had no doubts about a third Coalition term.
But there are times I have predicted wrongly. Earlier in the year I suggested that perhaps the election would be moved forward and that we wouldn’t make it to May to vote, and even optimistically hinted that Labor would win by default (although that was before the campaigning really kicked into gear). While it is always a possibility, I thought that Israel was going to invade Gaza again in May but was (thankfully) incorrect. (I am sure there are many others, but honestly am a little too tired at the moment to recall anything specific).
Trump 2020. It is not as far-fetch as one might imagine, especially seeing as all the mainstream media polls predict he will lose – when will people learn to not believe the polls anymore? Even during his campaign in 2016, Trump was spruiking the ‘8 year’ story, already planting the idea of a 2020 platform which he fully intends to realise in the upcoming campaign. He even tweeted a doctored Times video of him with the years increasing faster and faster, potentially a hint at the fact he may not leave the White House quietly even after a second term.
I look at the Democrats scrambling, with more nominations popping out of nowhere and names only the most diehard American political follower would know. To the rest of the world, or at least to me, many of them mean absolutely nothing – Sanders and Biden are the top dogs, for different reasons, and we all know which one the DNC and the media will try and rig it for. If the Democrats repeat their 2016 shitshow, then Trump will repeat his easy victory.
It seems baffling that many Democrat supporters do not see why Biden is the worst choice. A corporate hack under fire for his close ties with segregationists and other historical blunders of various sorts – that’ll go down well with the Democrat sceptics. Yes, Biden offers a sense of ‘normalcy’, as I see some (almost pathetically) cling onto as an argument, but that ‘normalcy’ is what precipitated Trump’s rise. The rhetoric Trump used to promote the farcical promise of ‘MAGA’ was similar to Obama’s “hope and change”.
Meanwhile, the man who is offering legitimate change, and has a plan to implement it, is yet again being kept to the side. Bernie Sanders was the clear contender in 2016 and, thus far, appears to be the most promising in 2020, with perhaps a couple of notable extras this time around. But already the media has been quick to diminish him and remind the public that he was also one of the reasons Clinton failed in 2016, by dividing the Democrats. What’s that? The DNC favoured Clinton and intentionally pushed to block Sanders? Quick, look, here’s some more alarmism about Russia’s negligible election interference to hide our ineptitude as a Party!
Simply put, if the Democrats do not drastically change their tune no matter who their candidate is (although Biden, with his large donation dinners and simmering scandals, is a hopeless choice), Trump will undoubtedly maintain the Presidency. It is quite terrifying that the Democratic Party would rather see Trump win than reform itself as a party of the people instead of the wealthy donor class.
Will my prediction hold? An American acquaintance of mine would probably call me a cynic and block me for this piece, but I’ll keep true to that cynicism. It has rarely failed me, and with US politics, when you assume the worst it is almost certainly bound to happen. Only time will tell.
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