28 December 2016

2017 -- looking ahead

Once again, I'll venture a few predictions.

1) The enemy's attempt to destroy (or to change in a way constituting de facto destruction) Social Security and Medicare will fail, for the same reason as in 2005 -- some Republicans will vote against doing so, knowing that the huge unpopularity of such a move would destroy their re-election hopes.  Remember, if all Senate Democrats stick together they need only three Republicans to block something, even without the filibuster.

2) Culturally the US will continue becoming more liberal and less religious despite Republican efforts to reverse progress -- recall how things like secularism and acceptance of gays and gay marriage kept advancing even during the Bush years.

3) The Paris climate agreement will be effective even if Trump repudiates it.  China, India, and other countries know global warming is real and are committed to action.  Trump cannot lead the world backward on this issue, he can only surrender American leadership entirely.

4) In fact, in general the US role as the world's leading country will decline drastically in most fields as the rest of the world, out of necessity, collaborates to get things done without the help of the erratic and incompetent US administration.

5) There will be a falling-out between Trump and Putin.

6) Despite initial turbulence, Brexit will be a net benefit for the UK, and pro-democracy, anti-EU forces will make gains in other EU countries (watch Italy and France in particular).

7) Dâ'ish (ISIL) will finally be defeated.

I won't call it a prediction, but I think there's a strong possibility that Trump will be impeached, for reasons explained in the first half of this post.

Finally, we on the left will be able to do more than we now think to block or mitigate the worst of the wingnuts' agenda, if we take an inclusive rather than exclusive approach.  By that, I mean we try to accommodate and include as many different groups and viewpoints as possible, provided they are willing to work together against the enemy where it counts -- as opposed to a witch-hunt approach of defining this or that element on our own side as too radical, too "establishment", insufficiently ideologically pure, responsible for the election loss, or whatever, and trying to "purge" them.  There are a very, very few cases where allies do do more harm than good, but in general, making the tent smaller and trying to get rid of everybody who only agrees with you on 80% of the issues instead of 100% is a recipe for permanent defeat.

[Image at top by TerribleNerd -- if you want to use it yourself, be sure to give credit]


Blogger Kevin Robbins said...

Lotta nice positive stuff there. Always better to see the glass half-full.

There will be a falling-out between Trump and Putin.

I'm wondering if Vlad has info on the Trump campaign colluding with the Russians or info hacked from GOP computers and not released or info on business dealings with Russian "financiers." Any or all of those could leave a mark.

we on the left will be able to do more than we now think to block or mitigate the worst of the wingnuts' agenda

I like to think Trump is an aberration. Maybe a hallucination. Anyway, this article was in my local paper today. The glass is half-full. Preferably of Gentleman Jack.

28 December, 2016 09:04  
Blogger Kevin Robbins said...

Linked to the wrong article. That Oppenheimer guy is just a starry-eyed optimist apparently.

28 December, 2016 09:07  
Blogger Frank Wilhoit said...

"...accommodate and include as many different groups and viewpoints as possible, provided they are willing to work together against the enemy where it counts..."

What you are talking about here is the need for an overarching principle, simple and sacred. The only possible candidate is accountability. Every "conservative" proposal is intended to reduce accountability. It would not be at all difficult to show that this is the case, or to show how it causes immediate concrete harm. This message should receive laser focus. At best, and as with any message, it will take it a while to gain traction, and during that period of time, things will get worse. Nonetheless: patience, persistence, focus, focus, focus.

29 December, 2016 06:00  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Lots of good predictions, including the Vlad/Donnie falling out. Trump's being played by Russia, and we'll see how Donnie reacts to any Russian aggression against the Baltic states.

For my part, I will continue to publish Trump's avalanche of distortions, inaccuracies, and lies, as well as his inane pronouncements on issues he knows nothing about,

29 December, 2016 09:01  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Kevin: I'm basically optimistic too. I agree with most of Oppenheimer's points, and in fact I'd add Brexit as a positive development, since calling the EU "one of the most successful experiments in war-prevention and economic progress in modern history" is an example of the preposterous rhetoric Americans tend to throw around without knowing anything about the realities over there. What has kept the peace all this time was the H-bomb, and the EU's auterity policies and common currency have wrecked the economies of the southern member states, as I've been documenting here for years. The EU is also thoroughly undemocratic and corrupt, something the Brexit-bashers refuse to acknowledge.

I think it's very likely that Russia has blackmail-worthy info on Trump, as well as some degree of financial leverage over his businesses. But I suspect the degree of control that gives them over Trump will decline as he realizes how much power the Presidency gives him.

Frank: Accountability is an important value, and one intimately tied to democracy. But I'm not really an advocate of "an overarching principle, simple and sacred". What about people who don't support or emphasize that one principle (whatever it is), but otherwise basically agree with us? Rejecting potential allies on that basis is exactly what I'm speaking against here.

As always, I'm much more interested in results than ideology. When the Republicans attack Social Security, I want us to work with anyone who's willing to defend Social Security -- even moderate Republicans. When they attack gay marriage, we should work with anyone who's willing to defend it. When they attack separation of church and state, work with anyone who's on our side there, even (for example) Muslims who aren't supportive of gay marriage. The point is to win, whatever it takes.

Shaw: The more people who keep calling out Trump's outrages and absurdities, the better -- it discourages people from accepting such things as normal. I, for one, will never refer to him with the title of President, and will emphasize as much as possible the Republicans' status as a minority-rule regime.

29 December, 2016 17:26  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Thanx for the predictions/ possibilities ... because to be honest, I dont have ANY, due to this last election, and I am really confused on how this new administration is going to look ... I been looking at some of these picks that Trump put in critical positions ... unbelievable, several are against the departments that they were chosen to run ... it will be interesting though to see what some of these folks do. I seen Paul Ryan on a CNBC(?) interview, he was so excited, said they been planning a fast track agenda for over a year, in case the republicans won ... heh, heh, heh, heh, heh {:-) ... and said they are ready to roll day one. I never seen him that excited, he looked like he was wired up on drugs {:-)

31 December, 2016 09:32  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Short version: Trump is an ignorant idiot and is appointing a bunch of cranks, plutocrats, and yes-men who know very little about the jobs they'll move into. The wingnuts have the power, but we're smarter than they are and, with some luck and effort, can set them against each other.

Republican politicians don't do drugs. They get high off of taking things away from poor people.

31 December, 2016 15:09  
Blogger engulfedinflames said...

The people's expectations have not been meant. This generally results in anger. The problem with much of the anger being expressed is that it's misdirected.
All of the anger currently directed at the Democratic Party, Clinton, and anyone except the republican party and trump is counter productive.
The feelings are reasonable, the response is not.

01 January, 2017 09:08  
Anonymous Michael Scott said...

I like to think Trump will be impeached during his first year, but don't see Republicans voting for it. Secondly, do we really want religious fanatic Mike Pence running the show? I'm not sure who is worse: dumb, or dumber.

01 January, 2017 09:12  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Engulfed: Internecine squabbling seems to be a occupational hazard of losing elections. I hope people will get it out of their systems soon.

Michael: Well, as I explained at the linked post, Republicans would be pretty happy with Pence, and their the ones who have the power to determine whether impeachment happens or not.

01 January, 2017 16:19  

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