The people have spoken. Or, at least, the electoral college has spoken, on the basis of the popular vote state by state. Or, at least, that’s what we’ve been told. (Investigative journalist Greg Palast argues — persuasively, I think — that the election was stolen by Republicans; see * below.)
So now we have President-Elect Donald J. Trump. Groper in Chief. Liar Extraordinaire. Poster child for the KKK. Defendant in more than 3,500 civil lawsuits, and accused of raping at least one minor. Vladimir Putin’s best buddy in the West. Verbal and sexual abuser of women. Inspiration for Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Cheerleader for political violence. Lacking in humility, patience, civility, kindness, thoughtfulness, generosity of spirit, basic human decency, and the requisite character, experience or temperament to be Commander-In-Chief. And yet, here we are.
I won’t try to compete with the pundits currently explaining why and how Trump became our president-elect in spite of all the indications it could never happen. Instead, I’m going to do a little prognosticating.
I feel around 75% confident of my predictions, on the basis of my track record:
- In the early 1970s, I told anyone who would listen that we should be recycling and composting on a large scale. Now, many states and large U.S. cities have extensive recycling and composting programs. In the city of Seattle and the state of Connecticut, recycling is mandatory.
- During the run-up to George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, I told anyone who would listen that “Operation Iraqi Freedom” was a huge mistake, and that weapons of mass destruction would never be found. It was a huge mistake, as even Donald Trump admits, and WMDs were never found.
- In February 2012, John Deasy — Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District — proposed eliminating LAUSD’s adult education education program. I predicted in a post on this blog (see “LAUSD’s Dark Lord…”) that Deasy’s attempt to eliminate adult education would be his “bridge too far,” and would lead to his demise. That prediction proved true.
I have also made wrong predictions: for example, I predicted on Nov. 7 that Hillary Clinton would be our 45th President. Oh, well.
Anyway, keeping in mind that my predictions are only correct 75% of the time, here are my “Top Ten” predictions for the Trump presidency:
- “The Trump Wall” will never be completed, nor will it ever accomplish its stated goal of keeping illegal immigrants out of the USA. If that project is even started, it will be a huge waste of resources. Just look at China’s Great Wall. It’s an impressive achievement and a great tourist attraction, but it took 1,700 years to build, and cost around $360 billion. So many workers died because of hardships involved in its construction (at least one million) that it has been called “the longest cemetery on earth.” What’s worse, the Great Wall did not serve its intended purpose. Genghis Khan’s Mongol invaders easily went around it in 1211 A.D. and ruled China for more than 200 years. Trump’s “Great Mexican Wall” — if he pushes forward with it — will be an exercise in futility, and a “yuge” drain on our national budget, because (let’s get real) Mexico will never pay for it.
- His oft-stated campaign promise to ban Muslims will never happen, especially because — on the day of this writing (Nov. 10, 2016) — a statement regarding that ban was removed from Trump’s campaign website.
- Trump proposes banning the Environmental Protection Agency. He just might succeed in doing that. I predict that he will hasten the disastrous effects of global warming by promoting the use of oil, gas and especially coal.
- His policies regarding refugees — especially from Syria — will increase terrorism as he fans the fires of hatred for the U.S.A. (He has proposed barring Syrian refugees and kicking out any who are already here.)
- His plan to deport all undocumented immigrants (almost 11 million) living in the United States will face opposition from many sides, and will prove far too costly and problematic to be implemented.
- Foreign relations: he will improve our relationship with Russia, but damage our standing with many other countries, especially Mexico, our allies in Western Europe, and China, whom he has threatened with a trade war and with more aggressive U.S. naval presence in the South China Sea.
- By starting trade wars, he will ruin the U.S. economy. We will go through another “George W. Bush-style” recession.
- He will greatly increase the national debt by cutting taxes — especially for the very rich — while increasing military spending (and building his wall), and by eroding the tax base with his damage to the economy.
- The resulting turmoil from economic ruin and “bad blood” between hostile groups (especially white racists vs. minorities, Christians vs. Muslims, and rural “alt-right” conservatives vs. urban progressives) — made worse by Trump’s fanning the flames of existing hatreds — will cause widespread civil disturbances, including riots and destruction in major cities. (At the time of this writing, we are already seeing many demonstrations — some violent — in major U.S. cities.) We will see martial law, with National Guard troops on the streets. Militia groups, especially white supremacists and anti-government “Oathkeepers,” will try to take over sections of the country, creating a situation similar to Afghanistan, dominated by local warlords. To refocus our national energy in this time of crisis, watch for Trump to provoke an actual war with China.
- At the end of Trump’s presidency — which could well result in impeachment** for a variety of offenses, especially perjury (he does play fast and loose with the truth) — the U.S.A. will be a burned-out shell of its former greatness. I predict that Trump will damage our nation worse than George W. Bush on many levels — especially in social, economic, and environmental areas. His supporters will of course blame progressives for his failures. In spite of all this, the great people of this nation will rebuild it from the ashes of the Trump presidency.
In the end, there could be a saving grace in the fact that usually when Trump opens his mouth, he’s lying. (http://www.politicususa.com/2016/03/31/ninety-one-percent-donald-trump-false.html) Maybe he will reneg on 91% of his campaign promises! That could be a good thing.
All that being said, here are some areas where I think Trump’s proposals offer promise:
- Infrastructure improvement. He has promised to budget a trillion dollars to rebuild roads, bridges, etc. This is much-needed and long overdue, and it can help create many well-paying jobs. (As long as Trump doesn’t declare national bankruptcy and refuse to pay, as he has often done with his construction projects, for example in Atlantic City.)
- Building a more constructive relationship with Russia. This could prevent World War III. (Except with China — see above.)
- Not telling ISIS our plans. I agree with Trump that we are very stupid to tell ISIS weeks or months beforehand where we’re going to attack them next.
President Obama and Hillary Clinton have both made magnanimous gestures towards our new president-elect — Obama spent 90 minutes with him in the White House today (Nov. 10); but many share my fear that Trump has opened a Pandora’s box of hate, racism, xenophobia, and jingoistic arrogance that threatens not only the fragile bonds holding our communities together, but also our international alliances and trade relationships. Let us hope that I am wrong in my more dire predictions.
Let’s hope Trump really will make America great again. However my guts tell me that if he does make America great again, it will only be after almost destroying it first.
Let us pray that cooler heads prevail.
*My paranoid side suspects that the final election results were rigged by Republican Party operatives (through a variety of methods), and by Russian hackers who manipulated final vote counts in key states. However, I’m philosophically opposed to conspiratorial thinking, and I have no proof. If enough readers ask, I might write a separate post laying out my case for Election 2016 being stolen, but for the time being I recommend following Greg Palast, who has investigated election fraud extensively, and who does think this election was at least partly rigged:
I also highly recommend this recent email from Greg Palast, in which he argues that the 2016 election was stolen before even one vote was counted:
A final thought: In his victory speech, Trump broke with long-standing tradition and neglected to say something that is customary in victory speeches. I will say it for him now:
May God bless the United States of America.