06 August 2016

More Prediction

Kicking some ideas around as to what the future of US politics looks like, filling in more detail of my previous prediction

The justification for doing this is to test my understanding, not to drive any kind of short-term action

Note I'm not American, so while I know quite a lot, there's a lot I don't know, and I don't know what a lot of it is. (Unknown unknowns).

I'm not predicting the election result. Lets take the possibilities

Let's say Hillary wins.

Prediction 1. Trump isn't going anywhere. He's gone from well-known figure to one of the most famous men in the world, and he isn't going to mind that at all. He is going to be prominent on US media for the foreseeable future. The media might want to keep him off, but they don't have that kind of veto power--he could literally set up his own TV station and make money off it. More likely someone will give him a platform. He's going to be on the news every week for the next decade.

Prediction 2. Hillary is going to be very unpopular. She's a hopeless politician and isn't going to be able to evade blame like Obama did. She cannot be reelected in 2020.

Non-Prediction 3. Can the Democrats replace her in 2020 primaries? I understand that generally doesn't happen with incumbents. Pressure to not stand due to ill-health or something is possible

Non-Prediction 4. Can Trump run again in 2020? Nixon lost & was nominated again, right? Trump on a "I fucking told you, you fucking fools" platform could be in with a good chance. OTOH, the party will blame him for losing, and has a good chance to make that stick over the next 4 years. Also, they will be better-prepared with the machinery to keep him out, having been caught out this time.

Prediction 5. The Republican mainstream will loudly reject Trumpism and all his works and all his empty promises. Maybe for as long as six months. Then they will gradually begin to compete for his supporters. By 2019, border enforcement, some restriction on Islam, and much more hostility to free trade will be much more common in talking points. And of course that is on top of the fact that Ted Cruz is now symbolic of the moderate Republican mainstream, which would be shocking to anyone who had been in a coma since 2014.

Prediction 6. The real world has little to do with all this. There will not be a major collapse in the next 5 years. Details will change, but the big picture will be recognisable. That's not because the current situation can go on forever, but because forever is a long time, and collapses are rare. Hillary's policies will look bad, because she's such an incompetent politician, but things won't get worse noticeably quicker than they have been doing.

Prediction 7. The president elected in 2020 will be elected on a moderate immigration-restrictionist platform, and will act on it with limited cooperation from the establishment, having some marginal effect but not a revolutionary realignment of politics.

And if Trump wins...?

Prediction 8. President Trump will not be revolutionary. He will not take communists for helicopter rides, gas the Jews, appoint @Nero as press secretary, or pull out of NATO or the UN.

Prediction 9. He will attempt to make significant restrictions on legal immigration by Muslims and illegal immigration across the Mexico border. He will need to fight against the permanent government to do this. The character of that fight is the big open question.

Prediction 10. President Trump will win over the Republican Party. There will be many holdouts but as president he will have enough new allies to defeat them. There may for a time be a "Trump Party" but over time the Anti-Trumpers will be marginalised.


A Nonny Mouse said...

A person who had business connections with Trump recently expatiated on his business methods: he broke every term of the contract. So sue me. By contrast, a politician is not contractually bound to keep his promises, so we would be foolish to expect that he might do so.

What says it all about Trump is his application for 78 (H-2B) visas for foreign workers. It is certainly beyond the realm of possibility that any politician with business connections, who purports to represent business, would be so contemptuous of market forces as to curtail immigration, an unfailing source of cheaper labour. It would render American business uncompetitive: it just wouldn’t happen.

So what Trump is doing is making a lot of anti-migrant and anti-Mexican noises in order to get the votes of a lot of redneck bubbas. Should he be elected (at the moment it doesn’t seem likely that he will be) he will certainly not be moving against those who crossed the Rio Grande.

Anomaly UK said...

I'm sure his candidacy is not based on any kind of deep political principle--his revealed political beliefs are as middle-of-the-road as you can get, and not generally distinguishable from those of, say, Bill Clinton. The reasons for him standing are some combination of personal ambition and frustration with incompetence.

But immigration has gone a bit weird the last 20 years--Trump's 90s-middle-of-the-road Bill Clinton position on immigration is now shocking, and is what has a large chunk of the population up in arms on one side or the other. I expect him to make some effort in that direction, though not necessarily to achieve anything. That said, it is possible that you are correct, that he only wants to enjoy being president and cash in.

Mind wandering and this should probably be a new post, but the point of the support for Trump is that people are beginning to see the soap opera of party politics as the meaningless distraction it is. What matters about Trump is not what he thinks of policing, or trade, or even immigration, but that he is against the media and the media is against him.

As to the effect on his own business, it is more a media business than a construction or property business these days, and will have far less need for cheap construction labourers or hotel maids than has historically been the case.

Anomaly UK said...

Oh, and Trump's own sharp practices are part of his appeal: http://blog.jim.com/economics/trump-explains-crony-capitalism-to-the-masses/