By Bruce A. Smith
Here on the day before the official “Election Day” of November 3, I’d like to post my predictions for the 2020 Election:
Biden will win the national count by 12 million, and take the presidency with an Electoral College victory of 310-228 or so. I believe the Democrats will also take Senate 53-47, and maintain their majority in the House of Representatives. These numbers will probably not be confirmed until Friday, November 6.
Further, state legislatures nationally go Democratic in a major tidal wave of Blue as the GOP is crushed. In response, the GOP will become the “Resistance,” and obstruct the Biden administration at every step. Trump and FOX News will be the loudest voices, but over time the GOP will become less “Trumpy,” less white supremacist, less racist, and more working-class – certainly by 2024.
The Democrats will have absolute dominance for 4-5 years, politically. But they will struggle to blend their globalization and corporate instincts with effective policies that help working people in the USA, especially the manufacturing sector in the heartland. Ultimately, their efforts fail politically even though many Americans benefit financially. The GOP will regain a lot of strength as the dynamics of the Cultural War are just too strong for the Democrats to overcome, especially the issues of abortion and white fears of the “Browning of America” – the growth of Hispanic populations and the growing political clout of African-Americans.
In the near-term, though, the Mask War intensifies. Mask-wearing becomes more political, and Republicans/Trumpers don’t wear them while Democrats and Liberals do. Locally, it is charged and bitter, but veiled. Certain stores get identified as
“Trumpers Only” and no one wears a mask or socially distances. Other stores become “Liberal Only” and require Covid protocols to be followed. But enforcement of these safe practices by departments of health are meager and ineffective.
As a result, Covid continues to cripple the economy and society. It lingers through 2021 and into 2022 with waves and troughs. Vaccines arrive but are only marginally effective – approximately 70%. More troubling, 35% of the country refuses to take any vaccine. Death total by end of 2020 is 350,000. Another 300,000 die in 2021 despite Biden’s best efforts. Total Covid deaths in USA by end of 2022 will exceed 800,000.
Even though Trump is defeated in the election, the polarization of America continues to intensify. especially as many Liberals view the Trumpers as “trying to kill us with Covid.” The legal effort to adjudicate Trump for negligent homicide – stemming from the hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths generated by his ineffective policies – fails, as Biden gambles on trying to unify the national psychologically. He is partially successful.
A new stat emerges: unaccounted-for deaths. Already we are seeing 100,000 deaths in 2020 that are not Covid-specific but are above the expected projections from prior years. Who are these extra deaths? How do they die? From what? Covid-like complications?
QAnon is still with us. Lots of folks still drink the Kool-Aid. Conspiracy theories abound. But no one examines closely the Jeffrey Epstein case, such as who called Alexander Acosta when he was the Florida Attorney General and convinced him to squash the first Epstein sex trafficking case in Palm Beach. Nor why Acosta was then elevated to the Secretary of Commerce by President Trump. Nor why the alleged suicide of Epstein in federal detention was allowed and the follow-up investigation so flawed.
The economy fractures and struggles, but many Americans thrive and prosper – perhaps 2/3 of the population – as they can work from home, have Internet connection, or the skills to earn them a good income in the new, distanced, informational economy.
But many don’t have those resources and flounder. One-third of the population remains unemployed or under-employed for years. The entertainment and travel industries are non-existent. Airlines go belly-up and Boeing files for bankruptcy. The European Airbus agency, with its governmental support, exists only as a shadow of its former self.
Restaurants struggle and few are successful. Bars and taverns remain mostly closed or at greatly reduced capacity. As a result, illegal parties and drinking clubs flourish, which also helps to spread Covid in an endless cycle.
Schools remain mostly closed. Hybrid programs of partial-attendance-in-class coupled with home-schooling predominate, but many families are reluctant to send their kids to school. Most teachers are afraid to enter their classrooms, but do so with strict testing and disinfectant practices. In effect, classrooms become like the iconic NBA bubble. Some kids thrive in this environment; many don’t.
The financial hardships drive many individuals and families into homelessness. Addictions and health problems abound. The Biden Administration launches Depression-Era-esque federal programs to address the chronic job loss and homelessness. These efforts are mostly successful and Biden is hailed as a hero who has saved America. His nickname becomes “Grampa Joe.”
China emerges as the dominant world power as it controls Covid better than anyone else, and as a result is able to maintain its economy. Europe, like the United States, continues to struggle with Covid and a limp economy.
Global Climate Change dominates world attention within the decade, and countries shift their politics to address the situation, but there is much resistance regionally and within the political factions of the right. In the United States, de facto confederations emerge to address local climate issues, such as forest fires, and the western states form the Cascadian Confederation to pool resources and advance useful policies. These latter issues include a vast increase in fire-fighting resources, the mandating of electric cars, amplification of alternative energy sources, and decreasing the use of oil and gas. Within ten years all new homes will be required to have solar power arrays installed on their rooftops, along with other energy saving devices such as infra-red hot water heaters.
Biden does not run for re-election in 2024 due to this age, and is replaced by Kamala Harris at the top of the ticket. The GOP gropes for an answer to the Trump debacle, but opts for the arch-conservative Tom Cotton, who loses disastrously to Harris.
The nearly one-million Covid deaths by 2024 casts a pall over the political passions of 2020, and most folks are just looking to survive. Culturally and psychologically, many turn inward and find a deeper level of spiritual mindfulness. Many are “woke” and active. This becomes a major force in the country and counters the social isolation brought about by the Covid restrictions and social disruptions of poverty.
New cultural norms are developed for celebrating holidays, especially Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays. New jobs are created, and public art flourishes. The talismans that were once used to produce tribal identities shift and reform. Ten years from now, Americans will see themselves and their neighbors in a new way, and many will say that this period of time was the best thing that ever happened to them.
Within minutes of posting the above essay, Mountain News readers began sending me messages of concern for violence, especially Tuesday night and the days following the vote counting.
Will Trumpers go violent if The Donald loses? I don’t think so, at least not with any organized, substantive violence. I think the Trumpers will stay home and watch the news to see how big their Red Wave actually is tomorrow night, and once they realize it’s not big enough they will sit down, ponder, and regroup – waiting for some leader, like DT, to tell them what to do.
I am surrounded by Trumpers here in rural WA, and I am not afraid of any violence.
Reader response has been phenomenal. Besides the above concerns, some readers are questioning whether Donald Trump will leave office peacefully. I believe he will leave, but not quietly – and in veiled pathological ways. I don’t think DT will ever concede to Joe Biden, nor will he congratulate him. I think DT will leave the White House long before the Bidens show up at the customary noon-time arrival on January 20th.
On Tuesday night as the reality of his loss becomes apparent, I think Trump will enter a sullen, depressed state – much like he did when he realized he won in 2016. Back then he was reportedly overwhelmed by the enormity of his victory. Melania wept then, too, supposedly and she might tomorrow night as well, but for very different reasons. She and her husband might be going to jail in 2021. For more on that aspect, I recommend reading Jane Mayer’s article in the New Yorker, as submitted by a MN reader this evening. Titled; “Why Trump Can’t Afford to Lose,” Mayer addresses all the lawsuits and illegalities of The Donald and those close to him. It’s stunning.
A MN readers posted his own prediction that Trump will win and “…the Marxist wing (Antifa/DSA/BLM) of the Democrat party riots in major cities and tries to take Washington. They are planning it already. BTW, I am not American and don’t vote. “
In turn, I replied with the following:
The Antifa guys I’ve spoken with were not Marxist in the least, and didn’t have a clue about communism or any of that stuff. I interviewed a couple of Antifa people back in the “Occupy Movement” days, and I was stunned at how cruel and violent they were. But they are also very disorganized and not particularly sophisticated – intellectually or organizationally.
The Antifa folks who have presented themselves at rallies, do so to “protect” other protestors. That seems to be their MO: a reactive force to other people’s violence. The antifa people I have met have a hard time ordering lunch, let alone paying the rent or raising a kid – or launching a revolution.
As for the BLM – Black Lives Matter – I see them as focused more on social justice and real reform, not the looting and tearing down the walls of civilization. One of the real issues of the summer and our nationwide social protesting is that no real leaders emerged, nor did any recognized leaders step forward and try to organize the demonstrations. The whole thing was very organic and localized. That allowed Trump and the right-wing commentators to control the narrative of who was doing what and why – in my view.
This issue remains. We still don’t know what to do with our cops – or what it will take to stop the murdering of black men by white police officers. Clearly “Defunding the Police” is a non-starter, and certain reforms, such as posting mental health counselors in squad cars to de-escalate crazy, violent incidents, is still not widespread. Mentally ill guys are still getting killed, such as occurred in Philly two weeks ago.