Today is New Year’s Day and I am only slightly deviating from my traditional practice. In addition to making five predictions of the year’s biggest political stories (in reverse order) I’m throwing in a wild card and a BOLO (be on the lookout) alert. Come along.
The fifth biggest story will be weather events, natural disasters and climate change. Long term they may actually be the most impactful, but they will not get the largest share of the political “ink”. I put the three together because they are more extreme in recent years due to the effects of climate change. Unfortunately we still have a large group of climate change deniers out there and the overall topic is not getting much attention until it hits in their backyard.
The fourth biggest story will be incidents of domestic terrorism most often taking the form of domestic terrorism involving the irresponsible use of a gun(s). America has a gun problem which is illustrated by the fact that most mass shootings aren’t even the lead story often and in many cases garner little coverage. Unlike many other similar countries America has a gun culture; it is simply part of who we are. Managing a gun problem in a country with a gun culture is a challenge. Because of a few powerful lobby groups, most notably the NRA, many of our elected officials refuse to take the actions the overwhelming majority of Americans want. Again because of political pressure too often authorities refuse to label these incidents what they are – domestic terrorism. The first step in solving a problem is recognizing that it exists and Republicans in particular haven’t gotten there yet.
At number three we get to the “sexier” political news that will dominate the water cooler conversations in 2019. In third place I have the coming House Hearings. This is not limited to Trump and his family. It will very much include his administration and hopefully a few of his enablers/apologists.
I see the Democratic presidential wannabes and their debates in second place. My biggest fear is a huge field because that is part of what gave the Republicans Donald Trump. At this point I can’t see where my biggest fear doesn’t come true. The debates may start as early as this spring.
Russiagate will be number one again! Exactly what form(s) it will take is part of the adventure. Will Mueller’s probe still be around? Will impeachment be part of it? Will Trump resign? Lots of questions and we will be talking about the answers as they reveal themselves. This much is certain; this is not going away quickly or quietly!
That is the perfect segue for my wild card. Will 2019 be the year of Trump’s exit as I predicted months ago? If so, in what form? If not what will the repercussions be?
The BOLO may not be answered for years but the observations will start on January 3rd if they haven’t already. With the huge freshman class of Democratic House members and the need for younger blood in the Democratic Party it is almost guaranteed that one or more impactful players dwells among the incoming class. We may very well be looking at a future Speaker of the House and/or president along with many senators and committee chairs. Speculating and predicting will keep political junkies entertained for years to come.
Here we are; ready or not.
Please note: This article was written well in advance of publishing in order to accommodate my holiday travel and grandpa time schedule.
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