TL;DR It starts out better than our wildest dreams – but the world ends up falling apart anyway.
Predicting the future is a bad business to be in. Predictions aren’t interesting unless they have a good chance of being wrong, and the world changes so fast with so many unpredictable factors that one is just guaranteed to be laughably wrong.
So being that proverbial baby banging its head against the wall, I am busting out my crystal ball, stepping out on a wobbly limb, tossing some tea leaves into the wind, and uttering what my 3rd eye sees.
Some of these predictions would be good if they came true, others would be bad – but mostly they are ugly. So without further ado:
US Election 2020 – Big wins for Democrats
- Democrats win the Presidency, the House and the Senate.
- A small but electorally significant sliver of the neo-cons and traditional conservatives (think ~5-10% of the GOP or about 1-2% of the US population) vote Democrat for the first time and become permanent members of the Democratic party going forward.
- Democrats pick up enough state-level House seats so as to influence the redistricting processes such that Democrats net-gain ~15-20 Congressional seats in purple states over the course of the 20’s.
US Elections 2022 to 2030 – A Democrat-controlled decade
- Democrats win the Presidency and House in every election for the next 10 years. The GOP only manages to occasionally take the Senate (if at all – depending on whether Dems make DC and Puerto Rico states).
- The post-covid era sees a large-scale migration of urban-blue-elites into rural-red-America. This leads to both a more competitive Democratic party throughout middle-America, as well as, even greater hatred and backlash against elites in those same regions. Class-wars and culture-wars become less conceptual, TV/internet phenomena, and more physical, interpersonal and local community conflicts all over the US.
- The GOP doubles-down on Trumpism. People fight over who is the heir to Trump and interpretations of what that means will vary; however, loyalty to Trump, as well as, xenophobia, racism, and hatred of rainbow-urban-liberals will remain fixtures of the GOP for at least another decade, if not two or three. This makes it impossible for Republicans to get moderate candidates through the primary process, while continuing to drive the general electorate away from the GOP – thus cementing the GOP’s status as a minority party for a long time.
- Red turns purple – purple turns blue – starting now. A couple of historically lean-red states (TX, GA, AZ, and IO) become permanent purple states. Big purple states that tend to lean-red (think FL, OH, and NC) remain purple but increasingly lean blue. Historically purple states and lean-blue purple states (think CO, NV, PA, NH, ME, NM, WI, MI, and VA) become consistent lean-blue states.
US Policy/Legislation in the 20’s – The moderate vs progressive Democratic-party showdown
- The Democratic party continues to move left on the whole in addition to having an ascendant progressive wing. But in absorbing many ex-Republicans and business interests in the moderate wing, the big tent gets bigger and bigger – and the hostilities between the conservative and progressive wings of the party become the main political theatre.
- Democrats pass a watered-down, corporate-friendly Green New Deal (think Obamacare) in 2021, and it’s a gold-rush for the Tesla’s of America.
- Democrats pass universal healthcare, but instead of Medicare For All, it is a multi-payer healthcare system that leaves private insurance intact.
- Marijuana is legalized nationally – other drugs are increasingly decriminalized. Psychedelics become popularized again for both medicine and recreation, further accelerating leftward shifts while introducing a spiritual language into left-wing politics.
- Democrats make DC a state, but end up shooting themselves in the foot by not doing the same for Puerto Rico.
- Enough states sign onto the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact that the electoral college remains solely as a quaint artifact of history.
- The US continues on its isolationist and protectionist path. Anti-China and anti-Russia rhetoric/policy become bipartisan consensus of the most dangerous kind, and in that vein, spending on military, nuclear weapons, and other US-security agencies (think DHS, NSA, ICE, CIA, FBI etc.) goes relatively unchanged.
US Electoral Politics in the 30s and 40’s – a major realignment of the party coalitions
- All these shifts over the 20’s produce an unstable power-equilibrium between voting coalitions in the American first-past-post election system – eventually triggering a major realignment of the parties in the 2030’s such as in the 1960’s, or if it is particularly dramatic, maybe even the replacement of one party by another in just 4-8 years not seen since the 1850’s.
- The next time the GOP wins the Presidency or the House in the 2030’s, it will no longer be Trumpian. It will have echoes of the Trump-GOP (like xenophobia and nationalism), just as the Trump-GOP inherited its bigotry from the Reagan/Bush-GOP. But when the GOP returns to power it will no longer be climate-change denying, and will have rebranded as defenders of the welfare state.
Themes of the 21st century – Cracks become fissures; the meltdown begins in earnest
- The world collectively fails to act on climate change – doing too little too late – and we get worst-case levels of global warming on the order of 5-10+ degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century – unleashing hell on earth.
- Unfettered global capitalism lives on. Technology continues to explode. The upper classes increasingly become cyborgs as they modify their children’s DNA while living in sparkling cities and visiting Jeff Bezos’ chateau on the Moon. We see ever starker contrasts of humans transcending humanity/nature through art and science even as vast stretches of refugees live on their door steps. We see ever more invasive forms of state oppression and control.
- The pitchforks and guillotines come out. We see new kinds of race/class warfare. War is just terrorism conducted by robots, algorithms and microscopic drones. There will again be rival left/right populist revolutions all over the world, and they will surpass their 20th century predecessors in atrocities. Most end up looking back at the period from 1990-2030 as the peaceful, prosperous golden age of humanity.
- Over the next couple decades, violence and civil war continue and expand throughout the Middle East and much of Africa. We see new and terrible civil wars erupt up in South/Central America, South Asia, the Middle East, and Northern/Central Africa. Nobody cares or does anything about it except to protect key resources and corporate interests. In the latter half of the century, all of Africa and South America collapses, as well as, much of South Asia and the Middle East. War, starvation, poverty and disease run rampant. All the gains of the late-20th century are erased. Not just hundreds of millions, but billions of people die horribly and prematurely over the course of just a handful of decades.
- Within a decade or two, China experiences a housing bubble collapse and debt-crisis so severe that it also unleashes food and energy insecurity, as well as, local government bankruptcies – ultimately resulting in the Communist Party being deposed and the country falling apart. People stop viewing it as a miraculous, emerging superpower but instead as the Soviet Union 2.0.
- The European Union continues to fracture and stagnate. It buckles under aging populations and migratory pressures from both the Middle-East and Northern-Africa, struggles to maintain energy security becoming dependent on Russia, and begins a prolonged military-build up.
- North America, Scandinavia, Central Asia, East-Asia, and Australasia have the resources, economies and militaries to survive – and only sort-of thrive, at best. They suffer from various combinations of crushing debt, population imbalances, mass unemployment, food/energy shortages, and unpredictable extreme natural disasters which will cause various countries, states or sub-regions to collapse. Humanitarian aid becomes a luxury that can’t be afforded.
Whelp. That’s it. I certainly hope that I am wrong. My sincerest apologies to future-me for everything I’ve said here that was so ludicrously and hilariously wrong. My utmost mourning and sadness for all the humans that are suffering and will suffer most horribly as a consequence of what seems, to me, inevitable. If you want to read things that still give me hope in spite of all of this, I recommend Hanzi Freinacht’s books The Listening Society and The Nordic Ideology.
May we fight on. May we be better. May we never give up hope.