Looking back over the past two years, I started out 2017 deeply skeptical of the incoming Trump administration. I predicted “we are about to enter the gates of this false paradise.” By 2018, I was convinced that subsequent events had proven that my assessment was correct. The rest of the movement remained on the Trump Train until the 2018 midterm elections, but has since caught up.
2019 opens with more uncertainty than the last two years:
– There is the impending outcome of the Charlottesville lawsuits and the impact that will have on the movement
– There is the incoming Democratic House, the Mueller report and the possibility of impeachment which will create a foil for President Trump that has hitherto been absent
– There is the possibility of war as a distraction from a gridlocked Congress
– There is the possibility of an overdue economic recession
– There is the mounting disaffection in Trump’s restive base over his pursuit of a mainstream conservative policy agenda and his failure to address the trends that got him elected
– There is Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s failing health
– There is an increasingly isolated, besieged Trump who has steadily shaken off his establishment handlers (Mattis, Preibus, Cohn, McMaster, Kelly, etc.)
– There is the onset of the 2020 election cycle
– There is the growing unrest in parts of Europe symbolized by the Yellow Vests movement
I agree with Ross Douthat that we are likely to see the emergence of a more unpredictable President Trump, stymied by the Democrat House and increasingly at odds with the Republican Senate, listening less to his advisers and making bolder plays to shore up his flagging base. This is what I expect to happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if war or recession or both come to dominate 2019.
We’re going to continue to cover the Trump administration as we have for the past two years, but hopefully this year with fewer distractions by movement drama and more consistency. The focus here will be on writing and analysis about the outside world, not on street activism or infighting. We’re going to continue to mix politics and current events with diving into other subjects like history.
As of right now, I am content to jwatch the chips fall. We could be in a very different place a year from now. Alternatively, we could also just have a year of partisan gridlock and more censorship.