I keep telling myself I don’t want to write about politics, but this election year makes it impossible not to. Supposedly, Trump and Clinton are the two most unpopular presidential
candidates in history. That can’t be good for anyone, especially for them . . . especially for us! The way things are unfolding I only see bad news all the way around. Let me explain:
Scenario #1: Donald Trump is elected president but with a badly divided Republican Party and with the mostly reluctant support of a significant number of evangelicals (more on that later). Republicans “win” short term, although most will consider it a pyrrhic victory (not worth the cost and as good as a defeat).
Since the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, Trump will probably continue to be Trump. If he does there will be significant voter pushback and the mid-term elections will go to Democrats. They will regain the majority in Congress, so Republicans lose.
Furthermore, if Trump acts as badly as he possibly could, Republicans can kiss the 2020 (re)election goodbye and probably welcome a string of Democratic presidents. Republicans lose again, and the Party will have to go back to the drawing board to re-invent itself or possibly never recover.
Tentative conclusion? Democrats should hope Trump wins. Short term loss, long term win.
Scenario #2: Hillary Clinton is elected president but with a divided Democratic Party and with the mostly reluctant support of Bernie Sanders’ supporters. Democrats “win” short term and may rally around a President Clinton; however, a Republican congress, a resentful youth movement in the Democratic Party, and Hillary’s own notorious prickly personality will render her mostly ineffective.
Since the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, Hillary will probably continue to be Hillary. If she does, and if email fiasco continues, there will be significant voter pushback and the mid-term elections will go to Republicans, who will then retain the majority in Congress. Democrats lose.
Furthermore, Hillary will probably be to Obama what Bush 41 was to Reagan, a one-term carry-over. After twelve years of fairly unpopular Democratic Presidents, Republicans will win in 2020 and 2024, and maybe beyond. Democrats lose again. They do will have to some serious re-inventing or face dark days.
Tentative conclusion? Republicans should hope Clinton wins. Short term loss, long term win.
Scenario #3: Sometime this summer God blesses us with a person who has some basic integrity, fairly honorable intentions, somewhat reasonable policy positions and who decides to save America from herself and declares him or herself as an Independent candidate. The country breathes a collective sigh of relief and, for the first time in history, rushes to support an independent candidate (he/she will need close to 1 million signatures to get on the ballot in all 50 states, per www.balloltpedia.org), who will be elected president. Republicans and Democrats both lose short term.
If this president is successful, we might even see the start of a new moderated party which would leave the Democrats with the extreme left and the Republicans with the extreme right. Both Republicans and Democrats lose long term.
Tentative conclusion? Highly improbable but not impossible. If ever there was a year when this scenario could happen, this is it.
Final Tentative conclusions regarding all this:
1. We have two unpopular and basically undesirable candidates. America loses.
2. Both parties lose long term even if they win short term.
3. I am no prophet and may be completely wrong.
4. Evangelicals lose short term for a variety of reasons, but can gain a lot in the long term. I said more on that later (and comment on the Supreme Court issue) . . . check out a future post.
Therefore, my hope is scenario #3.
However, my prediction is scenario #2: Clinton wins by a landslide, possibly by double digits. This will certainly not reflect her popularity but Trump’s unpopularity. She, however, will think otherwise and her ego, poor judgment, and prickly personality will get the best of her. One term and she’s out. The Republicans make some internal corrections and win 2020 and 2024. The Democrats make some internal corrections and win 2028 and 2032. Things are back to normal and America wins, er, loses. No, wins. Wait, maybe we lose. Oh, shoot, I don’t know!