I’m delighted that Hillary Clinton didn’t win the election. Donald Trump was definitely the lesser of two evils. I’m immensely relieved that Barack Obama is out of the Oval Office as of today.
Nevertheless, I am not glad to see Trump take over. The next four years will be as unpleasant for conservatives and patriots as they will be exciting for populists and unthinking nationalists. Before I give you my general predictions, here are the premises on which they’re built.
Premise 1: Trump has no political philosophy. He is a man who lacks a steady and coherent set of political principles, who’s demonstrated stunning ignorance of the U.S. Constitution, and whose campaign was marked by a chaotic flurry of contradictory policy statements issued with blithe contempt for his supporters.
Premise 2: Trump is a largely amoral man. He was born rich and has almost never been told “no.” He’s long been proud of his predatory sexual profligacy and serial adultery, and cheated on wives 1 & 2 with wives 2 & 3. In the pursuit of his goals, he’s demonstrated a fondness for cheating vendors, betraying business partners, trampling the property rights of normal people via eminent domain, and using lawsuits as warfare. His statements about his religious beliefs are new, rudimentary, almost certainly insincere and opportunistic, and influenced by preachers of a “prosperity gospel” that makes infamous televangelist Jimmy Swaggart look sober and restrained.
Premise 3: Trump mirrors the sentiments and opinions of whoever surrounds him. Why? First, because he’s a narcissist and loves attention and publicity. Second, see the first two premises above.
Premise 4: Trump is petty, vindictive, and utterly mercurial. He seems unable to ignore even the silliest insults or criticisms. He engages in vicious slander, enjoys public trash talking, and propagates ridiculous conspiracy theories at the slightest provocation.
Premise 5: Trump is a dealmaker by nature and training, so he’s extremely flexible. He will do nearly anything and negotiate away nearly anything if he thinks it will help him achieve his ultimate goal. He’s a career Manhattan real estate developer and speculator, after all.
Premise 6: Trump grew up in New York City, where progressivism suffuses everything. Typical New Yorkers like Trump are as conscious of their progressivism as fish are conscious of water, which is to say they aren’t aware of it until they’re removed, and they can’t function comfortably until they’re returned to it.
Premise 7: Washington, DC is even more progressive than New York City. As government grows and gains authority, DC’s denizens get richer and more powerful, so they actively support the growth of government spending and power. Trump will be surrounded by politicians, bureaucrats, celebrities, and media members who are almost all dedicated progressives. These people are masters of deceit, flattery, intrigue, bribery, blackmail, revenge, influence peddling, and making deals. In other words, they’re just like Trump.
Premise 8: Humankind is marred by total depravity, and absent a continuous and strenuous effort to fear God and behave virtuously, every one of us will sink into the evils that lead to tyranny, poverty, lust, and bloodshed. Governing well is like trying to keep rust from forming on raw iron in a tropical monsoon at the seashore; the minute you stop fighting, the rust returns.
Based on these premises, I predict Trump’s term will be marked by chaos and inconsistency, and will not move the country in a net conservative direction. Conservative gains will be few and not systematic, the country will continue its leftward slide, and Trump will soon return to his default setting: East Coast progressivism with a thin gold frosting of populism. What actually happens will be almost impossible to predict, but it almost certainly be a net loss for conservatives.
In no particular order, watch for the following in the next four years (updated throughout today):
- Before 24 hours elapse, Trump will not honor more than two of his “first day in office” campaign promises.
- Trump will not fill judicial vacancies with more than two of the judges on his famous list.
- Trump will neither fight hard for, nor actually achieve, an effective repeal of Obamacare. He’ll simply rebrand it.
- Trump will indulge his childlike id with periodic Twitter smack talk.
- Ivanka Trump will become the éminence grise of the West Wing, taking over the role played by Valerie Jarrett for the last eight years.
- That famous wall on our southern border will not be finished, nor will Mexico pay for it.
- Military spending, recruitment, retention, and training will finally return to necessary levels, but the stupid and wasteful procurement process (see the LCS and F-35 programs) will remain broken.
- Russia will run circles around Trump, most likely involving incursions by “Little Green Men” in Ukraine and the Baltics.
- America’s special relationship with the UK will experience a renaissance.
- U-3 unemployment will rise alarmingly as vengeful bureaucrats at the Bureau of Labor Statistics stop hiding the unemployed by calling them “discouraged workers” and instead calling them what they are: unemployed.
- Budget deficits will continue for all four years of Trump’s term.
- Entitlement spending will continue to bloat far beyond the point of sustainability.
- Inflation will finally bite America in the ass, as the Federal Reserve finally loses its ability to artificially hold interest rates down.
- Interest payments on the national debt will become a red hot topic.
- An Article V convention will convene, propose a balanced budget amendment, and send it to the States for ratification.
- A viable third party will arise, focusing on libertarian and conservative principles.
- Gun rights will gain ground, probably with the enactment of the Hearing Protection Act, nationwide concealed carry reciprocity, and a further rollback of parts of the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968.
- Racial unrest will continue to grow, thanks to the continued work of Barack Obama’s army of professional race baiters.
- The Armed Forces will unfortunately continue to allow open homosexuals to serve, but will quietly reverse the policy allowing women in close combat.
- Sanctuary cities will lose their federal funding.
- Trump will continue his feud with the Intelligence Community, until they metaphorically shiv him for all to see. From then on, they’ll maintain an uneasy truce.
- Trump will disavow the Iran nuclear deal, but it will be too late to stop the mullahs from going nuclear. When Iran tests a nuke, Saudi Arabia will immediately begin developing its own to deter the mullahs.
- Somewhere there will be another Beslan-like school massacre. If it happens in America, there will finally be a real backlash against muslims.
- No cabinet-level departments or agencies will be abolished. Fewer than six token agencies like the National Endowment for The Arts or the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will be abolished or privatized.
- Planned Parenthood and all other abortion mills will lose their federal funding, but abortion on demand will remain legal.
- The abortion rate will continue its slow decline.
- The violent crime rate and the gun crime rate will both tick upward, and gun purchases will taper off and hit a plateau.
- A major recession will hit. If it occurs before Election Day on 2018, Democrats will gain seats in both the House and the Senate.
- Trump will not move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
- Congressional Democrats will continue to attack Trump until they realize that they’re driving him toward conservatives. Then they’ll shift gears and try to coopt him instead.
- Trump will back out of TPP and try to back out of NAFTA (unsuccessfully).
- Trump will push Congress to impose tariffs on countries and products he dislikes. None will be enacted.
Beyond this, I won’t predict much. Expect chaos, incoherence, contradictory statements, lies, obsession with trivial matters, and a continued leftward slide.