Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Predictions for the Next Twenty Years

Tyler Cowen:
American politics will return to the precedent of the 19th century. Then, there was lots of fake news; partisanship was extreme; the media was very biased; Americans reacted politically with extreme emotions and all debates seemed to be full of rancor and bitterness. So in some fundamental ways, this country has not changed. We had a break from that state of affairs in the 20th century because we had the major enemies of the Nazis and then the Soviets. But as those enemies disappeared, we’re fighting among ourselves more, and the nation will go back to an earlier version of its politics, which were highly dysfunctional. You had plenty of people becoming president who probably should not have been.

I don’t see any evidence that we’re headed toward anything like a civil war. Today is a more peaceful era. If you look at polls, you see a generalized loss of trust in many institutions, but the No. 1 clear winner by far is still the military. Police tactics have much improved over the past few decades. The riots of the 1960s are very, very far away. The fighting will stay on social media. The happy people will be those who turn off their smartphones or who don’t put Twitter on them and who just go about living their lives.
This, incidentally, is exactly the prediction I would make, which makes me suspect it is conventional wisdom ripe for overturning by some radical new development.

1 comment:

David said...

FWIW, I can imagine a situation in which the establishment wings of both parties reassert control, especially if Trump loses in 2020 to one of the less-woke Democrats. A half-dozen or so years of normalcy could ensue.

On the other hand, if Trump wins in 2020 using the same approach he did in 2016, things could get pretty fierce indeed.

If Trump is impeached, I could see some millions of his followers becoming obsessed with feelings of injustice and victimization that could explode in a few years time in a very bad way. The same could happen if Trump loses in 2020 and then, say, an economic downturn follows.