by John Ward
Who winds up in the White House two years from now is likely to be an infinitely more significant outcome than the state of Brexit…which will no doubt still be in the air by then. One can never discount the importance of an unexpected Something Else with such issues. But drilling into the data, my view today is that Donald Trump will very likely be re-elected.
Just a quick opener to take note of the fact that May and several ministers now face a charge of contempt for Parliament, a leaked copy of the full Withdrawal Agreement shows the depths of May mendacity, and Macron (a man whose own city is the prisoner of migrants and demonstrators at the moment) wants the “Final” deal to demand the UK sticks to EU climate control targets.
I have nothing to add to the things I have written since November 19th:
‘I think the time has come to ditch the Daft Stubborn Bint interpretation, and look for another (far more unpleasant) analysis that starts from a different assumption: that the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been stripped of her power in a silent coup….It’s important that everyone reading the above fully understands the nature of [Olly Robbins]. He is an EU federalist zealot, a security services censor, and an insolent élite functionary who readily misleads and ignores the democratic process….There’s one thing in Mrs May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement we’re overlooking . It is not the beginning of the end of Britain being bullied by Brussels, it’s merely the end of the beginning.’
Onto things of much greater importance. U.S. stocks rose yesterday after U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to what CNBC calls “a 90-day ceasefire in the trade war” between the US and China. Every now and then, the mercantile globalists make a Freudian slip. But in fact, CNBC misspoke: the actual document says both sides will “stop the escalation” of the trade war for 90 days.
That’s not a ceasefire: it’s an agreement to keep the mutual bombardment at its current level. But The Donald is being as canny as ever. He has once again proved that issuing a release saying “deaths from plague stop rising” is worth 250 points on the Dow….and a nice little surge on the Asian markets overnight. At some point (probably in the early Spring of 2020) President Trump will finalise the deal with maximum fanfare, thus giving the NYSE one final Feelgood surge….and get reelected.
There are four things that could stop that happening. First, the Democrats could get their act together, work harder on the black vote, and come up with a dramatic alternative in terms of policies and a refreshingly different candidate. Yeh, right.
Second, one or more events could trigger the now long overdue stock market correction. This would require the Alt State to take a decision that getting rid of Trump was more important than greed; or a cataclysm in Europe or Asia beyond its control; or a middle eastern escalation leading to an oil crisis.
Third, one of Trump’s many misdemeanours finally catches up with him, and the resultant scandal blows him out of the White House. Mueller et al have been promising big revelations for two years now, but anything substantive remains firmly in the Tomorrow file.
And fourth, something else.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of Something Else: history is shaped by the curved ball from left field. An archduke is unexpectedly shot. A break-in takes place at the Watergate complex. A poll tax breaks the camel’s back. Splitting the atom produces a bomb. Rogue asteroids appear on telescopes. The list is endless.
Two months ago, Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found unexpected movements – called a “deep creep” – six miles underground near the San Andreas Fault. The creep moves in a different way than expected, and may well be the preface to what is cheerfully referred to in California as The Big One.
The biggest concern in the US after an earthquake is the cost of repairs and the damage to the economy. A Big One centred near San Francisco would cause untold damage among buildings that survived the 1906 quake….something researchers say “could easily cripple the economy for a long time”.
All very worrying, but a seismologist I rang yesterday told me, “It could be tomorrow, or 2301….we just don’t know”. I have a suspicion that in the event of such a catastrophe, a huge majority would opt to re-elect out of loyalty and in favour of continuity anyway. But it does say something, does it not, that the Democrats’ best hope for 2020 (along the San Andreas fault line of analysis) is a bloody great earthquake.
Is that really true?
A large CNN poll in October found that 46% believe Trump “will win the presidential election in 2020,” and 47% said he wouldn’t. But six months earlier, the same question had a mere 40% saying yes, with 54% saying no.
That would suggest some warming of feeling towards The Donald, but as so often in such research, the question itself is profoundly silly: ordinary citizens are not psephologists, so they just plain don’t know. Not even Bruce Springsteen knows, although yesterday he said he thought a Second Term to be “a near certainty because the Democrats just don’t have a viable candidate”. But at least Springsteen gave a sensible reason for his view, which (as it happens) coincides with mine.
A Grinnell College National Poll released yesterday suggests with slightly more insight that the President’s overall approval rating is up from 39 to 43% since September, but only 30% of those interviewed said they would ‘definitely’ vote to re-elect him. However, in the absence of anyone new from the Democratic side, I doubt if more than 40% would say they’d definitely vote against Trump. So un-pc is Donald Trump, there is in my view a lot of underclaiming about willingness to vote for him, because many perceive such a thing to be anti-social.
What no piece of research can ever measure is the importance of “mega-mood” in western electorates. The current one is, without question, heavily populist. The EU elections next year are going to show this bigtime. All Trump has to do is to repeat his positioning as the common sense bloke who can tell shit from sugar, and believes the political Left has lost the plot on socially multicultural reality. This will, I’m reasonably sure, see him home and dry.
There is one other finding above all others that makes me prepared to stick my neck out. Two thirds of Americans at the moment say they are ‘moving closer to their hopes for their personal finances’ with only a quarter feeling they are ‘moving farther away’. Now that The Donald has a friendlier Fed boss than previously, if he keeps the ship steady (and stops interest rate rises from getting out of hand) I honestly think he will walk back into the White House comfortably. Most voters shun change when they feel reasonably relaxed about their own material circumstances.
There is always the chance of Something Else happening. But it’s going to take something huge (and arguably his fault) to get a Democrat into the Presidency in 2020.
Perhaps in the end it will be a completely unexpected Hard Brexit. Hope springs eternal.