by Duane Norman, Free Market Shooter
With the midterm elections over, the never-ending US election cycle has already moved on to the 2020 Presidential elections. And President Trump is anything but a sure thing to win, as FMShooter has previously pointed out:
Comparing the 2018 results with the 2016 Presidential election results will leave anyone who wants to see a Trump win a little worried. Trump will need to capture one of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, without losing Ohio or Florida, to retain the Presidency. If those states stay blue and the rest of the map holds, this will result in a loss:
Whether it happens in 2020 or 2024, Trump will almost certainly be replaced at the ballot box by a Democrat. And while many have speculated on who will represent the DNC on the Presidential ticket, few have considered what an incoming Democrat president could accomplish, whenever the political pendulum swings the other way. With that said…
What would be more dangerous for the country – a Democrat Presidential win in 2020, or one in 2024?
It is hard to even project two years into the future, much less six, especially when it remains difficult to even speculate on who will face Trump in 2020. The wagering markets at Betfair and Predictit favor the likes of Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and plenty of other establishment names. None are particularly strong, and all could be expected to fit a globalist agenda that wouldn’t be too different from nearly all of the post-Eisenhower Presidents.
However, Trump himself may have changed the political landscape significantly enough to allow another “independent” candidate to co-opt the DNC ticket. Michael Bloomberg and Mark Cuban are the most likely to succeed here – and Cuban is likable and business-saavy enough to capture a great deal of the Trump vote. While Bloomberg could be a tyrannical disaster in the mold of Raymond Cocteau, Cuban could turn out to be a Democratic version of Trump, assuming the DNC didn’t co-opt his platform too much.
Whoever it is, a Trump loss in 2020 may very well coincide with a market and/or economic catastrophe. Trump has been gloating continuously with every new market high and good data print. The “everything bubble” has been reinflated courtesy of QE, ZIRP, Operation Twist, and a number of other fiscal and monetary policies that generated a lot of cheap money – which flowed right back into the hands of the same bankers and politicians who caused the last calamity.
The crash that enabled the rise of eight years of Obama policies could end up being an eerie foreshadowing of what is to come for Trump, whether it is in 2020 or 2024.
If Trump manages to win in 2020, he is all but assured to preside over an economic and/or debt collapse. Trump could capitalize on the situation politically, assigning blame to the politicians, deep state, and corporate cabal that has been the catalyst of the past crashes. Or it could consume his second term, perhaps to the point where he is forced to resign.
A weak economy led to eight years of George W. Bush, and the 2008 crisis led to eight years of Obama. Eight years of Trump and an estimated debt at least $30 trillion (not counting unfunded liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare) could bring about wholesale changes to the country’s government, and they could easily be socialist and draconian in nature. Given current demographic trends, kicking the Democrat can to 2024 could prove disastrous, as the party could have sole control over every branch of government, as John Wilder points out:
If every future election has a foregone conclusion, that leaves the President as a single party leader of the Left. And in Washington D.C. the Left has been consistently more disciplined on voting, though they do tend to form circular firing squads on policy. Given the thin Senate majority now, another decade of demographic change might allow truly uniform and consolidated power as all legislative bodies are captured along with the Presidency.
And at that point the United States is a de facto single party state, with a minority party that is just for show. A list of single party states that look like this includes such human rights wonders and great vacation spots as Turkey, South Africa, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. I mean, who wouldn’t love to live in those places?
A globalist/establishment 2020 Democrat President in the mold of Theresa May/Emmanuel Macron/Angela Merkel could bring the country to the point of a similar level of populist anger to allow a fiscal conservative and/or nationalist to win in 2024, but a lot of that would hinge on the economy’s performance.
For all we know, Trump policy could successfully kick the can forward another two years before losing in 2020, leaving a Democrat President holding the bag.
Everyone expected the market to nose-dive even in 2016 after a seven-year bull run – and yet here we are, almost three years later, with the market up 19% since Trump took office (factoring in the 12/4/2018 3+% nose-dive). Even with signs of slowdown, the market could fall substantially and still need to go a lot further before Trump starts to wear egg on his face.
A 2020 Democrat could potentially preside over a downturn that would leave Trump saying “I told you so” – while simultaneously ushering in nationalist GOP replacement in 2024. But that seems to be the rosiest of scenarios. While most assume that the country could be divided enough to enable a full-on socialist to take power in 2024, demographics might already make that a foregone conclusion for the country, with a 2020 win giving them a four-year head start to implement a swarm of leftist policies.
While it should be easy to say eight years of Trump would enable a more dangerous leftist leader in 2024, political trends and a faltering economy could cement left-leaning leadership anyway. As is the dilemma with projecting anything out too far into the future, the answer is not as simple as it seems.