One year later, Gonnella reflects on predictions, realizes how naive he was
About a year ago, I wrote an article in which I laid out some predictions for 2017 because that is usually what the pundits do when a new president enters office. So I decided to take a look back at my own guesses for what the first year of a Trump presidency would be like.
I suspected in December of last year that Trump’s support would leave him, the recount election wouldn’t do much and the evangelicals/alt-right would grow in popularity and become normalized in the South.
Unfortunately, I was correct in the areas I did not want to be right in and wrong on the one I wanted to be right in.
Starting from the top, I suspected that Trump support would soon bleed away. I was basing that around the idea that Trump was walking back a few of his promises. I believed not persecuting Clinton on day one of his administration would alienate his base. In addition, I held serious doubts that the infamous idea of a wall would not be an actual wall that goes across the entire length of the border.
Unfortunately I underestimated the power of easily manipulated voters in large groups. Granted, Trump is sitting well beneath fifty percent regardless of which poll you choose to look at, but he still has a rabid base of support ranging from the common person to TV personalities.
This group of supporters is a reliable attack animal that the current tenant of the White House uses to get at individuals who have the nerve to call him out or question his motives. I am fairly certain if Jesus came from the sky and spoke out against Trump, he would be labeled a radical Middle Eastern communist who has no right to be in the country.
Then there was the recount effort. Last year there was a push to have the votes of a few states recounted, with both sides playing their cards the way one would expect depending if that party won or lost the state’s popular vote. I was correct that it wouldn’t change much, but by questioning the results of the election, Trump opened up himself to his staffers’ connection with foreign agencies and governments. I try to keep up with it, but I won’t discuss it here because it is not directly a result of the recount effort led by Green Party hack Jill Stein. The recount merely offered the opening for it to be discussed.
Then, there was the matter about the evangelicals and alt-right. I expected to become more numerous and popular, with the heart of the infestation kept in the South.
I just did not imagine it growing to the extent that it has.
A group of individuals about my age, with older folks who want to be hip and popular again with their despicable beliefs, rally around the internet sharing memes that are facts in their mind and promote some of the ugliest things I have had the misfortune to witness. They embrace misogyny, racism and neo-confederates and Nazi ideals without any second thought. When confronted about it, they resort to using insults and one-liners that have no grounding in the real world and just propagate the mindlessness found in whatever passes for a brain in their skulls.
They rally around Trump because he didn’t create the racism/misogyny/hatred for the other, he just normalized it. This has spread well beyond the breeding grounds of the South northwards.
I don’t think I will be making any more guesses for next year. If anything, I would expect maybe more of the same we got from this year. Hatred of the press, hatred of immigrants, hatred of anyone who does not believe your political beliefs, hatred for people who worship differently than you do. I imagine that will be a reoccurring theme for the next year. The vocal minority will yell, “Be afraid, and do unto others before they can do unto you”.
Hopefully I am wrong. Maybe we can keep the extremists out of true power, keep them as a distraction on the periphery of our notice. I hope that is the case, but based on this year, it is wise to expect the unexpected.
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