Yesterday we looked at our predictions for 2015. Today we give our predictions for 2016. What do you think will happen in the year ahead?
To win our annual blog contest for best prediction, make your prediction as specific as possible. For example, our recent winner, Joe, didn’t just say that we’d have an oversupply of oil or that the price of oil would come down. He said that the price of oil would drop to $35 per barrel. Also, the predictions that stand out the most are those that seemed at the time to be unlikely, and yet, they come to pass. When Joe made his prediction exactly a year ago, oil was going for $60.
This can be a salutary exercise in any event, whether you win or even enter our contest. This is an election year, which promises extra drama. (Who will be the nominees? Can the Republican party prevent Donald Trump from being its standard bearer? Can any of these candidates beat Hillary Clinton? If so, who?) I’ll make a few predictions of my own after the jump.1. I don’t think Donald Trump will get the Republican nomination. Primaries and caucuses favor more conventionally-connected candidates. Independents and people who are outraged at the political parties tend not to turn out to vote. Besides, even if Trump wins lots of delegates, the Republican party will do anything to stop him (expel him from the party, refuse to seat his delegates, appoint lots of extra super-delegates from the party establishment to balance out his votes). If that happens, Trump will repudiate his latest promise and run as a third party candidate, but the Republican establishment will keep him off the ballot in most states, so he won’t be much of a factor.
2. If the Republicans nominate Marco Rubio, he will beat Hillary Clinton. The problem with Ted Cruz as a candidate is that the American public, which elected Barack Obama twice, is not all that conservative. Then again, American voters tend to not be all that ideological, so conservatism is not necessarily a negative. They will vote for the person they consider more “likeable.” By that standard, they will be turned off by Cruz and attracted to Rubio over Clinton. The biggest reason they will vote for Rubio, though, is that Americans crave a change, a new beginning, a Kennedyesque revival of national confidence. This will cause them to pick the youthful, energetic Rubio over replays of the past, whether a Bush in the primaries or a Clinton in the general election.3. When something becomes a laughing-stock and is ridiculed from all sides, it will generally change. So I think higher education will start to get its house in order, reacting against the trigger warnings, Stalinist speech codes, sensitivity posturing, and anti-intellectualism. Also, high costs for hardly any actual education.
4. I’m curious what will happen with gay marriage. Now that gays have the right to get married and the social approval this signals, my sense is that very few of them will actually exercise that right. I think the different components of the LBGT will start to come apart. The notion that gender identity is a choice doesn’t sit well with the notion that sexual preference is innate. Gender dysphoria is reaching the absurdities mentioned in #3, so I think the transgender movement–which also infuriates feminists–will fade and be recognized, again, as a psychological problem.
5. I do think polygamy will be legalized. Add to the precedents of the gay marriage ruling the religious freedom claims of Muslims, and I can’t see any way to stop it. After all, when Muslim immigrants come to this country, and the man of the family has three wives, what is to be done about them?