Predictions for 2022

Predictions for 2022 December 31, 2021

It’s New Year’s Eve!  Time to take a cup of kindness for auld lang syne!  Sing all the verses, my trusty fiere and pint-stowp!  I myself will stay home to celebrate, not because I’m locked down but because I want to watch the festivities in Times Square on TV to see if the celebrants are, as instructed, properly masked and social distancing.

As the old year dies and the new year comes crawling in, let us make our predictions for 2022, and in so doing compete for next year’s Gluten Free Award, which we gave out yesterday.

Here are the instructions from last year and the years before that:

The custom on this blog on New Year’s Day is for readers to predict what they think will happen over the course of the year ahead. Then, once the year is over, on or around the next New Year’s Eve, we will revisit those predictions and see who made the best one. . . .

The predictions can be weighty or light, serious or whimsical. Winning predictions will likely be highly specific. They tend to seem highly unlikely at the time they are made, but then, to our surprise, they happen anyway. The winning prediction makes us think, “How could anyone possibly know THAT was going to happen?”

And, yes, I am aware that we are doing this on New Year’s Eve rather than New Year’s Day, since the latter falls on Saturday this year, a blog-free day except for holiday greetings and emergencies.  I added, “Don’t be afraid to be wrong.  These are predictions, not prophecies that claim supernatural authority.  We’re not talking about  the Deuteronomy 18:21-22 principle.”

I will go first, and this time I will dispense with my ridiculous optimism that caused me to award myself the prize for the worst prediction, which I win with great frequency.  I predict that. . .

(1) Donald Trump will lose his political clout.  Yes, that was one of my idiotic predictions for last year that didn’t come true.  But I base this now on some actual developments.  Some of his most fervent supporters oppose the vaccines he gave us, and their anti-vax fervor is greater than their pro-Trump fervor.  They are already turning against him.  This schism in his base–which I intend to write about later–will keep him from running for president in 2024.  However, a new wave of Republican politicians will continue his legacy of  working-class conservatism, which will have significant appeal.

(2)  Hot wars will develop, as Russia invades Ukraine and China invades Taiwan.  The United States will do nothing.  We may be polarized, but one pole is pacifist and the other pole is isolationist, so we will avoid all military engagements.  Without the threat of American deterrence,  countries will realize that they have to defend themselves.  Without America as peacemaker, there will be no peace.

(3)  Inspired and encouraged by the Taliban victory in Afghanistan and the perception of American weakness, Islamic terrorism will blossom again.  This will mean a major attack in the United States.

(4)  In the midterm elections, Republicans will take back both the House and the Senate.  With a divided government, all checked and balanced, politicians will have to either work together or get nothing done.  Either way will be better for the country.

So what do you think will happen in the year ahead? Will Roe v. Wade get overturned?  Will cryptocurrency still be around, and, if so, what do you think a Bitcoin will be worth?  Will Big Tech get broken up?  What will happen with COVID?  To what extent will playing video games replace physical sports?  Will we all get sucked into the Metaverse, never to be seen again?

Post your predictions in the comments, and we will revisit them next year.

 

Image by Marco Verch via Flickr, CC 2.0 [no changes]

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