Scenarios of the Trump Era
By The TechCast Team
The surge of protests around the world following the inauguration of Donald Trump signals that women, and progressives generally, are disturbed by the new president's agenda. Many appear to have been shocked by the inauguration, and they are standing up for the human values and global community they fear are under attack. Similar conflicts with isolationist rulers are taking place in parts of the EU and other nations, so this can be seen broadly as a clash over globalization.
The protests were spontaneous, yet widespread because they were organized through ubiquitous smart phones and social media. This use of technology to promote activisim is a powerful new development. There also seems to be a sense of determination that many have compared to the protests of the 1960s and ‘70s over civil rights and the Vietnam war, suggesting that today's protests can produce change if sustained on a large scale.
Movements like this dramatize the clash of powerful political forces. Pent-up frustration on the left wing over decades of trickle-down economics and the rise of authoritarian governments is emerging into an irresistible force meeting an immoveable object. And when the object is as intransigent as Donald Trump appears to be, a massive collision is almost certain.
To help us all better understand and prepare for this nascent conflict, TechCast is expanding its study, Planning for the Trump Era, to include a series of scenarios outlining the possible outcomes and consequences of the Trump administration’s policies.
We realize that political issues are highly controversial and heated, but the Trump presidency is one of the pivotal developments of our time and urgently requires careful, objective study. Tentatively, our analysis will focus on the following three scenarios. Note that our follow-up research will dig more deeply to produce greatly improved scenarios along with probability estimates and useful recommendations.
Trump Rules President Trump inherits an economy that is extending its cycle of economic growth. Deregulation and lower taxes further boost business profits and provide gains for his supporters. As the experienced executive of a global corporation, Trump scores big successes quickly by rebuilding US infrastructure, strengthening his hold on public opinion as a leader who gets things done. This allows him to run the nation like a corporation, treating allies as good team members and punishing enemies. Trump takes credit for successes and blames scapegoats for failures, while protests are smothered under dubious counter-claims and discredited. Congress goes along, encouraging him to dismantle much of the EPA and other disliked programs. By the end of his first term, Trump has transformed the US into a more purely capitalist and authoritarian society, somewhat isolated and in slow decline.
Trump Changes Donald Trump is a brilliant strategist, and when the Congress shifts to Democratic control in 2018, he recognizes that his political survival requires a major change of course. As crises mount, his family and advisers press him to “pivot”’ toward being more traditionally presidential and cooperative. He modifies policies to appease critics, stresses the good progress he has made, and becomes more friendly, while continuing to confuse opponents with doubtful charges. The president is persuaded to yield on issuing incendiary tweets, and some opponents are even mollified by the Trump charm. Congress is pleased to see him appearing more reasonable, and Democrats approve the less controversial parts of his agenda. The US enjoys some prosperity and peace, although with occasional flare ups of political crisis and conflict.
Trump Falls The voices of protest become so persistent that they overwhelm Trump’s defenses, making his presidency untenable. The administration suppresses protests with force, causing violence to grow out of control and bringing normal life to a near halt. Enormous political pressures force Congress to work around Trump and assume effective leadership, with support from Vice President Pence and key Republicans. The rest of the world goes on while the US struggles with this constitutional crisis. Global agreements stall, and the world becomes increasingly chaotic. China becomes the dominant world power, with Russia also gaining influence. Trump resigns rather than suffer impeachment, and Congress hands power to President Pence.
Planning for the Trump Era Study
A full analysis of these scenarios will be conducted as the next round of our study, Planning for the Trump Era. The Trump Era is a crucial issue that will affect the future profoundly, so we invite your thoughts and suggestions. Please offer your ideas, advice, support, and assistance at info@TechCastGlobal.com.
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