The year 2020, with 20/20 hindsight in 2021, will quickly be seen as a transformative year in American and world history.
There are such differing visions in the world right now on issues such as climate change, globalization, how to deal with massive refugee issues, whether to placate or challenge dictators.
We don’t know whether we are caught in the moment of a worldwide weakening of democracy or just a passing fad. It is impossible to predict the course of events.
The New Year will see which vision will emerge to shape the future and how all these issues will be resolved or not.
The Latin phrase “quo vadis” covers it. "Whither goes thou" in other words. Where will America and the world be on January 1, 2021?
Will the drift to the hard right continue in Europe? Will an Irish election bring forth a clear result or a muddled picture on which way the future looks?
Will Brexit be an eccentric oddity far back in the rearview mirror, or an ever-present crisis in British relations with Europe, Ireland and indeed the rest of the world?
In Northern Ireland, will a border poll be seen as inevitable by year’s end or will the detractors of such a referendum be able to kick it far down the road? Will Scotland be on its way to its own border poll and possible independence?
Will crackpot dictators like Kim Jong-un grasp the international spotlight he so dearly loves and threaten the world with more intercontinental missile launches, swatting aside Donald Trump’s efforts at diplomacy?
But of course, the most telling 2020 question of all is who will stride forth onto the balustrade at the Capitol Building in Washington on January 20, 2021 (just 56 weeks away from the time of writing), and be the next President of the United States?
The profundity of that moment should be lost on no one. Like Robert Frost’s path about the road not taken, there will be no going back.
If Trump gets re-elected then I believe America will have taken a profound turn for the worse for the foreseeable future.
Let’s face it, Trump has not drained the swamp. Rather he has expanded it into almost every branch of government, mainstream and social media.
He has staffed his government with mediocre sycophants and out of their depth family members in the main, launched a war on the free press, openly flirts with white racist groups, swung the Supreme Court radically to the right, and dominated and destroyed anyone or anything that gets in his way.
Still unknown is the source of his absurd fealty to Russian despot Vladimir Putin which may be the biggest story of all.
Will America hold its nose and vote him in again? If so he will have survived impeachment and become unstoppable, capable of doing anything in a second term.
Despite all the gloom and the pre-sentiments that he will be re-elected, I think he won’t be. I believe his all-out war on everyone and everything that opposes him will come home to roost, and his inability to appeal to the better angels of America’s nature will eventually destroy him. Americans will want a healer by 2021, not a constant divider.
So here’s my prediction. I see Joe Biden being sworn in on January 2021, a man capable of healing, a man of great dignity, and most of all one familiar with the levers of power to right all that has gone wrong.
I see someone like Senator Amy Klobuchar as his vice president, finally admitting women into the most exclusive inner sanctum in the world.
I see a long nightmare over for believers in American democracy and goodness.
Happy 2020 everyone.
Do you have any predictions for 2020? Let us know in the comment section below.