A friend of mine predicts massive political battles that will have negative impacts for a generation. I cannot disagree with him.
Both conservatives and progressives have decided to double down and dig in their heels. The prevailing mindset is “that’s not what we want” and “we want to win it all”.
Those of us who have worked for steady and smooth societal developments and transitions (in my case, within the GOP) face deaf ears. Here are broad thoughts as we work to save America from herself over the next four years.
- Best case scenario: he could exemplify the idea that “it takes Nixon to go to China”, implementing principled reforms and constructive policies such as the ban on appointees from lobbying after they leave his Administration.
- He could effect through his brilliant use of the issues a political realignment where the GOP retains the non-college educated Caucasian voters that supported his election. Such a realignment could slow down the Democratic advantages that are expected to come from demographic changes.
- His political and management styles could lead to continued fierce political battles and national and international mistakes and crises.
- Congressional and judicial checks and balances restrain or head off the most aggressive initiatives.
- The Political Parties
- Being in control of all three branches of the federal government and the majority of the state governments, the GOP will be seen as being overall responsible for the state of America over at least the next two years – meaning that after campaigning to be given free rein to lead America, the GOP now has to produce responsible and effective results.
- The Democrats have the challenge of organizing and activating their supporters without burning them out over the numerous issues likely to ignite; proffering reasonable and appealing alternative public policies; and, positioning themselves as more suitable to govern without allowing their more aggressive natures to be shrill and disaffecting to voters.
- Though the party holding the White House normally loses seats in mid-term elections, as the 2016 presidential election was very close and competitive; realignment dynamics uncertain; and, Republican success over the next two years difficult to predict, the mid-term elections could be uncertain of success for the Democrats. (Note that we have yet to ascertain whether the unexceptional Democratic gains in Congress from the 2016 election was due to increased favorability for the GOP, lower turnout among Democratic constituencies or swing voters wanting to balance an assumed Clinton presidency with a Republican Congress.)
As with the 2016 election, unpredictability.