Wow, 2016 was something else, wasn’t it? If you had predicted a year ago that not only would Donald Trump be the president-elect, but Hillary Clinton would lose, you would’ve been institutionalized. Beyond politics, and perhaps more amazing than the election, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. One for the books.
But rather than take a last look into the rearview mirror, how about we peer through the windshield into 2017?
A lot of things should change in the next 12 months. But many things will stay the same. Some may even be same-er.
What won’t change?
First of all, Democrats will not work with Republicans. Well, OK, they won’t work with Republicans who are working with anyone named Trump. For all the cries of “obstruction” over the last eight years, Democrats will be glaciers in 2017.
Expect many Trump appointments, even innocuous undersecretaries, to garner zero Democratic votes. Judicial nominees? Forget about it.
This won’t be reported as obstruction. Most will pass anyway, thanks to Democrats’ arrogance and shortsightedness in changing Senate rules, but the attitude will remain. Stiffen, actually. Their Zax-like state will be lauded by the media as courage.
That’s not exactly winning lottery numbers-level soothsaying; Democrats will remain Democrats, and the media will continue to run interference for them. But it will continue to work less in 2017.
The symbiotic relationship between Democrats and the media will endure falling patronage, layoffs and further exposure. So intertwined are they that the idea of one living without the other is as foreign as either’s honesty. And both will be intimately involved in the rediscovery of issues that used to dominate both.
One theme of 2016 that did ring true was the idea of the “forgotten man.” While Democrats lectured Americans about the pressing need for people to use whichever bathroom they desired at any given moment, the American people were hurting. The un-and-underemployed – the middle class – were hurting. Rather than address the issues they cared about, Democrats concerned themselves with making sure Christian bakers made cakes for gay weddings.
This disregarded and belittled swath of the American public suddenly will be remembered by Democrats in 2017. Not in an honest way – just enough to fool people into forgetting they’d been ignored for so long.
Expect deep profiles and emotional packages on Midwestern families struggling to make ends meet. Be prepared to learn, as we did during the Bush administration, about how full-time jobs are being replaced by part-time work, as well as in-depth discussions about the “quality” of jobs being created. These will become staples of media reports and Democrats’ speeches for at least the next four years.
Homelessness also will return to the media’s consciousness. It’s been largely ignored during the Obama years, but it’s hard to drive through any major downtown area without coming across a shantytown or tent city. Beggars and junkies accost those stuck at red lights with increased regularity. They didn’t matter under Barack Obama, so there was no purpose to be served by reporting on them. They’re about to matter again.
Drug users again will have the compassionate light of the media shone their way. We’ll read a lot about the surge in addiction, but the media will ignore the impact of the commutation of hundreds of drug dealers’ prison sentences by the current president.
The deficit and national debt will become a thing again. Unlike when President Obama doubled the deficit in 2009 with a “stimulus” bill he charged to fiscal year 2008 so he could blame President Bush (a scam with which the media readily complied), cautionary tales of astronomical numbers once again will flow from the mouths of news anchors.
After years of giving President Obama credit for “reducing” a deficit he tripled first, journalists will become hawks on the issue. But they’ll say and write little about Obama amassing more debt than all previous presidents combined.
The “forgotten man” and the ignored issues suddenly will return to being fashionable in 2017. Concerns of executive power overreach and anxieties about separation of powers will be all the left-wing rage. There might even be an anti-war movement again.
All that was ignored, glossed over or swept under the rug will be the prism through which nearly everything will be framed in the next four years. As we start 2017, just 20 days from the Trump presidency, everything is going to change…by returning to how it’s always been.