a reply to: Gryphon66
There are a few important factors:
1. The economy. Right now Trump is riding a wave of good feeling about the economy. I could go on about how the perception of the economy among his
base isn't actually tied to reality given the difference in their opinions of the economy on January 19th and January 21st of 2017 but it's pointless
and mostly irrelevant. They see it how they see it and that's pretty much that.
If the economy doesn't take a downward turn, that's a boost he'll continue to enjoy. If it falters dramatically, he's toast. There's one certainty
here. Sooner or later, the economy will contract. It's only a matter of time and there's only so much a President can actually do about it because
there are factors that are well beyond his control.
2. North Korea. Trump has declared that NK is no longer a nuclear threat. Considering that we've had similar (and in fact more concrete) assurances
times (if anyone doubts that, check here
), that's a pretty bold bet. What he
has going for him (aside from being CiC of the world's greatest military force and President of the country with the largest economy) is a potentially
unique relationship with NK's two biggest benefactors.
I would also say that Kim Jong Un is a bit of a wildcard in that he was educated in the West and seems to be something of a junkie for certain aspects
of Western culture (like movies and basketball). He's also very young.
I could argue about how right-wingers did a 180 on meeting with dictators for Trump, how the NK regime is horrible, how the best we can hope for is a
deal similar to the Iran deal that Trump tossed out and how in the long term, we've legitimized a dictator. Again, that's all mostly moot. Trump
supporters see this as the greatest thing ever, whether or not NK is making a real turn could take years to gauge and there's going to be midterms
soon and then another presidential election.
If Pompeo hammers out a deal with NK to denuclearize, it's going to be a big boost to Trump come re-election. On the other hand, if no deal is made or
NK is caught in violation of a deal, Trump is going to take a big hit.
Their best bet is to draw on the many many many past negotiations and just implement a plan from one of those. That's a quick turn around and there's
no reason to reinvent the wheel. (assuming NK isn't jerking Trump's chain) I think there's a decent chance of something getting worked out here.
3. The mid-term elections. If Republicans lose one or both houses of Congress, Trump is going to have to play ball with Democrats to get anything at
all done that he can't do all by himself with his mighty pen. (e.g. change DOJ policy like the Obama admin did for pot and DREAMers)
He'll of course rant and rave about Democrat obstruction. And there will be obstruction just like there was by the GOP under Obama. That could go
either way come the presidential election. Donald Trump excels at messaging to the self-aggrieved.
It's also possible that the GOP retains control of course.
4. Our allies. Let's face it. Merkle, Macron and Trudeau hate Trump. I don't know how Canadians are feeling about us right now but recent polls
suggest the Germans don't see us as reliable. I assume the same is probably true of the French. May doesn't seem too taken with Trump despite early
indications that she would be. But there's clearly a good deal of support for Trump on the right in the UK though he's also clearly afraid of going
there and being met with a bunch of protesters. It be interesting to get some new polling data. As far as the G7 goes, Trump does seem to have a good
relationship with Abe. Will our allies band together against bullying from Trump? If they do, how would they do it? Would it be effective?
Even though Syria has been pushed out of the news cycle following the cease fire a couple months back, it's still an issue. On the one hand, that's
good for Trump. On the other, there's a powerful trend in right-wing politics in Europe that got a huge boost from the influx of Syrian refugees. As
the flow of refugees trickles and particularly, if it reverses, that's not going to be good for the Camp of the Saints invasion narrative.
That's just a few things off the top of my head. I'm no expert and even I were, I'd hesitate to try to forecast the political future too far in
advance. There's just so many variables. I don't think that Donald Trump will be impeached even if the Democrats take both houses of Congress. I
expect that unless they kill the Mueller investigation, there will be indictments re: the hacking. Which is going to be a wrinkle for Trump's clear
desire to be besties with Putin. So that could be interesting.
Whatever the case, I'm sure we'll survive Trump. What concerns me is will the parties decide that Trump's style is something to pattern.