Eyes on 2019: Trump Falls, Democrats Rise,  Tensions With China Escalate

CHANNELING THE NEW YEAR--2019 will be one of the most volatile years in recent history, in more ways than one. So, what will happen? (Photos at top: From top left: Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Robert Mueller, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin (AP) 

In 2018, many of our predictions came true. So, to continue this tradition started by Rantt’s Foreign Affairs Editor Jossif Ezekilov, here are predictions for 2019 from some of us here at Rantt Media (all of which came from a discussion in our newsroom Slack chat, which you can sign up and join here):

What Will Happen To Trump And The GOP In 2019?

  • “The sobering of the GOP: The Party isn’t over, but the party is over and now is the time to cure the hangover. Republicans will moderate and Trump will be treated like the person still trying to rage the morning after, that everyone just wants to shut up and go away. Impeachment proceedings will begin in the House, and Trump will resign, like Nixon, when he gets whiff that his cohorts in the Senate are no longer willing to protect him. Trump’s resignation will be preceded by news that he’s going to be primaried by several contenders.” – Rantt Co-Founder and CEO Zak Ali (ZA)
  • “President Trump’s behavior will grow increasingly unhinged as the numerous investigations probing his lifetime of corruption continues to consume his administration. Special Counsel Robert Meuller’s report on the potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia and obstruction of justice will shake the political world, as all the reported evidence of collusion is corroborated and new details shock the nation. It will be confirmed that there was a quid pro quo between the campaign and Russia that included Trump Tower Moscow, sanctions relief, and the presidency. These revelations will put the GOP in a difficult position, as Trump’s approval rating continues to tank due to stock market losses and economic uncertainty and the Republican base continues to shrink. Meanwhile, Mueller might be the least of Trump’s worries while the New York investigations and the Democratically-controlled Ways and Means and Intelligence Committees make Trump’s life a living hell (oh, and we will see his tax returns). Meanwhile, as court rulings continue to strike down his unlawful domestic policies, Trump will lash out with the one area he has the most autonomy over: foreign policy.” – Rantt Co-Founder and COO/Editor-in-Chief Ahmed Baba (AB) 
  • “The party of Trump: With the President’s unhinged tantrums growing more volatile by the day, it’s going to become near impossible for moderate Republicans to separate themselves from his dangerous policies. With a growing humanitarian crisis at the border, and an administration determined to codify xenophobia into law, 2019 is likely going to be a test of where every Republican’s line is, with their constituents filing this information away to take to the ballot box in upcoming years. Expect more Congressional Republicans who have dreams of higher offices to pull a Jeff Flake – the question is whether they’ll have the gall to take this pushback off Twitter and into the real playing field.” – Rantt Managing Editor Remy Carreiro (RC)

What Will Happen To The World In 2019?

  • “2019 will bring a host of tumultuousness on many fronts. There will be trouble on the economic front as the economies of the US and China slow down; Brexit and Italy’s debt crisis plague the EU; and the fiscal troubles of Brazil, Argentina and, to a lesser extent, Iran impact other emerging markets. The US-China trade war will get worse as Trump tries to divert attention from domestic issues by making China enemy #1.” – Rantt Foreign Affairs Editor Jossif Ezekilov (JE) 
  • “A serious foreign policy crisis will test Trump and he will fail: The external foreign policy crisis that so many have feared will come in 2019. It may come in the form of terrorism. It may be a full-scale invasion of Ukraine or a Turkish slaughter of the Kurds. It could be in the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula or the Strait of Hormuz, but it is coming. After two years of domestic turmoil, America’s enemies see the chaos as an opportunity. Alliances have been weakened, authoritarians have been emboldened and the one cabinet secretary with the semblance of bipartisan (and European) support is gone. All of the guardrails are gone except one: the new Democratic House. The post-World War 2 order is collapsing and those with a vested interest in snuffing it out will find the opportunity to kill it too good resist. They couldn’t have dreamed of a better ally than Donald J. Trump. This is what keeps me up at night.” – Rantt Co-Founder And Newsroom Director Adam Al-Ali 
  • “A world being strangled by Dunning-Krueger: Continued automation and climate change will trigger more economic and political instability in 2019 as many of the world’s leaders continue to refuse to understand the issues, much less try to solve them. The leaders that do get it, govern countries which lack sufficient political sway and economic reserves to really make a global difference. While American wealth, superpower status, and deep understanding of science and technology would’ve made it an ideal world leader for post-industrial transitions and guarantor of security for failing states that would topple under the stress of climate change, the Trump administration is doing the exact opposite of what needs to be done at every front.” – Rantt CIO And Politech Editor Greg Fish (GF) 
  • “It will be a big election year, as more than a third of the global population will go to the polls. There will be elections in countries such as India, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa, and Ukraine, among others, as well as EU parliamentary elections. 2019 will, therefore, serve as a major gauge for how much the world appreciates democracy and multilateralism. If voters choose more autocrats and jingoistic populists, nationalism, and isolationism will become further entrenched and begin to strain global institutions.” – JE 
  • “China will continue to try and extend their global influence by making efforts to complete their Asain Trade Pact, which was made possible by President Trump leaving the TPP. As Secretary of Defense James Mattis touched on in his resignation letter, this will be one of the key global threats moving forward. China will try and provide economic incentives to participating countries in their pact if they subscribe to their authoritarian worldview.” – AB 
  • “Expect more authoritarianism, more flirtations with fascism and other regressive ideologies driven by nostalgic populations who want to turn back the clock and don’t want to hear about their inability to do so, and don’t be surprised if the global migrant and refugee crises continue. As long as the world’s leaders ignore experts and twiddle their thumbs while the world burns, it would be intellectual malpractice to offer a prognosis that is anything but grim. This is especially true as recessions seem to be in the works in both China and the United States for Q2 or Q3 of next year.” – GF 
  • “As if there weren’t enough issues to deal with. Resolutions may be forthcoming in the wars in Yemen and Syria, but Western ambivalence will sadly make the human death tolls dire. Global worry may turn to the crisis in the DRC, already an area of major humanitarian need, especially if elections turn out sketchy. Autocrats – particularly those in Russia, Turkey, and China – will ratchet up repression of ethnic and political opposition in their respective countries and will face little resistance. Progress on denuclearization will be unlikely, with Trump content to claim victory with North Korea, and Putin keen on ramping up Russia’s military capabilities. There will be more urgency on the climate change front, however; 2019 will mark a shift in the political sphere whereby governments will be judged on their climate mitigation efforts on equal footing with their social and economic policies.” – JE

What Will Happen To The Democratic Party In 2019?

  • “This isn’t your grandpa’s freshman class: Much like 1992, when record-breaking numbers of women ran and were elected to Congress, the 2018 midterms were full of historic firsts. From the first Muslim women elected to Congress (Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib) to the first openly bisexual Senator (Kyrsten Sinema), the incoming Congressional class is already breaking down doors. Expect an impassioned push for certain progressive policies right out of the gate, with sure to be elected Speaker Pelosi leading the charge. Climate change and voting rights are likely to take an early spotlight – but with regard to the Russia investigation, pay attention to Rep. Adam Schiff, slated to become the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, as he’s been keeping a close watch on the President’s shady financial dealings.” – RC
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  • “An unnecessary trade war, tax cuts, and an impulsive president who operates off his gut alone will barrel us toward a recession at the end of 2019. This sudden economic downturn will destroy Trump’s cornerstone “achievement” and propel the Democratic candidate (Kamala Harris?) in 2020 to victory.” – ZA
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  • “The Democratic Party will take advantage of the chaos President Trump is causing by reminding Americans what decent leadership looks like. While bogging him down in investigations, they will put forward bold progressive policies in the House, even if they know they will fail in the Senate (while McConnell is laser-focused on confirming conservative judges.) This will show the Dem base that their representatives are fighting for them and further bolster enthusiasm ahead of 2020. By the end of 2019, it’ll become clear that the main contest in the Democratic primary will be between Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke.” – AB

What Will Happen In The Media In 2019?

  • “Swinging for the fences: Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingram will no longer have a job by the end of 2019, and Sean Hannity’s show will be sandwiched by two moderate voices.” – ZA
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  • “2020 is the new 2019: Gird your loins, the 2020 election hot takes aren’t just on their way – they’re already here. I know, I’m exhausted too. Call me an optimist, but come New Year’s Eve, I’ll be cheering to the hope that we learned literally anything from 2016. (If the current coverage is anything to go by, we haven’t – but a girl can dream).” – RC
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  • “The media, who has largely improved since their horrible coverage in the 2016 election, will still at times fall into their worst instincts when covering the Democratic House. You can already see hints of it in their questions about potential “overreaching” on the part of the Democrats. This will have the effect of bolstering Trump’s narrative of “presidential harassment” for his base. It will be a bad faith attempt to appear objective and devoid of all context related to the unprecedented corrupt conduct of President Trump. What they will call “overreaching” is actually called checks and balances from a coequal branch of government.” – AB

BONUS:

  • 2019 doesn’t give us too many big sporting events to tune into, except for the basketball and rugby world cups. We will conservatively pick the US in basketball (no major tournament loss since 2006) and New Zealand in rugby (three-time champions) to take the respective top spots.” – JE

(Eye on the Future as seen through the Rant Christal Ball.)