This feels like the longest holiday ever. Americans may think that Christmas is a huge deal, but New Years is an even bigger holiday, that unlike Christmas, is celebrated globally. New Year’s eve is a huge deal in Arab countries, especially Lebanon and the UAE, in Korea, and Japan. These non-Christian countries have no conceptualization of Jesus or Christmas so they have to make up the difference by having these over-the-top New Years displays and festivities.
Regarding the last decade, one thing I and others have observed is that censorship has gotten much worse in the past 3 years under than under Obama, in which there seemed to be much more freedom of expression on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Anyone to the right of Ben Shapiro is walking on eggshells, and Trump and the Administration does not give a flip about it, and may actually support such censorship because a viable dissent conservative movement risks splitting the GOP and the overturning entrenched foreign policy and financial interests. The left knows that they can get away with this, because no one has the will/impetus to stop them. As I said months ago, when you push the left, the left pushes back, often even harder, and now you have an even worse problem than when you began. Because republicans are useless at stopping the left, it means we’re at the mercy of them whether it’s risking losing social media accounts, losing your payment processing abilities such as paypal, or being fired.
Some say 2010s was the decade of the LGBT movement, but it was really the decade of “T”. LGB rights were already mainstream and accepted for a long time. Massachusetts for excample was the fist state, in 2004, to legitimize gay marriage. It as also the decade of ‘preferred pronouns.’ But like above, this ramping up of pronouns, gender fluidity, biological sex vs. gender, and trans issues didn’t really begin in earnest until around 2016-2017. I regrettably have to blame Jordan Peterson and the IDW for some of this. When you push back against the left the left pushes back harder, and Dr. Peterson through his massively viral videos and media exposure suddenly raised a ton of awareness about these issues, which ultimately worked in the left’s favor, by demanding that employers and institutions adhere to unconventional pronoun usage, and many people who in the past would have otherwise never considered requesting that they be called by different pronouns, are now wanting exceptions. Same for Joe Rogan, who I think inadvertently contributed to this problem by trying to fight it, largely due to his massive popularity, which has exploded in the past three years. Until 2016, he was just an ‘MMA guy’ and occasional comic, but now he’s become a voice of America.
The downside of fighting the culture wars is, unless you win (which the right has shown to be terrible at), you can lose ground by creating a more powerful and emboldened adversary.
We have ended up in a situation, right now, of an intensification of the culture wars online and offline and a more entrenched, extreme, and powerful far-left, with no resolution in sight. Yet this is juxtaposed with unprecedented geopolitical and economic calm and stability in America even as Americans are angrier and more divided than ever (especially online). In many foreign countries such as Italy, Turkey, Brazil, Spain, Chile, etc., such political division an angst is actually economically destabilizing and manifests in actual physical unrest and instability.
The last decade saw the longest contiguous economic expansion and bull market ever, at 10 years and counting, and I predict it has at least 8 more years. It is amazing how from the depths of the worst financial crisis in generations, when many in the media were certain capitalism was dead or dying, that from such despondency arose the biggest economic expansion and wealth creation boom in recent history. As South America and Middle East deals with corruption, high inflation, and unrest, and Europe deals with Muslim migrants and the emasculated policy that enables it, America continues to pull ahead of the rest of the world. Same for China, which like America is also pulling ahead and is bigger and more powerful than ever, I expect these trends to continue.
I think the past decade can be broken into the three segments or phases: 2010-2013, 2013-2016, and 2016-2019. The first third was still the recovery phase following the financial crisis, and also the rise of Obama and OWS. Things were somewhat stagnant back then, and the left was more powerful online than now, and discourse online seemed much more civil. The left also had major legal wins such as the overturning of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Obamacare, and overturning of DOMA. The second phase was the transition between the first and the third, and saw the groundwork be laid for the rise of Trump, such as increased backlash against immigration and liberalism online (the rise of Gamergate and the SJW-backlash). The third is the acceleration phase in which everything–American economic and foreign policy dominance, Silicon Valley tech dominance, stock market gains, economic growth, partisanship, wealth creation, liberalism, etc.–goes into overdrive. Trump made the left more insane and has been unable/unwilling to do anything about it. And even after winning back the House in 2018, the left continues to gain power through the use of the private sector such as by censoring dissent.
There was also the crypto currency boom, which maybe made 100 or so people rich but many more poorer. The web 2.0 boom also rages on, which nearly 8 years later still continues to defy prediction of collapse and bubble. Uber is still worth $40-50 billion, out of dozens of large companies, there have only been a handful of notable failures. Same for Tesla, which the media since 2013 has been predicting its insolvency, and is now trading above $410/share, a gain of 1500%! since 2010 when it went public. Same for Facebook, which everyone was sure in 2010 would be displaced by a better social network and or was a fad–having bought out Instagram in 2102 for $1 billion, which retrospect was a massive bargain–is bigger and more powerful than ever.
Economics and finance stuff is generally much easier to predict than politics, and I was wrong about Trump not being impeached, but all my economics forecasts came true. 2020 is anyone’s race. Look at how Howard Dean in 2004 or Hillary in 2008 seemed so strong initially, only to fall apart. Trump predictably hasn’t done much and whines about democratic corruption on Twitter, but if anyone is in a position to do anything about it, it is him. If the past 3 years are any indication of the next 1 or 5, don’t get your hopes up. i think we see a cotinuation of the last three years. The dems will likely never send the articles to the Senate, having already accomplished their goal of impeaching Trump, and will continue to scrounge for more evidence that could could be used to convict him. In terms of the US economy and stock market doing well, and geopolitical stability in the US, I am optimistic for 2020 and beyond, but less so in terms of immigration and reversing the tide of liberalism.