This aticle went viral a few days ago THE CRYSTAL BALL The Official Future Is Dead! Long Live the Official Future!
Pundits keep pushing this narrative that society and politics has changed radically under Trump and or that Trump’s win is symbolic of such change; I am of one of maybe eight or so people that argues that very little to nothing has changed. Trump’s win was a big deal and unforeseen, but the institution have not changed, nor has the economy and other aspects of society, except for the post-2017 rise of the alt-middle (Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin, Quillette.com, IDW, etc.), which was a big surprise to many but not me (because I wrote about it as early as 2015-2016).
I don’t know why this has not gotten more coverage..here you have Trump, who is supposed to be the most polarizing politician ever, and from this comes the biggest centrism boom ever. Even on /r/The_Donald, you see themes of the IDW in rejecting some aspects of tribalism and supporting pragmatism and consequentialist policy. There is the rejection of conspiracy theories, rejection of Ron Paul isolationism and protectionism, rejection of Austrian economics, etc.
The trends that were intact before Trump won are still intact:
-booming stock market (the S&P 500 has gained 25% since Trump’s win–on top of 200%+ gains from 2009-2017…amazing…I predict it has much higher to go)
-nosebleed healthcare & education costs
-rising wealth inequality
-a lot of people who cannot find work; low labor force participation rate
-strong economy (18-year low unemployment rate, rising wages, tame inflation, etc.)
-surging Bay Area real estate prices, high Web 2.0 valuations
-despite Trump’s rhetoric, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Tesla stock (FANG stocks) keep making new highs thanks strong growth and fat profits.
-more defense spending, more interventionism
The alt-right came close to being a viable far-right political insurgency in America, but was dealt two blows: Reddit snuffing out its official sub and then the ill-fated United the Right rally. Since then, the alt-middle has taken the internet by storm, with their rejection of identity politics and their infatuation with individualism.
This is evidence that the status quo, both the good (rising stock prices, strong economy) and the bad (healthcare, education costs), has not changed despite his win.
There is no increased civil unrest either, as I correctly predicted in 2016 too. If society is supposed to have radically changed due to Trump, I cannot see it.
What Trump heralds—and in this respect he is arguably more symptom than cause—is that the Schwartz Window has once again swung open. Trump’s election in 2016 was precisely the sort of event that was outside the post-Cold War Schwartz Window, that is, outside the realm of plausible futures. The Official Future held that no candidate like Trump could ever be elected. “The party would decide” to prevent such a nomination, and if nominated, the good sense of the American people would make it impossible for a pathological liar and traducer of every political tradition to actually get elected. All the sensible people knew this. All the sensible people were wrong.
Uh..no it has’t. Fukiyama is still right. From the 2017 post Trump and Neocons:
Neoconservatism and neoliberalism succeed because they are amorphous, adaptable, and can latch onto or hijack any preexisting ideology or movement. Most governments, given enough time, will resemble something similar to neoconservatism or neoliberalism (this is what Fukuyama alluded to in End of History, but I don’t think it has to be liberal democracy–it can also be a right-wing republic, theocracy, technocracy, or oligarchy. Whatever you call it, the mixed-economy system tends to prevail to varying degrees. It’s not ‘The End of History’, but more like ‘The End of Economics’).
For Fukiyama’s theory to be refuted, we would need much more upheaval and unrest than we’re witnessed. We would need preexisting trends to be reversed, but so far that has not happened. The 2008 financial crisis and 911 are recent examples of the closest the status quo came its undoing–much more so than Brexit and the election of Trump, because they involved actual crisis than merely change in sentiment. Historically, when nations and societies undergo regime change, the old regime is expunged. For example, we would need to see arrests of high-ranking democratic officials and politicians. We would need the FBI and CIA to be uprooted. Maybe Trump’s investigation will bear fruit, but I’m not optimistic.
Part of the problem is, Trump is running out of time for his first term, and the left fully intends to run the clock down as much as they can. The 2020 election will be even more cutthroat than the last one. Because the election will be close, the democrats are gonna fight this tooth and nail…they are going marshal all their resources to defeating Trump. Worse, unlike Reagan and Nixon, Trump just barely has enough support to eke out a win (he lost the popular vote in 2016), let alone a sweeping victory, so it will be close, although the strong economy will help. This means he will have to campaign early and expend all of his resources to not losing, time that would otherwise be spent on policy. His second term is when we may finally see Trump live to his full potential.