My Crystal Ball

As we leave 2006 bound for a new year, I’m going out on a limb to make some predictions about the future.  I don’t exactly have great credentials to make this forecast, but probably won’t do any worse than the pundits.  I want to warn readers in advance that my last prediction is sobering.  I hope it is avoidable, but unfortunately I believe that it will happen.  Buckle your seatbelts….here we go!

Barak Obama, the junior Senator from Illinois, will be elected President of the United States in 2008.  Born in Hawaii in 1961, the son of a white mother and a black father, Obama graduated from Columbia University in 1983 and received a law degree from Harvard in 1991.  A well-grounded family man, Obama lives with his wife, Michelle and his two daughters, Malia, 8, and Sasha, 5, on Chicago’s South Side, where they attend Trinity United Church of Christ.

Obama, like most Democrats, advocates a larger role for government than is necessary or prudent.  In his latest book, The Audacity of Hope, Obama asserts that every American who wants to work should be guaranteed a “living wage”.  This is poppycock, of course, for it begs the larger question, “Who is obligated to provide that living wage?”  Are business owners obligated to sacrifice profits for wages?  Is the government going to provide those jobs?  If so, where is the money going to come from?  Obama also rejects educational vouchers as a solution to what I believe is our most pathetic national tragedy, the failure of our public schools.  He thinks that public schools can be fixed with more money and the cooperation of teachers unions.  The record of the past thirty years clearly shows that increased additional funding has not helped public schools and anyone who believes that teachers unions will be even slightly cooperative hasn’t been around those folks for very long.  Nevertheless, Obama isn’t completely stupid on economics.  He recognizes the benefits of free trade to American consumers and generally appreciates free enterprise.  Unlike most Democrats, he is open-minded on economic issues, which is encouraging.

Despite Obama’s lack of tenure and experience in Washington, Presidents are elected on the basis of image and charisma and Obama is incredibly rich in both.  Not since John Kennedy has this country seen a politician as infectious and riveting as Obama.  An excellent orator as demonstrated by his keynote address at the 2004 democratic national convention, if Obama chooses to run for President, Hillary Clinton doesn’t have a chance of getting the Democratic Party nomination.  Obama can muster more charm in thirty seconds than Hillary can display in an entire evening.  In an open forum debate with Obama, Hillary Clinton would be cannon fodder.  The Democrats would be stupid to nominate anyone other than Obama and they aren’t going to be stupid this time around.  I predict that once Obama has secured the Democratic nomination and his campaign gets up to full steam, there isn’t a Republican on earth that can beat him in 2008.

The United States will begin substantial troop reductions from Iraq by the end of 2007 with virtually none of our objectives having been met in that country.  While our withdrawal will be couched in victorious terms, when it is all said and done Iraq will be neither democratic nor free as a result of our presence there.  It will be controlled by a Mullah, the Iranians, Syrians, or by some other strongman, but the situation there will not be measurably improved.  For terrorists Iraq will again be as fertile of a training ground as any other country in the Middle East.  Our departure from Iraq will free up Al Qaeda’s men and resources, allowing them to accelerate their program of domestic terrorism within the United States.  History will show that from 2002 through 2006 the United States and its people did not yet have the political will to do what was necessary to secure our objectives in Iraq or to fight radical Islam.

Another terrorist attack, even more devastating than the destruction of the World Trade Towers, will occur in the United States before 2016.  This attack will be the one that finally awakens and unifies both the American public and the entire civilized world.  There will be no more coddling of radical Islamists, no more debate about the rights of prisoners and detainees, and no more complaints about the methods used to capture and kill terrorists.  Even the French, Russians and Chinese will join the battle as the gloves will come off and the clash between rational human beings and radical Islam will be officially underway.   Once reasonably civilized human beings actually realize that their indifference to radical Islam is a direct threat to their way of life, the unification of international resources and purposes will eventually be enough to defeat radical Islamists and their institutions.  This will be a long, drawn-out struggle, but those who value freedom, educated discourse, and the sanctity of human life will eventually prevail.

That’s it for now.  Let’s see how these predictions play out.  I plan to be around for the next ten years and will periodically review the accuracy of these predictions.  Meanwhile, keep your chin up, continue to work hard, re-invent yourself, innovate, love and prosper!   This is a good and great life.  Live it to the fullest!

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