Sunday, September 05, 2004

Looking Ahead

Assume that President Bush wins re-election, with a clear majority of the popular vote. Assume that Republicans gain seats in the House and Senate. In what major ways will the world and the United States change in the next four years? Here are 10 predictions:

1. International terrorism will be disrupted significantly through the combined efforts of the U.S., UK, Israel, and Russia -- with increasingly enthusiastic support from France, Germany, China, and Japan.

2. The Middle East will become more stable, as Syria and Iran are brought to heel by the threat of massive military action by the U.S.

3. North Korea will be brought to heel by the same method.

4. China and Russia will more quickly accept the virtues of representative democracy and free-market capitalism. Russia will strive to ensure the success of its venture by more rigorously imposing the rule of law.

5. France and Germany, as beneficiaries of Pax Americana, will rediscover the virtues of American leadership in world affairs.

6. The global economy and the U.S. economy will make great strides, practically eliminating serious support for protectionism and anti-globalism.

7. The U.S. will take the first steps toward privatization of Social Security.

8. A healthy U.S. economy will quell demands for universal health insurance and greater government interference in health care.

9. Bush will nominate -- and the Senate will confirm -- judges who are committed to the enforcement of legislative meaning and who do make law for the sake of attaining particular social goals. Those judges will be "activist judges" in that they will overturn previous, unconstitutional decisions.

10. A clear majority vote for Bush will soften -- though not eliminate -- the tone of extreme partisanship that has dominated American politics since 1992, when Clinton beat Bush Senior by virtue of Perot's candidacy. The next four years will be more like Reagan's second term than like Clinton's second term.