March 1, 2020
After the preliminaries in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, the candidates had a brief interlude in which to rush to South Carolina before they reach the big event called ‘Super Tuesday’ next week. On March 3rd, fourteen states and American Samoa will vote in their primary elections and, after that date, more than one third of those states electorate will have completed their ‘expressions of choice’ of candidates for the 2020 election. It is reasonable to expect—that by March 4th—we will have a clearer picture as to the remaining ‘front runners’ in the Democrat Party side of that contest. I don’t want to confuse the issue by making any prediction (although you are free to guess who I’d prefer) as to who, or how many, they will be. My biggest question, at this point, is whether or not Donald J. Trump is going to still be the President of the United States of America, much less the presidential election candidate nominee of the Republican Party, by the time of the presidential election, Tuesday, November 3, 2020!
A ‘not-so-funny’ thing happened almost two weeks ago. I was reading the news about the corona virus spreading in China and thinking of the effect that disease (and China’s effort to contain its’ spread) could have on the entire world market for industrial and consumer products. So, I called my favorite broker at my favorite investment brokerage house and asked him one question, “Is this a good time to buy gold?” He, in typical investment broker fashion, hedged his answer but his bottom line was that commodities, in general, were little more than a ‘hedge’ on the broader market and, unless some ‘unexpected event’ happened, they tended not to move dramatically. I replied that I believed the ‘corona virus’ outbreak just might qualify as a VERY significant ‘unexpected event’.
Less than two weeks later, the financial markets worldwide had lost 12-15% of their value and did that faster—in market history—than ever before. And, you might ask, just what has that ‘unexpected event’ and the corresponding collapse of financial markets worldwide have to do with Mr. Trump and whether or not he will still be ‘President’ on November 3rd, 2020? Well, if my memory serves me correctly, Mr. Trump has claimed responsibility for the ‘wonderful’ condition of our economy ever since he took office, which—as any reasonable or thinking person should know—was a totally false claim. If anything, he put our economy in further danger than it already was before he took office, by his tax cut for the rich and famous. The US of A was already up to its’ neck in the alligators of debt before he stumbled into office and he has made our financial condition even more delicate by that tax cut, which added over another Trillion dollars to our national debt. If an ‘unexpected event’ starts to pull the base out of our delicately stacked financial house of cards, both Humpty Dumpty (our Fed) and the Donald could find themselves in pieces on the floor of our financial ruin. I found it interesting that Donald turned the biggest problem to face our country (the corona virus) since he took office over to his Vice President to solve. Are you ready Mike? Donald isn’t—and wasn’t—and never would have been! Do you remember his record for bankrupting his businesses? If you think he has any greater respect for America than he has for his investors—I suggest you see your friendly psychiatrist asap! I suspect the Republican National Committee is giving serious thought right now as to who they want to be running as their candidate for President in the 2020 election. And, why do I suspect that?
I suspect ‘that’ because I believe the ‘unexpected event’ will be a major ‘game changer’ for the 2020 election. Who will both parties want their candidates to be facing the financial chaos in the world markets? Will the Democrats really want Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren? Will the Republicans really want Donald Trump? I don’t think so!
So, what do I think is going to happen in the next eight months leading up to the 2020 election? The beginning of a time of chaos isn’t the best time in which to make predictions. However, I believe it is safe to predict the present medical and financial chaos will lead to significant and unexpected changes in peoples’ attitudes and expectations and those changes will result in continued political and social chaos right up to and including election day, November 3rd, 2020. I wouldn’t be surprised to see brokered conventions on both sides of our present inept, narrow and incompetent two-party political spectrum. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see two or three new parties emerge in our now totally fractured and fractious governmental and political systems. These next eight months are going to be ‘interesting times’ and my crystal ball now turns very cloudy between its’ vision of anything past today and tomorrow. However, I do know that chaos brings change and big chaos brings bigger changes. Let’s hope our electorate awakens and the lessons of the past bring an increase in wisdom to its’ decision making ability. Finally, remember that the people of our country are responsible for picking who they want to lead us. Not the DNC or the RNC. Let’s hope they start to pick more carefully. And last, I am reminded of an ancient warning; as it was said in Aesop’s fables about 200+ BC, “Be careful what you wish for!” And so, I am going to be very careful of what I wish for—in our politics and our government. However, a shot of Uncle Jack’s finest for me and a big flake of fresh alfalfa for Hubris are ‘givens’. Until next week—–it’s Hi Ho Hubris, Aawaay!
Copyright, March 1, 2020, Louis J. Christen