More Political Predictions
Political predictions are a tricky game. Most crystal balls get poor reception for events which are more than a few weeks out. One of the best forecasters, especially on the rise of authoritarianism in the US, is my old comrade Crystal.
Crystal predicting the insurrection in 2017
I was so excited on the day Trump was indicted, I called Crystal at what would be early evening in Santa Cruz, California where he lives. Sadly, he woke up in Tarragona, where he is currently, happy to hear Trump was indicted, and even more happy to return to sleep. Our conversation moved to email, and I made the following three forecasts:
1) The Manhattan indictment will become much less visible when Georgia indicts.
2) Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-GA will not be able to rally an impressive protest at the arraignment on Tuesday (in part because the turf is so hostile and timing so short, but likely because the MAGA militia are cowards).
3) These indictments will only rally Republican support in the short term and while Trump might win the nomination, he will lose the general and then claim again that it was stolen from him.
Here is Crystal’s edited reply:
As an intellectual engage I feel it is my obligation to use my scholarship to try and actively understand the world to help change it. Part of this is making predictions. I’ve a mixed record. I did not think Trump could be elected. Just didn’t seem possible. On the other hand I predicted the US defeats in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and the Soviet’s getting their asses kicked in Afghanistan as well, on day one of the invasion, drunk on Las Ramblas in Barcelona at midnight! I did predict Biden winning from early in the primaries. Although that was scary close as well, by then I had a better understanding of Trump’s power, and his weaknesses. I’ve successfully predicted a fair number of other things, especially tech things, like how quickly the COVID-19 vaccine would be produced. It is all in my papers, my books, and various FB posts and Daily Kos columns online.
I pretty much agree with your forecasts. If Trump wins the nomination (which is likely but not certain) he certainly won’t win the election. His support still declines, albeit slowly, even among hard core Republicans. Among independents it is pretty much gone.
And I don’t see tens of thousands showing up at his arrest or other ceremonial moments of his legal troubles. Thousands maybe. But controllable. His rallies have been shrinking (15,000 at Waco, many left after the first half hour).
How many at Waco Trump rally – 15K or 1,500?
The most militant and organized parts of his street power aren’t Trumpers first, but rather use him as a mobilizing symbol. These people aren’t blowhards–Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Boogaloo. Actually, what they did on Jan. 6 is impressive, from the view of someone who has tried to take over buildings (and sometimes succeeded). But they paid a price. Much of their leadership and most militant members are now in the legal morass themselves. And they are well infiltrated by the Feds, and maybe local cops, I am sure.
It’s not easy for protesters to take over buildings, these did.
I’m also sure there are several thousand, or perhaps more, competent racist/semi-fascist militants still out there well organized, but they won’t go to the wall for Trump, who has half betrayed them anyway. They seem to be focusing on cultural war confrontations, as with trans people and drag queen story hours. A very conscious decision, and not stupid really. Lots of recruits in such campaigns and not tied to a weak leader, as Trump certainly is.
What we should look for is who will replace Trump as the symbolic leader. In the long run they need one. Maybe a woman, as in France and Italy. MTG has shown more smarts than I thought she had, getting into the leadership of the GOP. She does good theater as well. We should see how she handles the Georgia indictments. That is her home turf.
We can expect violence. Lone wolves or even small cells (such as the Michigan nutjobs who tried to grab the governor) will certainly make moves. I’d be shocked if one of the prosecutors isn’t attacked, maybe even killed. It won’t help Trump. FBI might be inside many of the most dangerous cells but can’t be in all of them.
There could be fighting, even shooting at Pro-Trump vs. Anti-Trump demos. Maybe in Atlanta. DC and NY (the other indictment sites) seem bad terrain for Trumpies, as you note. Portland, Ore. or Sacramento are more likely, in satellite demos. Well armed militants on both sides clash in such places with great regularity. Wisconsin is another flash point. I’m sure there are others.
I really want the Georgia charges to drop. Those are the good ones!
Love and Rage