It looks like 2022 is going to be a very tough year for a great many reasons. Some of this will be due to our need to face inevitable new challenges, but most of what is going to make the remainder of this year an exceedingly rough ride will be the dreary and predictable results of years of bad decisions that are now smacking us right in our faces.
Years—nay, decades—of outrageous overspending and overpromising by elected officials have put our nation into a fiscal hole that is both sharply constraining our options today and robbing our nation’s future tomorrow. Buying political and societal peace with gobs of borrowed money has just about run its course, and we we can now expect years—nay, decades—of retrenchment that will stun those Americans who have grown up believing that government exists to make all their wildest dreams come true.
The high tide of easy money is now going out, and a lot of angry voters are going to be left standing ankle deep in wet sand and stinking seaweed looking for someone to blame. Their fury will be neither pretty or fair, and both of our major political parties will have to be light on their feet if they hope to avoid the backlash.
American education at all levels—primary, secondary, post-secondary, and professional—is sailing straight into a perfect storm of sharply declining birth rates, frustrated taxpayers, reduced state and federal funding, retiring educators, collapsing public trust, angry parents, pitiably indebted students, and amazing new technologies that are making home schooling and online learning the fastest growing sectors of the education landscape.
Expect a tidal wave of school and college closures and consolidations in the years ahead as market forces dismantle the sluggish and unresponsive educational systems of the past and replace them with more cost-effective and consumer-friendly alternatives that will more and more rely on interactive technology to handle the bulk of the teaching, assessment, and credentialing while reducing the layers of well-paying bureaucratic jobs that have made education such a cozy career for the marginally competent. It will stink for the many and create new opportunities for the few, but this stark transformation should bring about improvements that will benefit most students—unless politicians decide to halt all progress by protecting their pals in the teacher unions. Success will very much depend on just how effectively voters can force elected officials to keep their retrograde noses out of the revolution lying dead ahead.
America’s strategic interests will also be challenged. Unfortunately, in 2020 America apparently elected a cranky and clueless old man and his incompetent diversity hire to the two highest offices in the land. We have experienced a full year of the aimless domestic leadership, economic malaise, foreign policy blunders, and absurd military Woke-ism that is crushing our nation and could be putting our national security at risk for yet another three depressing years. It is unlikely will will end up up in a shooting war—whether over Taiwan, North Korea, or Ukraine—because President Biden will simply take a nap as America’s enemies do as they please, but the consequences will be catastrophic for America both in the present and the future, nonetheless.
Weakness will only invite more aggression by our enemies and more distrust from our allies, and peace at any price will surely turn out to be a cost too high to bear.
It is also possible, should the expected Republican victories in the 2022 midterms dramatically change the political composition of the Senate and House of Representatives, that articles of impeachment will be drawn up against both President Biden and Vice President Harris come January of 2023—perhaps with the added spice of Speaker of the House Donald Trump at the podium—and the ugly and divisive spectacle that would result from a Senate trial could split our country and further fracture our already dysfunctional political norms in a manner that results in irreparable damage to our troubled nation.
Maybe this will be the painful but necessary medicine that could heal some of what ails America, but only a fool would cheer for a horrific combination of national chemotherapy, radiation, and cruel surgery as the cure for our country.
There is, in addition, the matter of a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court now at hand, and we can be certain that President Biden will be whipsawed between his conflicting needs to nominate a moderate who might stand a chance of confirmation while also keeping his public promise to choose his nominee from candidates who are both black and female—and who will also need to be decidedly leftist in order to placate the AOC Wing of the Democratic Party.
It is certainly true that Donald Trump’s trio of Conservatives Justices have changed the ideological dynamic of the the Supreme Court over the past several years, and Democrats’ frustrations have already expressed themselves in the form of demands to increase the number of Justices in order to bring about the liberal majority they believe must always exist. However, given the 50-50 split in the Senate and the even split on the Judiciary Committee, to both push a nominee to the Senate floor for hearings and secure a confirmation will be the steepest of uphill climbs, so it would not be a surprise to see the entire process shelved until after the midterm elections in the fall.
Expect a sad and silly sequence of caustic speeches during the battle over the next Justice’s nomination and confirmation, which will be used to raise campaign funds that will fuel an unusually ugly midterm election season. There is no doubt that a lot of money will be raised, but the already low level of American political discussions will be left splashing in the deep mud by the end.
Adding to the coarseness of our discourse in 2022 will be the reckoning that will follow the desultory, confusing, and disorienting end of the Covid-19 pandemic, which will fritter away into a nothingness that will only enliven debate about why we turned our lives upside down over a disease that spawned its own pandemic of mass psychosis.
How were we convinced to destroy our happiness and prosperity over a virus that has a 99% survival rate, primarily kills the very elderly and already very ill, and provided the excuse for petty bureaucrats and craven politicians to rob us of our most basic civil liberties and human rights? What were we thinking? Why did we willingly go along?
We are going to have to take a hard look in the mirror for many of the answers to the questions we must now ask about what has happened to our nation—and ourselves.
And what will we be thinking about the leadership we have had to endure over the past couple of years when we step into a voting booth come November? I don’t predict love and forgiveness. I expect anger and retribution to be the order of the day—and Americans will be scalp hunting right up to Election Day this year. As we slide away from panic and fear, the search for culprits will gain a implacable momentum that will not be stopped by any attempts at distractions or misdirection.
So let the finger pointing, evasions, and self-serving excuses begin. Let’s see just how much deeper the rabbit hole will take us.