Next year promises some important steps forward for our movement, even though predictions in the world of politics are notoriously difficult. Keeping that in mind and with the utmost in humility, let’s speculate on what the future holds for 2019.
In the USA, Donald Trump’s leadership is in serious jeopardy. I’m not claiming there’s an imminent impeachment, but he’s lost control of Congress. This is to say that much like Barack Obama before him, who lacked control over both the House and Senate, Trump won’t be able to accomplish much by way of legislation. Instead, he will likely focus on areas such as trade deals for which the Democrats are likely to give their approval.
Interest rates will continue to rise from the Federal Reserve. I believe this implies 2019 will be a year of correction for the stock market. With higher interest rates, bonds will begin to look more attractive than stocks, which will diminish the demand for stocks, driving down their prices. With interest rates having been at historic lows, it’s difficult to predict what impact their return to normal levels will have.
American foreign policy has made a radical shift away from war toward trade and diplomacy. This should have short-term consequences with long-term benefits. ISIS will almost certainly reemerge, al-Qaeda will continue to grow, but with a lesser American presence in the Middle East, their recruitment will prove difficult. Terrorism will expand and 2019 could be a year of chaos for the Middle East until political forces find equilibrium.
With his reelection now behind him, Vladimir Putin’s influence and power in the Middle East will gain momentum. Bashar al-Assad will face less opposition. With Lebanon’s election empowering Hezbollah and their affiliates, Iran will be free to extend their grip in the region.
With Shia influence spreading throughout the Arab world, the Saudis are unlikely to relinquish control of the Red Sea to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The one advocate for peace in Yemen in the Trump administration, James Mattis, recently resigned. Due to the Saudi use of starvation as a war tactic, there are currently 10 million starving people in Yemen and no end to their suffering in sight. The conflict has the potential to reach Holocaust numbers in terms of deaths.
Israel has an election in April 2019. The ceasefire in Gaza caused tension and division within the coalition government. This precarious issue could cause Netanyahu to make compromises in his policy to govern effectively.
The American withdrawal also has the world watching the Afghan presidential election in 2019. The strategy to combat the Taliban will have to move forward without America’s direct involvement.
To the north, my home and native land of Canada has a pivotal upcoming election. Trudeau’s approval numbers continue to decline rapidly, however, the political right has a civil war, between Maxime Bernier’s new populist movement and Andrew Scheer’s established Conservative Party.
Trudeau has kept very few of his promises, wages have been stagnant while the cost of living has risen, and Canadians are finding Trudeau’s moral preaching overbearing. His international failures with India, Saudi Arabia, and his failures in renegotiating a favourable NAFTA are securing his legacy as a feckless leader.
However, Canada’s socialist, Jagmeet Singh, has failed to resonate with Canadians, which could allow Trudeau to maintain his hold over the left. What should be an easy victory for either Scheer or Bernier could prove to be difficult given they also must contend with each other.
The fallout from Brexit will be an important signal for years to come. How the UK performs, whether or not their economy rises or falls, will be highlighted by other European separatist movements. Some British hedge funds are already moving their base to Ireland in response. The Conservative Party’s minority government could also entail that their government is powerless to assist.
2019 is shaping up to be a transitional year for the world of politics, having no shortage of stories to be mindful of and a surplus of moments for decision. Will the populist movements that have sprouted in the UK, USA, and Brazil gain momentum elsewhere? Will Trump successfully navigate through China’s influence? With regulation coming through the pipeline on cryptocurrency will this allow the blockchain coins to go mainstream? Will regulations be a boost for investor confidence? Uncertainty and excitement loom for 2019.
This article represents the views of the author exclusively, and not those of Being Libertarian LLC.
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