The future will be better tomorrow.
- Dan Quayle
Why should astrologers, psychics, and pundits have all the fun? Besides, those perennial predictors of probability are wrong just as often as those of us who never get our prognostications heard, anyway.
Call me chicken, but even with the low success rate of those who have predicted the future in the past, I rarely go on record with my choices because - psst - I dont like being wrong.
For example, in my heart I knew Bill Clinton was wrong for America. I knew he would magnetize the multitudes to his magnanimous self with merely temporary modifications to the economy and international relations.
However, though I was bursting to say that, in the end, he would stick us with the check for all those domestic good times and let his successor mop up the muddled messes beyond our shores, I was afraid the Clinton-lovers wouldnt love me if I were right, and the Clinton-bashers would hate me if I were wrong.
But this is the year I muzzle my misgivings, step up to the prophetic plate, and let the guessing games begin:
There will be a war with Iraq, Korea, the UN, the cloners from out-of-space, or the attorneys for the Beltway-snipers, who believe the case against their clients should be thrown out because of illegal technicalities committed by the Justice Department. How many of these wars will actually occur depends on how many confrontations Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld believes the U.S. military can fight at the same time.
There will be continuing gridlock in Washington, D.C., between the newly victorious Republican majority, and the suddenly vocal Democratic minority. The latter will convert the constitutional system of checks and balances into ricochets and boomerangs whenever a Republican initiative lobs across the alienating aisle.
Whether she marries Ben Affleck or not, Jennifer Lopez will not win the Oscar for best actress at this years Academy Awards. However, my granddaughter will get a part in the Augusta Players performance of the Broadway musical, Annie, because the sun will come out tomorrow.
I know. I should have waited another year or so until I was ready for the prophetic trough. But in case you missed them, here are a few of the more prodigious predictions by those who are well-practiced in the art of prophesying the wrong thing.
Al Gore is out, having decided appearing bare-chested on Saturday Night Live is more fun than appearing fully dressed on Meet the Press (Roger Simon)
Presidential contender John F. Kerry will become the new Al Gore. The junior senator from Massachusetts is already wooden, humorless, self-aggrandizing and fancies himself an intellectual. (John Podhoretz)
Financial crises cannot be predicted. If they could, they would not happen. (John Plender)
When the banks feel confident enough to raise interest rates, well know the economy is thoroughly healthy again. (Phillip Coggan)
Osama bin Ladens death will be confirmed. (Jonah Goldberg)
Trent Lott will resign from the Senate and become head coach of the Washington Redskins. (Michael Ledeen)
Osama bin Laden will remain at large. (John J. Miller)
Osama bin Laden will continue to be dead, no matter what U.S. government experts insist, and John Kerrys presidential campaign will be as dead as Osama by years end. (Mark Steyn)
A special six-week version of The Batchelor will feature Strom Thurmond choosing among young lovelies angling for him to pop the question. (Kate OBeirne)
Parts of bin Ladens corpse will turn up. (Victor Davis Hanson)
Some of these predictions will be wrong. (John Podhoretz)
(Barbara Seaborn is a local free-lance writer. E-mail comments to seabara@ aol.com.)
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