2018 will be a good year for Pats, women, Generation Z
With 2017 winding down, here are my plucky predictions for 2018:
• The Patriots will win Super Bowl LII in 2018, and 40-year-old quarterback Tom Brady will become the face of a desperately needed anti-ageist public service campaign. “Pliability” will be the Merriam-Webster word of the year, and, thankfully, all “40 under 40” lists will be retired.
• The Russians will hack into the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and cause cyber havoc in retaliation for having been banned by the International Olympic Committee. Telecommunications will be scrambled and the internet taken over, but Americans of all political stripes, using rabbit ears, will come together in a huge wave of patriotism and grit and reclaim the post of moral leader in the world, defeating the vetted neutral “Olympic Athletes from Russia” in an iconic sports moment similar to the 1980 ice hockey game between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in Lake Placid, New York.
• Roy Moore, the former state supreme court judge, 2017 Republican candidate for U.S. Senate and alleged creep from Alabama, will not go away. His life will end in prison, where he will forever be canonized as a sacrificial lamb by right-wing zealots and the most arrogant person in the universe on account of his claiming it a statistical impossibility that he wasn’t elected.
• Democrats will take the Maine Senate in 2018. Currently, the numbers are 18-17 with the Republican Party ahead by one, but seven Republicans are term limited, plus Eric Brakey – the 29-year-old Republican most known for his effort to repeal the law requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon – is running for U.S. Senate against independent Angus King. Public support for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, as demonstrated by the 2016 ballot question that won by 59 percent of the vote, will help usher in a Democratic majority, fueled as well by growing disenchantment with President Trump.
• In the 2018 race for governor, Janet Mills will suffer the fate of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton – she knows too much. Mills will also sustain wounds in the Democratic primary from attacks by others who perceive her as the front-runner, especially Sean Faircloth – a dark horse and former rival. Mills and Faircloth squared off in a bitter race for attorney general in 2009. With Mills weakened, Adam Cote will be the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor; at a later date, Sara Gideon will become Maine’s first woman chief executive.
• A bevy of unenrolled candidates running as independents will again threaten to split moderate votes and cause a Republican to be elected to the Blaine House with less than 40 percent of the vote.
• Secretary of State Matt Dunlap will jump into the race for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District and get the backing of national special interest groups, he will have his own variety show, or both.
• There will be another senseless mass shooting.
• The Dow Jones Industrial Average will reach 30,000 and the S&P will hit 3,500 before the bubble bursts in 2019.
• Bitcoin – the cryptocurrency born from an algorithm that has traded between roughly $900 and $20,000 – will withstand a crash and become a long-term part of the financial market.
• The investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling of the 2016 election will drag on, Trump will claim the delay is politically motivated and his base will believe it.
• Thanks to the tax reform bill out of Washington, accounting firms will post record profits and pay considerably less in taxes for preparing tax returns under the new law, while filers will see their tax preparation costs skyrocket and get a double whammy because those expenses will no longer be deductible.
• Women will be elected in 2018 in record numbers, but most news organizations, editorial boards and pundits will continue to be men who neither see nor understand them.
• Dog owners will organize and demand equal access to all locations that permit guns.
• Doctors will finally admit that drinking more than two glasses of wine every day is good for you.
• Generation Z (the cohort after the millennials) will challenge the plutocracy in the United States, discover new solutions to climate change and reject the inevitability of income inequality.
• Paul and Ann LePage will move to Florida, open a chain of wildly successful fast-food restaurants featuring low-calorie burgers and live happily ever after.
• It will get warmer and brighter in Maine.
Happy New Year.
As published in the Portland Press Herald