It's time to renew my annual tradition.
I like to start off each New Year putting my anemic forecasting skills and substandard intellect to the test by analyzing current cultural trends and then issuing my top 10 predictions for the next 12 months. These won't just include the world of politics, but pop culture, sports, and more. If it turns out I get any of these right, a year from now I shall take full credit. But if I'm proven unworthy once more, rest assured I shall disavow all knowledge of this exercise.
And with that, let us begin:
10. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will win Super Bowl 54.
At age 43, Tom Brady (aka the GOAT) is enjoying one of his finest seasons ever. And he will cap it off by leading the Buccaneers to the win in Super Bowl 54, which will also be his seventh Lombardi Trophy and first without Bill Belichick.
9. Tom Holland's third outing as Spider-Man will be the top grossing movie of the year.
Both major comic book studios are racing to introduce a "multi-verse" to audiences. It appears Marvel will beat DC to the punch, with Holland's third tour of duty as the wall-crawler currently on track to be released next fall and DC's Flash movie still at least a year away. Holland will reportedly be joined by his Spidey predecessors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, as well as every major villain ever seen on screen in a Spider-Man film. That much star power, combined with a release timed for about when industry forecasters currently believe movie theaters will be bustling again, should make this the most successful film of 2021.
8. Republicans will put up no real fight to stop Joe Biden from being sworn in as president on Jan. 20.
And if you believe otherwise, you're dangerously naïve to the point of giving your Social Security number to every emailer from the Nigerian embassy. The only party that hates you more than the Democrats is the Republicans. And after Democrats win the Georgia Senate runoffs the same way they won the presidential race, they will have total control in Washington again, too.
7. China becomes the new power player in the Middle East.
At first Biden will try to negate claims he's soft on China, despite his son Hunter's dealings, and begin his presidency by talking tougher than China expected in a post-Wuhan virus world. At the same time, Biden and Democrats in Washington will race to reinstitute Obama's failed Iran deal. This will divide/confuse our Arab allies/friendlies who distrust Iran and were in the process of making peace with Israel at the end of the Trump presidency. Already Saudi Arabia's largest oil client, China will swoop in and cement that relationship all the more, as well as replace its mass imports from countries like Brazil with other Arab nations such as United Arab Emirates. China will flip the script on the U.S. and claim it is the country truly on the side of progress in the Middle East while the U.S. reverts to groveling to the despised ayatollah fundamentalists. With rumors of Vladimir Putin having health problems and the U.S. lacking moral clarity under a Biden presidency, China sees this year as its opportunity to finally gain a firm foothold in the Middle East. Which will also help it to weather any ongoing Western backlash due to coronavirus.
6. There will be one Supreme Court vacancy this year.
Once Biden is sworn in, 83-year-old liberal Stephen Breyer will see it's safe to retire as the oldest member of the High Court, lest he risk making the same mistake Ruth Bader Ginsburg made by holding on too long.
5. Out of the White House, Trump will not start or invest into a digital conservative media platform, as has often been speculated, but will instead be omnipresent in media and on the road with rallies, acting as essentially a president in exile. He will also write the most successful self-published book in American history.
Look for Trump to attempt to secure his legacy and capitalize on the power of his brand in 2021 before investing in another long-term venture. Especially if he's planning on running again in 2024, or at least seriously considering it. Starting a new platform is a multi-year venture, even with the potency of Trump's brand. And investing in an already existing media company could expose him/it to complications if he plans on playing a partisan political role as a power-broker/endorser in the meantime. Besides, he doesn't need to take on the overhead of a distribution platform to get his message out. He is his own distribution platform.
4. Almost every major conservative media outlet will be forced off Twitter and Facebook or forced to leave voluntarily.
Without a Republican administration to threaten them through the FCC, Big Tech will be even freer to pour on the censorship against conservatives. And they will also dial it up to 11 in an effort to appease growing Democrat antitrust concerns. The Faustian bargain struck with Democrats will be this: Look the other way on antitrust, and we will suppress your opposition in return.
3. Government will confirm that intelligent life exists outside our planet and has visited us.
The big question then becomes: Does anyone care? Because we sure didn't seem to pay it any mind when the feds confirmed UFOs exist in 2020.
2. Life will mostly return to normal by the end of the year for most Americans, provided you can verify your vaccination. But at least one of the COVID vaccines will be responsible for a serious public health issue, which both mainstream media and Big Tech will attempt to suppress.
By the end of the year the COVID vaccines will devolve from the hope of deliverance to instruments of division, and the main objective Operation Warp Speed will end up accomplishing is handing government even faster the power it has long sought over our individual autonomy. In many places in America, especially blue states, you won't be able to buy or sell outside your home as freely as you would like without permanent digital proof of vaccination. Even outside blue states, elements within Corporate America will attempt to impose such requirements as well, specifically industries like the airlines. Those who know of some of these documented complications we're already seeing from the rushed vaccines, and are therefore hesitant to inject them into their bodies or their children's, will be considered second-class citizens in several places within America, as well as objects for ridicule and scorn in pop culture and the media. Outlets that attempt to report on these complications will be deplatformed faster than you can say "Hunter Biden's laptop." By the end of the year, Big Pharma, Big Government, and Big Tech will be a triumvirate, virtually indistinguishable from one another.
1. After months and months of scares and embarrassments, Joe Biden will not make it through his first year in office but will eventually have to resign for health reasons.
Biden will have the shortest presidential term since James Garfield. After he steps aside citing health reasons, by year's end the total control the Democrats celebrated in January will be considered precarious power at best, with the smallest House majority in 80 years, a Senate they control only by the vice presidential tie-breaker, and now a new president who wasn't elected to that position and herself has a shaky public persona. This will further destabilize a country already facing cultural balkanization and its most internal division since the 1850s.