I went to my optometrist last week, Dr. A. Styg Matism, for my annual checkup. Styg put some drops in my eye. I assumed he was checking for glaucoma, cataracts and such. Then he had me read the usual charts, beginning with the big E at the top.
Amazingly, the chart kept reorganizing letters, the first of which read P-R-O-P-H-E-C-Y.
Then, as we moved down to the finer print, the letters continued to shuffle, forming words and then sentences. Here’s what I saw:
• Donald Trump will be re-elected, defeating the socialist Bernie Sanders. Sanders will gain the Democratic Party nomination after winning the California primary in March, causing Elizabeth Warren to drop out. All the ultraliberals will then feel the Bern. The public will be torn between wanting the insulting Trump removed and wanting to protect their own financial well-being, and finally opt for Trump in its collective self-interest.
• Trump won’t be tried in the Senate until June. The House will term it a “sham trial,” because the Democrats’ strategy is to put the Senate on trial, not Trump. Their plan is to pick up four Senate seats and the presidency, giving them control of both the legislative and executive branches.
• The U.S. Senate will remain in Republican control, albeit by a slimmer margin. The GOP will lose three seats, leaving the Senate even, 50-50, but with Republican Vice President Mike Pence breaking all ties.
• Republicans will gain back about 10 seats in the U.S. House, but remain in the minority. Democrats will hold 227 seats, while the GOP will hold 208.
• In Minnesota, seven of eight incumbent U.S. House members will be re-elected. Only 7th District Rep. Collin Peterson will be ousted, replaced by Republican Michelle Fischbach. Fischbach, a former state Senate president, is the strongest opponent Peterson has had in years.
• Rookie 5th District Rep. Ilhan Omar will survive a close call. With millions in funding from lefties all over the nation, the founding member of “the Squad” will beat back a strong challenge in the DFL primary, and then win the general election easily. Her primary win will fire up the Republican base, causing Peterson’s loss.
• The push-pull effect of the polarizing Trump and Omar will result in little change in the Minnesota Legislature. Republicans will continue to hold the Senate 35-32, and Democrats will control the House 70-64, after losing about five seats.
• Trump will win Minnesota unless Sanders chooses Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar as his running mate.
• Minnesota’s other U.S. senator, Tina Smith, will defeat Republican Jason Lewis in a race so close, a recount will be necessary.
• The Dow Jones Industrial Average will still be over 28,000 at year end, because Trump jawboned the Federal Reserve’s Never Trumpers and Democrats into ditching plans to raise interest rates until a recession occurred.
• North Korea will launch a cyberattack on the United States as revenge for the U.S. insisting that Kim Jong Un stop lobbing intercontinental missiles in our general direction.
• Russia, accompanied this time by China, will meddle in U.S. elections, encouraging division among Americans, when our true enemies are abroad. They will use go-betweens to continue sending divisive election messages on social media. This, in turn, will create more pressure to break up the big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.
Globally, populism will continue to grow, particularly in South America, as people become increasingly dissatisfied with the existing economic order.
The continued melting of the polar ice caps and the resulting increase in precipitation in Minnesota will turn more of the state’s residents into believers in global warming — and this in spite of another brief polar vortex.
• The Minnesota Senate will stop recreational marijuana use from being legalized in the state.
• Governor Tim Walz’ plan to create economic incentives for people to buy electric cars will come back to bite him when people realize that such a move will increase the price of their new car, electric or not.
• A semi-ban on vaping products will be enacted, leading to an increase in lung cancer.
• The most watched TV show of the year will be the first Trump-Sanders debate. No minds will be changed, but all viewers will be entertained in a black humor sort of way.
• “The Irishman” will win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
• It won’t be a great year for Minnesota sports fans. The Wild will make the playoffs, but exit early. The Timberwolves will earn a top five lottery pick by winning less than 25 games. The Twins will contend, but ultimately lose out to Cleveland for the American League Central title. The Vikings will make an early exit from this year’s playoffs, and will have an off year next season. The highlight will be the Gopher women’s basketball team which will contend for the Big Ten title and make it to the NCAA Sweet 16. The Gopher men won’t make the NCAA March Madness tournament. The Gopher football team, playing a tougher schedule, will fall back to 8-4.
That was the strangest eye exam ever. It must have been the eye drops, but, hey, I can see 2020 now.
Tom West, now retired, is the former general manager of this paper. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.