Grievous events will determine the next president

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The past several U.S. presidential elections have been decided based on the usual political calculus, i.e. candidates, demographics, voter turnout, money, debates and issues along with the economy and matters of war and peace.

That will not be the case in 2016. Instead, it is all but certain that election will be decided by transformative and possibly existential events.

The possibility for disruptive events is omnipresent, so why will it be different in 2016?

First, we can identify several areas that are ripe for a game-changing event. Second, we have postponed, temporized or failed to address critical matters that will reach a tipping point within four years. Third, the crises we have so far ignored have the potential to change an election. Fourth, at least one of these chickens will come home to roost, if not much of the flock.

I have identified six areas in which such politically seismic events are possible, if not likely, between now and the next election and assigned a probability range to each. They are presented in the order in which they are likely to occur.

  1. Debt Crisis – 40% to 60% likely: A debt crisis is almost inevitable. The only real question is whether it will happen by 2016. A debt crisis will erupt the instant people quit buying U.S. government debt under acceptable terms. This will plunge the United States into such a crisis that we will be lucky to maintain the rule of law and avoid widespread civil unrest.
  2. Terrorist Attack and Aftermath – 25% to 35%: We are losing the intelligence battle by refusing to incarcerate and effectively interrogate terrorists. Instead, we kill them with drones and gain zero knowledge. The intel gathered prior to Obama has become stale, and terrorists have adapted. If America suffers a devastating terror attack and it was found that intelligence failures were to blame, the election, ipso facto, will be decided.
  3. Loss of Iraq and/or Afghanistan – 25% to 35%: The current administration has failed to secure the gains made in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq easily could fall into the orbit of Iran or disintegrate into factions. Afghanistan could revert to tribal enmities, leading to the return of the Taliban and al-Qaida. Should either or both of these events happen and our costly sacrifice in blood and treasure be for naught, it will get very ugly indeed.
  4. Iran Nuclear and/or Middle East Crisis - 20% to 30%: If Iran detonates a nuclear weapon, that could be an election changer. If Iran threatens Israel or actually uses an atomic weapon, it definitely will be a game changer. A full-blown Middle East crisis involving Israel will be transformative if it is shown the United States slighted Israel. Finally, if, as it now appears, the Arab Spring transmogrifies into a triumph for terrorists, extremists and the Muslim Brotherhood, it will make Benghazi seem tame by comparison.
  5. Obamacare Cost Explosion and/or Crisis – 20% to 30%: Obamacare remains wildly unpopular. When it takes full effect, costs will explode, people will lose coverage and finding health care will become problematic. Granted, this will not result in a single seismic event, but the cumulative effect could be just as devastating to its proponents.
  6. Europe Implosion – 15% to 25%: Although this would not impact America directly, it would provide clear and convincing evidence that it is disastrous to follow a similar path. With daily images of death and devastation in Milan, Madrid and Marseilles fresh in the electorate’s minds, it is hard to see much support for big-government, no-growth policies.

Applying probability computations to the low end of the probability range for each of the above events informs us the probability of at least one of the events taking place is 82 percent, while the chances that two or more will occur are 45 percent. At the high end of the probability range for  each event, the chances become 94 percent that at least one of the events will occur and even money that two or more will occur. It is 15 percent to 20 percent likely three or more happen by 2016.

Each of these events would result in grievous electoral harm to those who caused them. Based on the midpoints of my analysis, it is 88 percent probable at least one election-altering event will take place, nearly 50 percent at least two such events take place and 18 percent three or more could occur. One event should be sufficient to decide the 2016 election, and two events would result in a landslide, not just in the presidential contest but in congressional and statewide elections. I shudder to think about what could happen if three or more of the chickens come home to roost.

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About George Noga

George Noga has BS and MBA degrees in finance from Florida State University and is the founder of More Liberty – Less Government Foundation. He currently serves as Chairman Emeritus of Children First Florida and Co-Chair for the Central Florida Center Right Coalition and is on the Central Florida Advisory Board of the James Madison Institute.
The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of BizPac Review.

  • Joe Ryan

    All the events you name above can directly be attributed to Barack Husein Obama and the Democrat led Senate. Question is will the media report the unadulterated truth or continue to carry the democrats water.

  • KB Cook

    Surprised? Nope, me neither. The naked emperor came to WDC to "fundamentally change" the USA … and he's doing what he promised. We-the-people will either pick up what's left when the dust settles and restore our great constitutional republic or we will have the same or another naked emperor. May God have mercy on us.

  • Chris Q

    The problem with these assumptions is that the author assumes people know who caused the problems and will throw them out. If any of these catastrophies actually occur, Obama will declare martial law and close the gate on his dictatorship. He's training his troops now and desensitizing them to killing Americans, men and women, old and young. The longer we wait to resist, the closer he gets to complete control.

  • Chris Q

    I agree that some of these events are likely, but if they do occur, it is also likely we will not have a 2016 election. They already stole the 2012 election with blatant fraud. It is unlikely we will have a real election again in the near future with the "low information" voters nurtured by the complicit media, and the corrupt justice department supporting the dictator in Chief we now have.

  • http://Bizpac Ted

    I think the thing that the author forgets is that America will always seek the midpoint. It will survive problems, both internally and externally. Throwing up numbers against wall, like the author does, forgets that we have, as a country, gone through some really crappy situations and we are still here. Each one of the items listed has a counter. Take the debt. If we owe someone money, someone wants us to pay it. They have a stake in making the solution available. Why would they shoot the golden goose? Or screw the pooch? I think this "end of the world", "panties in a twist" slant on events only fans the flame of panic. If panic comes, it wil come on its own. We have a lot of controls on events. We can use them or run around (chicken little?) in a self induced terror and loose control of the situation. Fear is a factor to control you. Don't let fear be the thing that manages you. Learn the facts, vote. Change the game. Stop this "dictator in chief" or other stoopid crap. Get your head out and get to work on the program. Please.

  • JJ

    The "program" is easy…unfortunately we came up about 3 million votes short out of 125 million total voters for the very reason you lament, Ted, because the vast majority of Americans are pathetically uninformed about the economic and fiscal issues facing our country – they actually believe what they hear from the talking heads on network news and believe it to be the truth – I'm not sure who is ore lost, them or Obama's economic advisors (most of whom just quit). This president and his democratic buddies simply will not stop spending money we don't have. And this problem will not "just go away"…I worked on sovereign debt restructurings in the early 1980's…are you old enough to remember the Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Chile debt problems that all struck at the same time when their respective economies simultaneously nearly collapsed under the debt burden, complicted by runaway inflation (and stagflation) shackled by low or no growth? All had sovereign borrowings in excess of 125% of GDP – a disaster at that time – it threatened to collapse the banking systems of the world and, in particular, the interdependent economic structure of the Western Hemisphere; sound familiar? The U.S. we will be at that debt/GDP ratio in just three short years and well over that ratio in four, given our current growth rate and the appetite for government spending, with little or no growth. There simply are not enough taxes to make up the difference, and that is certainly no recipe for growth. This threat is VERY real. Add to that the printing press running overtime at the Fed and we will be in deep "kimshee" before we have served out the sentence of this man's second term. Buckle up, because the ride is about to get a lot rougher…and just wait until the Chinese get to their first $trillion dollar rollover in about 2016 and say, " we'll roll this debt over on the condition that you _____…." …fill in the blank – that's REAL world debt management. And then, game over. Thank God Boehner is the last wall of defense against this continued insanity…

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  • http://Bizpac Ted

    If the Chinese want to get tough with us, we can print more money…They won't. They are also dealing with national and social problems of their own. Look at it this way: What choice do you have? Grumble and whine all you want. Even if you think the majority of voters are uninformed, the only option you have there is to enact some requirement that voters be landowners, or over 40, or something like that. Never fly. You are going to have to live with the voters as they are. They also spoke with Obama and the Democratic Agenda. The only way the GOP stays in a majority in the house is by rigging the votes through gerrymandering, i.e, Allen West. It didn't do him much good there because he was too far out there. The voters will speak and their wants will be followed by politicians who want to survive. The rest of us, will live with the results. What choice do you have? Other than blocking progress, not much else. JJ you laid out the problems. You are absolutely right by the numbers. How about listing some realistic, achieveable objective? Something we can do. No more chicken little. Please.