5 Predictions For The 2014 Election Cycle

My favorite time of the year is the fall when the leaves are changing to beautiful colors and the sun is still bright. This indomitable winter has cast an eerie light on things to come for the rest of 2014. Already we’ve had a dreary and windy political winter (Bridgegate, Ukraine etc.) which has seemed to infringe upon the new season. I’ve been wondering what could be next for this midterm election cycle especially in a time of climate change and extreme weather.
Predicting politics is much like the trying to pinpoint the amount of snowfall we’re supposed to have in May or the next 70+degree day here in upstate New York (which makes outdoor activities a possibility again). As we enter May, and an increasingly stalled Congress, frustrated citizens and elected officials as well as old rivals rearing their ugly heads, I think there is going to be a blistering summer of heat and extreme weather.
Here are a few predictions for the 2014 election cycle:

1. Anything but “Super” PACs

Sort of like global warming, SuperPACs with all their controversy have still managed to stay under the radar for most Americans. Most people aren’t aware or simply don’t care about how our elections are financed. I see an epic calamity where more dollars will flow into the political process to “primary” those candidates not in line with the Tea, Republican or Democratic parties in order to maintain the current political order of things. As we continue to funnel money from unknown sources to finance political advertising in the name of free speech, it will be hard to establish fact from fiction, wind from sunlight and real leadership from poll-mongering political elites.

2. “Cause I’m coming at you like a dark horse”

A political dark horse will emerge for the 2016 presidential race. Everyone is talking about Hillary and Jeb as if they are inevitable. But if we’ve learned anything from history of these brewing political storms, it’s that Democrats have not elected a front-runner in a non-incumbent year since back to Kennedy or possibly FDR. Maybe Hillary will position herself as a dark horse and wait until 2015 or even later to announce her candidacy. However, with all the pundits salivating over another Clinton-Bush battle royale, there might be a new candidate emerging on either side. Moderate, common-sense and no nonsense straight talking person. Andrew Cuomo? Martin O’Malley? Scott Walker? Hmmm. Dems have an edge here.

3. Storms that will be felt for a long time

Congress has an approval rating so low; it’s tough to imagine that citizens haven’t voted out the entire lot. But like I said, there are so many PACs, super or otherwise that help to maintain an artificial balance of “let’s not advance any legislation from the either party.” My favorite quotes from Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and other somewhat vulnerable elected officials aside, there will be no breakthrough in terms of legislating. I haven’t given up all hope, but I think most people are more concerned about jobs and the economy than the pending, long-term problems that circle over us like potential tornadoes or hurricanes. There needs to be a long-term view that many in Congress don’t even consider in favor of short-term political gain and protecting individual political interests. A review of how our Congress functions would be a good step, but unlikely.

4. 20th Century thinking in a 21st century political climate

President Obama will continue to drop in the approval polls as a political storm will continue to be unleashed throughout the summer on Obamacare, foreign policy decisions and executive leadership. A 20th century mindset still occupies so many of our elected elite and citizens that it will be very difficult to break through a thick overcast for many months or years. The wrong points will continue to be made in response to faux political crises and real, mounting concerns about our economy and job growth. Again, new ways of understanding how to govern and the appropriate measures of the success of political programs is in order. Blasting government programs as ineffectual and wasteful will become the theme for most Republicans as Democrats will continue to spin the other side as the party of “no” without vision.

5. The rise of the right

Unless significant political scandals take place, or strong Democratic grassroots fundraising can keep pace, it’s unlikely that we’ll see much change in the composition of Congress in 2014. However, my view is that things are trending Republican, which isn’t unusual, well into a second-term presidency with the economy the way it is. The problem for the right is that they haven’t galvanized enough voters to run the table through 2016. They are too fractured and extreme to offer any solutions to problems most Americans face. The trouble with moving to one end of the political spectrum is that fewer people believe you. You lose practicality in support of ideology and poor judgment. But with so much money flying around, the extremes become more plausible. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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