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Jacob Heilbrunn Politics

Five things that could go well for Donald Trump in 2018

December 31, 2017

8:00 AM

31 December 2017

8:00 AM

It has not gone unnoticed that a number of commenters to my occasional Spectator blogs harbour keen, if not outright enthusiastic, views of the current occupant of the Oval Office – a touching display of faith that suggests there truly is something special about the relationship between America and the United Kingdom. So in the conciliatory Christmas spirit, I wish to offer five ways that the Donald could surprise his critics and come out on top in the new year.

First, the stock market. The professional naysayers are almost unanimous in saying that the era of big gains is over. Then again, they said that last year. What if Trump’s audacious tax cut really works, propelling Reaganite growth? The stock market, in this case, would not have priced in all the forthcoming gains. Dow, 30,000? You bet.

Second, Iran. Surprises always lurk abroad. But they can be pleasant as well as nasty. The current protests could morph into a real revolution, toppling the mullahs and ushering in a new and peaceful democracy. The new regime credits disdain for the nuclear deal as a key component in helping to delegitimize the old authoritarian order. Trump is invited to Tehran, where he opens an American embassy and receives a gaudy gold medal of freedom and a Peacock Throne to install in the White House.

Third, Trump calls North Korea’s bluff. Just as liberal ninnies were wrong to wring their hands about Ronald Reagan’s evil empire rhetoric, so Trump disproved the foreign policy establishment by launching limited military strikes that result in an internal coup that ousts Kim Jong-un. Detente begins and the DMZ is dismantled.

Fourth, special counsel Robert Mueller wraps up his Russia investigation and unequivocally clears Trump. It was overzealous underlings, his report concludes, not Trump, who tried to reach out to the Kremlin. Jared Kushner takes the fall but is pardoned by his father-in-law. This, Trump says, is a clear case of family values at their best.

Fifth, Trump, exuberant at being exonerated, barnstorms the country on behalf of the GOP in the autumn elections. Predictions of a Republican rout turn out to be sheer blibber-blabber and it’s Trump who is triumphant.


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