I have six minutes to kill before a webinar, so I thought I'd post my Thursday thoughts on the presidential election. I am going out on a limb with a rather out-there prediction.
I'm reading David Kennedy'as "Freedom from Fear" book about the Great Depression (and WW2), and I am amazed at some of the parallels between the first 30 years of the 20th century and the last 30:
* Predominantly Republican rule, with a "laissez faire," no regulations, decentralized government approach
* Significant infighting in the Democratic party, particuluarly in the runup that led to Hoover's election (hence my upcoming prediction)
* Significant problems in the farming markets, sudden and dramatic shift in inventory and demand in manufacturing
* Abuse in the unregulated banking and stock markets
Perhaps this is a stretch, but FDR contracted polio in 1921 -- which effectively removed him from the mudslinging among the Democrats, so that he was able to emerge in the '30s as a new, promising candidate, when people were finally more open to change. (Shades of John Edwards...?)
Anyway, my prediction if history repeats itself: Americans are traditionally loathe to have government intervention, and the majority (I fear) are still loathe to embracing the change of a black man or white woman in charge. Clinton and Obama have divided the party, and neither has emerged as a uniter. Things still aren't bad enough for people to squeal. It's very close, what with people losing homes and the alarming price escalations of fuel and food. But, I'm betting on the rural, conservative, Libertarian mindset to balk at the thought of universal health care, and still be suspicious of change in the form of race or gender, without sufficient cause.
So, I predict John McCain will win. I predict it will end the GOP stranglehold, as conditions deteriorate and McCain delivers more of the same in terms of no taxes, no government oversight, no market regulation. And then I predict people will be ready to start really being able to consider embracing more "radical" ideas. (Radical for Americans, anyway!)