In 1988, I watched a documentary detailing the end of the world. The mix of prophecies from the Bible and other religious texts combined with Nostradamus and other fortune tellers truly concerned me. When the 1990s rolled around without massive destruction across the planet, I learned we must be cognizant of potential pitfalls while not allowing fear to paralyze us, or worse, force us to act idiotically. Since then, I’ve tried to remain level-headed about predictions.
It’s ironic that 30 years after my initial experience with bad predictions, I’m ready to start making predictions of my own (though hopefully not bad ones). The writing on the wall is clear to me. We’re in for a crazy year, one that should bring great things and horrible things at the same time. Some would say this describes every year, but it just seems different this time. We’re on the verge of turning points politically, culturally, and religiously.
The perfect storm of major and minor shifts are all coming together now. Individually, they’re business as usually. When they happen together, there’s a good potential for chain reactions to take place that shift the paradigms driving America and the world. Some of these shifts will be wonderful. Others could be terrible. Here are some of the things to watch for in 2018:
Economic downturn prompted by the media
The biggest factor in any election year is the economy. More specifically, how individuals and families are personally fairing helps determine how they’ll vote. It’s more prominent in a presidential election year than in midterm elections, but it still plays a major role.
Today, the economy is looking strong. What many people don’t realize is that the strength of the economy is highly influenced by perceptions of its strength. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy; when the people think the economy is doing well, it does well. When they start fearing their personal fiscal situation or the near future of the national economy, downturns happen.
Most of the power players in mainstream media knows this. They also know that the strength or weakness of the economy can shift elections faster than a Russian email hack. Generally, they support Democrats. This means we’re going to see the frequency of negative economic stories increase in order to paint the GOP in a negative light.
If President Trump, Wall Street, private industry, and the Republicans can put out a powerful counter-narrative, they can survive the media onslaught. If they can’t, the economy will scare itself into a downturn and Republicans will lose control of the Senate and possibly the House.
Turmoil in Israel
Things have been oddly quiet within Israel for a while now even as the rest of the world frets over it. As a small portion of world leaders move to support Israel and its right to name its own capital, the majority of nations and all Muslim countries continue to oppose Israel to various degrees. This is swelling contempt inside and out of the tiny nation. That contempt is going to turn into even more anti-Israel actions.
In 2018, pressure against Israel is going to bring things to a head within the nation itself. Concerns about pop stars cancelling concerts will be irrelevant. Israel will have much bigger fish to fry. One potential bit of turmoil could surround Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is growing more polarizing with each passing month. His supporters adore him and his detractors despise him. A major scandal or event could have Israelis calling for an early election for the Knesset. It’s not scheduled until November, 2019, but pressure from the people could force the government to hold an early election.
It isn’t just the relative quiet that Israel has been experiencing that worries me. Hatred against Israel and the Jewish people seemed to be on a sharp rise before President Trump announced the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as its capital. Now that he’s drawn that particular line, antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment is making its way to the light as political correctness succumbs to decades of pent-up rage. Expect it to prompt worse actions than U.N. resolutions and harsh words from Mahmoud Abbas. If they’re not careful, Israel could become divided ideologically and open the door to turmoil.
Solidifying the shrinking church
There is a lower percentage of American Christians today than ever. The sheer number of people going to church and/or professing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is declining, but there’s a silver lining. Anecdotally, I’ve noticed an increase in the willingness by Christians to be outspoken as well as a return of bold declarations of faith in public.
It seems as if the church is getting tired of being the punching bag of a good portion of the leftwing media and political agendas. Losing on gay marriage, the continued public funding of Planned Parenthood, and an awaking against the lukewarm “prosperity gospel” have forced many Christians to be more aggressive.
Of all the predictions I’m making, this is the one that I’m most hopeful about. It’s also the one in which I’m most likely to be wrong. Complacency is the greatest enemy to passion when it comes to our worldviews. It’s possible many Christians will have their faith chipped away in 2018, but I believe it will turn in the other direction. Will the size of the church grow? No. Will the faith and actions performed by those of faith increase in 2018? I believe it will.
Rise of the church in other countries
While we fight a church in decline in America, the trends are pointing to a rise in churches around the world, particularly in areas where Christianity was previously or is currently not allowed. The power of the true Gospel is magnified in areas where more is at stake than in America or most of Europe. We tend to take it for granted that we can read our Bibles or talk about Jesus Christ with our peers. In other countries, they have to be much more careful.
This is one of the reasons I’m certain the church will continue to expand worldwide even as it dwindles in western societies. The other reason is more direct. I believe the Spirit is moving people around the world. Once again, I have no evidence than what I’ve seen anecdotally, but it seems to be quite clear nevertheless.
Terrorism in America, homegrown or not
We’ve been living on borrowed time when it comes to terrorism in America. There haven’t been a whole lot of attacks since 9/11, Most of this can be attributed to law enforcement, but even they have allowed a few attacks to slip through the cracks.
I’m troubled to admit I don’t believe our good fortune will last in 2018. Whether terrorists find their way across the border or radical Islamic ideology finds its way into the hearts and minds of more people already in America, there is almost certainly going to be a rise in terrorist attacks.
Technology is partially on our side, but it’s also making the problem worse. Terrorists have been learning recently that their use of technology must be more discreet. News of stings against potential terrorists had been kept relatively quiet for a decade and a half, but as leaks and a push to anoint heroes bring these stories to the forefront, terrorists are learning to adapt.
It won’t just be bombing, shootings, or vehicular attacks. Cyberattacks are also going to rise and it won’t just be coming from outside. Having people on the ground isn’t just effective in military conflicts. Local proxies working with hackers domestically and abroad contribute to their ability to commit cyberterrorism. As always, remain diligent.
Expansion of trustworthy new media outlets
One of the reasons we built NOQ Report and The New Americana in the first place was to counter the rise of biased journalism in mainstream media. We were given the choice of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in part by the media. They declared Hillary would be their candidate and Trump would be the easiest person for her to beat, so they helped to isolate our choices.
NOQ Report plans to grow as a beacon of real news, opinions, and quotes to help conservatives and federalists reaffirm their worldviews. As we and others continue to emerge from the shadows where independent media sources have been relegated to for years, more Americans are turning to us to hear the truth big media companies refuse to reveal.
Turkey turns on us
Skeptics of Turkey being an ally of the United States have been screaming about it for years. Now, President Erdogan is becoming more vocal with his opposition to us. He has embraced Russia and is becoming more friendly with other Muslim nations in the Middle East for a reason.
His goal is to revive the Ottoman Empire. Any illusions that this isn’t the case should be wiped away completely in 2018.
We are bound by our NATO agreement to work with Turkey to some extent, but outside of military conflict turned against them or us, there should be very little dialogue with them. It isn’t that diplomacy won’t work, but their government is a snake that will bite us when we get close enough. They will counter us on every move that doesn’t promote them directly. It’s conspicuous that Erdogan was the most vocal of all Middle East leaders other than Abbas in his opposition to the Jerusalem move. He also led the charge to name Jerusalem the capital of Palestine.
Turkey is not our ally other than on paper. We shouldn’t antagonize them without reason, but we can no longer trust them.
Social justice warriors exposed
Lies have two paths over time. They either get told often enough that they become the truth or they get exposed often enough that they become irrelevant. When it comes to many of the social just causes, the latter will happen in 2018.
“Snowflakes” in colleges across the country are having a harder time promoting their narratives because of the contradictions they represent. They’re opposed to free speech when they can label it as “hate speech,” yet they continue to use hateful speech in attempts to quash opposing views. The idiocy of the gender debate is turning into a debacle as dozens of gender identities make a mockery of their argument. As for the NFL kneelers, the worst thing that could happen to them is already happening. They’re becoming irrelevant.
Of all the predictions I’m making, this is the one that is most certain. That’s not to say they’ll end their crusade, but trends are already starting to turn against them. Instead of being the leaders of a revolution as their 1960s predecessors were, they’re embarrassing themselves with just about every action they take. Meanwhile, conservatives continue to avoid taking the bait. They’re establishing dialogues while being shunned by social justice warriors. As long as we continue down this path instead of playing the game on their terms, the court of public opinion will be on our side.
Making Saudi Arabia great again
I’ve been critical of some things and hopeful about other things the Trump administration is doing, but one thing that I’m adamantly opposed to is their wholehearted embrace of Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince who will soon be King. Even if we set aside the blatant human rights violations committed by Saudi Arabia against its neighbors and its own people, we can’t shouldn’t ignore the economic threat they pose.
Instead of letting them start to crumble under their own weight, expect he United States to lift them up and keep them propped as the biggest player in the Middle East. It makes a little sense since they’re the primary reason the dollar is still the world’s reserve currency, but doing so just keeps kicking the can down the road.
Saudi Arabia will be propelled into a central role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. They’ll be pushed to lead the Middle East instead of an emergent Turkey or a militant Iran. MBS will be brought to more negotiating tables in a short time than his father ever was.
By the end of 2018, Saudi Arabia will have been propped up so high by the United States that they’ll have more influence on the Middle East and the world than they ever have before. As their dominance in oil fades, their dominance in other aspects of world leadership will skyrocket.
The rise of the Federalist Party
I saved this for last because it’s the one I’m that holds my most direct involvement. 2017 was a good year for the Federalist Party. We got the word out to hundreds of thousands of people, secured support from prominent people in media and government, and learned how to adjust our strategies to the challenges that face an emerging political party.
In many ways, we’re much further ahead than I expected when we launched this year. In other ways, I would have liked to have done more. The latter sets us up for a big push in 2018 as we make plans for more articles, interviews, events, and the true start to fundraising. It takes money to run a party, as I’ve personally learned. The apparatus is being built to get contributions ramped up in our second year.
Conspicuously missing from my list are North Korea, Iran, and Obamacare. On these three issues, I have no predictions. They’re such wildcards on the geopolitical landscape that I won’t even attempt it.
As much as I’d love to go into 2018 with nothing but hope, we have to be cognizant of the challenges we face. Nefarious forces aim to take us down. As long as we keep our eyes open and our hearts focused on making things better, we can overcome these challenges. We just need a little faith to see us through.