Election Day: Most Predictions of the Next Four Years Will Be Wrong

By John J. Pitney, Jr. | The Christian Science Monitor, November 5, 2012 | Go to article overview

Election Day: Most Predictions of the Next Four Years Will Be Wrong


John J. Pitney, Jr., The Christian Science Monitor


Between now and the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, there will be many predictions of what the next four years will bring. Most of those will be wrong. As it always does, the fate of the administration will hinge on things that no one can predict.

The future is full of unknowns. In 1912, Woodrow Wilson campaigned for president on domestic issues, and his 1913 inaugural address did not even mention the words war or military. When he delivered that speech, he surely had never heard of the man Gavrilo Princip. In 1914, this obscure young Serb assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, triggering a chain of events that would result in World War I.

Closer to our own time, Jimmy Carter was another president whose campaign had a domestic emphasis. In 1976, he made brief remarks questioning the scope of arms sales to Iran, but otherwise had little to say about that country.

During his first year as president, he said: Iran, because of the great leadership of the shah, is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world. Within a couple of years, that island of stability had become a caldron of chaos. Revolutionaries deposed the shah and seized American hostages, launching a crisis that would become an obsession for the United States and a political disaster for Mr. Carter.

Around the same time, another country supplied another shock. Neither Carter nor Gerald Ford had talked about Afghanistan during their 1976 contest. In fact, Afghanistanism was a slang term for excessive concern with unimportant parts of the world.

In December 1979, Afghanistan suddenly became important when the Soviet Union invaded. Carter, who had once spoken of an inordinate fear of communism, said that the invasion has made a more dramatic change in my own opinion of what the Soviets ultimate goals are than anything theyve done in the previous time Ive been in office.

CIA-backed rebels eventually pushed the Soviets out, and Afghanistan again receded from the American mind. In the Bush-Gore debates of 2000, the name of the country never came up. Even more striking in hindsight is that the issue of terrorism got only fleeting attention from the candidates. Instead of arguing about who would get tougher against our enemies, candidate George W. Bush said and Vice President Al Gore agreed that the US should be a strong but humble nation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Election Day: Most Predictions of the Next Four Years Will Be Wrong
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.