Rather than inflict these thoughts on my non-political Facebook friends, I have dumped there here on the old blog (so that they might be bookmarked and laughed at when they fail to come true… if there still IS an Internet in 30 years, bwa ha ha hah).
These are some very general observations. I wouldn’t call them “predictions” so much as possibilities, or symptoms we may see develop over time. They aren’t really based on a close reading of any one line of thinking, although I admit that among other articles I’ve read lately, the “How Stable Are Democracies?” piece in the New York Times was a good read.
My only guiding principle for items such as these, is simply that “The future will not resemble the present.” I have roughly organized them in order of “more likely” to “less likely.”
Internal cultural and historical faultlines, previously ignored or minimized, will come to the fore as democracies destabilize, including in the U.S.
Some tools previously used to reliably effect internal and external power moves by Western democracies, will be suddenly discovered to have grown rusty and useless. This will temporarily produce shock, panic and impulsive reactions by those who are used to using these tools.
Regional government figures, particularly those governing regions that lie along internal fault lines, will test their local powers under more political cover than they previously might have enjoyed. (There will be less focus on running for president and more focus on adding power and authority to their own offices.)
Lands, waters, railways, highways, ports, border frontiers, military and police bases and other civilian and on-the-ground military infrastructure will regain a more pressing domestic political importance in U.S. politics than in the past. (U.S. international strategies for controlling territory will be increasingly turned toward its domestic issues.)
As big business figures are named to high government posts, the possibility of explicit assassination attempts will increase against members of the government previously not subjected to such attempts, and violent overtures against much lower-ranking government figures and business/banking figures will generally increase. If these attempts are (let’s hope not) successful, a downward spiral of violent incidents along a “class war” front may temporarily develop in at-risk Western democracies.
At-risk Western democracies, including the U.S., may fluctuate wildly between rightwing autocracy and radical socialism, before things settle out again for most of these democracies, probably with foreign assistance.
At the end of the wider international crisis period, some national capitals may have effectively or actually physically moved, possibly including that of the U.S.
One new mainstream American political party will come into existence, born from either the Republican or Democratic parties (one of these parties will cease to exist).
America will likely retain a two-party system throughout the next century, but not necessarily a one-national-government system. (The combatants will remain the same, but the political prizes may change.)
At some point in the next thirty years, some parts of the U.S. could possibly be physically, politically or economically occupied/controlled by one or more foreign powers (as a democratically restored client state or states) although how long this might continue is unclear. (It could be very brief, or it could last decades.)