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Actions have consequences. Sometimes the consequences are immediate, the direct result of a primary cause. Those are the easiest consequences to anticipate. Sometimes the consequences occur much later, part of a rippling wave of alternating effects and causes that grows ever more tenuous as it recedes from the initiating event. Occasionally it works the other way around: a seemingly minor action initiates a chain of events that grows inexorably toward a dramatic conclusion, a product of positive feedback. These are relatively rare, almost always unanticipated, and occasionally catastrophic.
In November we will either re-elect the Republican candidate or we will elect the Democratic candidate and, perhaps more importantly, his running mate. It’s plausible to assume that, following the election, the Senate will be in the hands of whichever party wins the White House. The House of Representatives, currently under Democratic control, is likely to remain under Democratic control barring some unforeseen groundswell of Republican turnout.
Because we’ve had four years with this President in the White House, we can make a prediction about the immediate effects of his re-election based on his past performance. Let’s consider what those immediate effects are, and are not, likely to be.