Boy was I wrong!
A year ago (in my blog on January 3) I made predictions as follows:
1. I join Noam Chomsky in predicting that Donald Trump will win a second term as President of the United States.
2. In Thailand projects will multiply to normalize the reign of the new King.
3. The Church of Christ in Thailand will face humiliation and governmental scrutiny.
4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aggressive nationalism in India will either backfire as ethnic-religious minorities unite to oppose infringement of their civil rights and status, or international opposition will materialize as the specter of massive militant Hinduism again looms over South Asia.
The biggest mistake I made, along with almost every pundit on earth, was to ignore the year’s greatest disaster, the COVID-19 pandemic. I remember actually thinking I should include it, but my blog was getting long.
Obviously, the second big mistake was to give in to my fear that Trump would pull off a second term as Democrats sputter and splinter, as we usually do. It was Trump’s incompetent handling of the epidemic that did him in.
My other mistakes were more subtle.
In Thailand projects have multiplied to normalize the reign of the current King. He has moved back to the country, and a wide-ranging campaign to rally recognition of his standing is underway. What we missed came completely out of the blue when the young generation defied history and began demanding constitutional reforms that include new fair elections and royal submission to constitutional law. That protest movement was the Thai political story of the year.
As for the Church of Christ in Thailand, I was mostly wrong. Government scrutiny has continued, but it has not interrupted the functioning of the CCT. The officials continue to run things and to function.
In India neither of the things happened that I said would occur. Ethnic minorities did not rise up and international opposition to Modi’s aggressive nationalism came neither from international Islamic forces nor from China.
It could be that future historians will refer to 2020 as the year of a massive change in the way people do things, including the way they communicate and create communities. That would be a paradigm shift.
Anyway, I think I know what I was doing wrong with my predictions, and I have fixed it. I was using the wrong type of prognostication device. It is not swirling clouds inside a crystal orb I should have been looking for, but bright reflections with the truth spectrum neatly illuminated. I have an improved crystal ball. And it has told me all I need to know about 2021.
It has said, “Take it one day at a time.”
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson posts his weekly reflections on this blog.