Hindsight is 2020.
The year of the pandemic unfolded in unimaginable ways and unlike 20/20 vision, we will struggle to fully understand it for generations.
To be fair, we were warned. Four scientists in a research paper published in the October 2007 journal of Clinical Microbiology Reviews, wrote, “the presence of a large reservoir of SARS-CoV-like viruses in horseshoe bats, together with the culture of eating exotic mammals in Southern China, is a time bomb.”
COVID-19 has sickened more than 79 million people and more than 1,776,500 people have died. Scientists are furiously studying new variant strains.
As we turn the page to 2021, the best way to predict the future is to understand the past. Americans will find the vaccines to be effective and the Roaring Twenties, a period of strong and sustained economic growth and social awakening, will begin in 2021, just like the Roaring 1920s.
The Spanish Flu of 1918 infected one-third of the world’s population and killed an estimated 20 to 50 million people, including 675,000 Americans. It killed more people than World War I.
Some historians now believe that the Spanish flu pandemic likely originated in China and Chinese laborers working behind British and French lines in World War I’s Western front may have been the source of the spread. The flu mutated and raged for two years in three successive waves, without the benefit of a vaccine to stop it.
By 1921, unemployment was up to nearly 12%, with civil unrest and violence. With a renewed sense of optimism, technological advancements, rapid industrial growth, mass production of consumer goods and tax cuts, America’s economy grew by 42% during the Roaring 1920s. Women won the right to vote and jazz music flourished.
Colorado’s economy will surge this year setting up the greatest six-month economic growth cycle in Colorado’s history. Led by Gov. Jared Polis, Colorado leaders have already taken what limited action they could to provide some targeted financial assistance. These leaders will go one step further and take no unnecessary legislative or other regulatory actions that could hurt businesses and stymie our recovery. Outdoor recreation, travel and leisure, transportation, and live events will bounce back with a vengeance.
A storm is brewing within both political parties.
Republicans will splinter into two distinct factions: the Trumpers and the anti-Trumpers.
A new Gallup poll found that 87% of Republicans approve of Trump’s job performance. And, as Congress meets Wednesday to validate the election results, a different Fox News poll showed that a whopping 68% of Republicans remarkably believe that the election was stolen from him.
Not satisfied with the mostly glowing coverage he receives from Fox News, Trump will launch the Trump TV network to wage war against his fellow Republicans who fail to fall in line with him and set in motion his 2024 presidential campaign. In one of his TV movies, The Wizard of Odd, Trump will sternly tell the cowardly Republican lion, “You’re nothing but a great big coward,” “You’re right. I am a coward. I haven’t any courage at all” the silent Republican lion will answer, voice trembling, with tears running down his cheeks.
Will the cowardly Anti-Trumper Republican lions find courage and fight back?
Sens. Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Govs. Charlie Baker and Larry Hogan, and former President George W. Bush are not cowardly at all. These Republicans will reach out to their colleagues, party leaders, traditional Republican donors, and Political Action Committees like The Lincoln Project to strategize and re-arrest the party base from Trump. They will do so by seizing on traditional Republican core values of smaller government, balanced budgets and the rule of law.
Far left-leaning Democratic leaders feeling that the nomination was stripped from Sen. Bernie Sanders during the South Carolina primary contest, and believing that Joe Biden’s moderate White House isn’t delivering on their extreme agenda, will actively begin to target and primary their own elected officials and leaders.
Trump, after pardoning everyone that asks from his Mar-A-Lago Club along with close family members and associates, will pardon the Tiger King and give him a weekly news show on Trump TV.
Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue will win their Georgia Senate seats and Republicans will hold onto their Senate majority.
With the support and leadership of bi-partisan mayors across the country like Michael Hancock and Mike Coffman, Congress will pass a major infrastructure bill further fueling the economic recovery of the Roaring Twenties.
Locally, Colorado lost some of our favorite restaurants and venues, like Racine’s, El Chapultepec, Zaidy’s and Pete’s Greek Town in 2020. One of them will reopen to big crowds. And, a local singer with the last name of Friednash who goes by the name of J Bella, will take the music industry by storm.
Let the Roaring 20’s begin.
Doug Friednash is a Denver native, a partner with the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber and Schreck and the former chief of staff for Gov. John Hickenlooper.
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