There are many self-proclaimed prophets in the world today and some of them are incredibly intelligent in various sectors but have made some epic fails in their prognostications of coming things. J.G. Ballard, the writer once said, “If enough people predict something it won’t happen.” That makes me laugh because the sheer number of people predicting something will impact it only to the degree their predictions influence people to do the things required to fulfill their prophecies. Otherwise, the number of prognosticators agreeing will have little to no effect on the outcome and often awards the prize of “egg on the face” for those jumping on the bandwagon of a popular prediction.
My reason for addressing this is my interest over the past several decades at predictions on various fronts and the fulfillment or lack thereof. I have discovered some that are incredibly humorous and speak more to the mindset of a particular era than the prognostication powers of the person making the prediction. Since, only God knows for sure what the future holds, I always take a political, economic, or social prediction with a grain of salt. In spiritual matters, I immediately take the prediction to the Bible and filter it through the Word of God as my initial reaction. If it bears up under the scrutiny of the Bible, then I make it a matter of prayer.
Recently, Dr. Walter Williams wrote an article on this subject and identified some epic fails among the more recent ‘experts’ prior to the election of President Donald Trump. Those prognosticators were predicting THE END OF THE WORLD on many fronts were Trump to win the election. Some of them, such as former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers predicted that if (and that was a big IF to him) Donald Trump was elected, there would be a protracted recession within 18 months. OOPS! You are no longer regarded as a prophet Mr. Summers. Just prior to the election, in an attempt to frighten the voters, The Washington Post ran an editorial with the inch-high headline “A President Trump Could Destroy the World Economy.” Well, Washington Post HERE’S YOUR SIGN. You are kicked out of the Prognosticators Club. Steve Rattner, a Democratic financier and former head of the National Economic Council sounded his alarm and prognostication, “If the unlikely event happens and Trump wins, you will see a market crash of historic proportions.” Mr. Rattner, you now join Mr. Summers and the Washington Post as False Prophets. They were not alone. I add one more for good measure by the illustrious Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote after it was apparent that Trump was going to win, “the world is very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight.” Mr. Krugman has been wrong so many times I’m not sure why anyone listens to this little boy crying wolf, but they do. Mostly, they listen to those prognosticators because they are saying what they want to hear and hoping they are right. I find it absolutely amazing that anyone would DESIRE the American Economy to collapse to bring about defeat for Donald Trump. Why would any American not want a growing economy that would benefit ALL AMERICANS? The simple answer is Political Ideology and Agenda rather than genuine interest in America and Americans.
Let’s take a trip back in time and consider some amazing predictions that were abject failures and today we realize their absurdity. I hope this is both enlightening, challenging, and in some small way amusing.
- In the 1400s the committee advising King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain regarding Christopher Columbus’ proposed adventure in 1486 said, “So many centuries after the Creation, it is unlikely that anyone could find hitherto unknown lands of any value.”
- In the 1500s came Nostradamus who created 6,338 vague and usually updated prophecies you’ll eventually get something correct. I compare that to predicting that a person is going to die but not putting a date on it. The Mayans at least gave us a date for the end of the world. Yep, it was 2012 and I do believe we are still here.
- In the 1600s the Roman Catholic Church in 1616 offered, “The view that the sun stands motionless at the center of the universe is foolish, philosophically false, utterly heretical…the view that the earth is not the center of the universe and even has a daily rotation is philosophically false, and at least an erroneous belief.” OOPS but consider the mindset of that day.
- In the 1700s Thomas Malthus argued in 1798 that population growth would outpace agricultural production. He said, “Assuming then my postulata as granted, I say, that the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio.” Now, you know that Population Control and Agenda 21 of the United Nations is not a new idea.
- In the 1800s we find Dr. Alfred Velpeau a surgeon in 1839 advancing his theory, “The abolishment of pain in surgery is chimera. It is absurd to go on seeking it…knife and pain are two words in surgery that must forever be associated in the consciousness of the patient.” THANK GOD HE WAS WRONG! How about Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883 – “X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” You are now President of the Here’s Your Sign Society, sir. Lord Kelvin also argued, “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” There were predictions that drilling for oil would prove to be insanity and that locomotives could never replace the stagecoach or that the telephone would prove to be an interesting fantasy with no sustaining life.
- In the 1900s H.G. Wells in 1901 said, “I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea.” Then President of the Michigan Savings Bank advised Henry Ford’s attorney, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company, 1903 saying, “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty-a fad.” In 1923, Nobel Prize Physicist Robert Millikan predicted, “There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.” In 1936, the New York Times declared, “A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” There are some today who still believe that! You might recall Life Magazine declaring in 1970, “By 1985, air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.”
Let me offer a couple more humorous things from the past. In 1919, Hall of Fame baseball player, Tris Speaker predicted regarding Babe Ruth, “Taking the best left-handed pitcher in baseball and converting him into a right fielder is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.”
How about William Kristol who told Fox News on December 17, 2006, “If [Hillary Clinton] gets in a race against John Edwards and Barack Obama, she is going to be the nominee. Gore is the only threat to her. Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I’ll predict that right now.” What a genius!
Let me tie this in a little bow and you can do what you will with it. I gave these simply to point out that all the Polls said Trump could not win, but he did. The Polls are telling us that the voters prefer the Democrats to the Republicans and the Democrats will regain control of Congress in 2018 and the White House in 2020. I don’t trust them and with all the failures in Polls and Prognostications, you should not either. They are often designed to discourage participation by Conservatives and Republicans. If they can get you to throw in the towel and consider it a lost cause they can win but if you and I go to the voting booths in November and exercise our Constitutional Right to Vote we can make these modern Prognosticators False Prophets. WHAT SAY YOU? Will, we unite and defeat those who want to transform American into something other than the Free Constitutional Republic with Free Enterprise? I SAY YES!
God bless you and God bless America!