Well, one would hope it would be better than 2013 which everyone seems to agree was not a particularly great year. Many are calling the year just ending “the year of the living dread” or a year of crassness, coarseness and calamity.
To be sure, it was not a particularly good year for President Obama or Obamacare. And, on that front 2014 doesn’t look much better since Obamacare will really be kicking in as we move forward with all its new taxes, fees, regulations and repercussions that will rumble through the economy.
But, we’ll try to find some bright spots as we preview the year ahead.
So, here are our 14 Big Predictions for 2014:
1) Fashion’s obsession with the sleek, form-fitted look of the 1960s will continue to fade and designers will turn their attention to the postwar New Look as the latest inspiration. Yes, the 1940s will move into the spotlight. People will look for simpler, less snug styles and toward the more wholesome values of the period roughly spanning 1945 to 1955. In a way, this will be the last hurrah for the booming postwar era that helped define the American Century.
2) There will be a strong reaction to the smarmy, snarky, slutty streak that the popular culture has taken in recent years and people will begin to focus more and more on what bestselling author Charles Krauthammer has called Things That Matter. This shift will take many forms as movies and TV roll out biblically-themed projects including the upcoming flick Noah, starring Russell Crowe and Emma Watson. It will be a time of re-grounding centered around home, hearth and family as Americans re-examine the erosion of solid values and the loss of stability the culture seems to have suffered.
3) The GOP will have a very good year as the Republican Party puts together a more diverse coalition with a more centered platform without abandoning the bedrock foundations of conservatism that have always held a common-sense appeal. Republicans will easily retain control of the House of Representatives, continue to hold a solid majority among the nation’s governors and come thisclose to recapturing the U. S. Senate in what may be a cliffhanger 50/50 election that forces Vice President “Uncle” Joe Biden to be the tie-breaking vote. This will effectively paralyze our lame duck President Barack Obama as his administration heads into the sunset.
4) The long knives will be out for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in 2014 as conservatives continue to [wrongly] gripe that he does not lean far enough to the right while old-line, traditional GOP stalwarts question his bona fides and his reliability. The righties will look to people like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul while the country club Republicans will take a renewed look at Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Christie will have to work both ends and will need to walk a fine line even as he attempts to mend fences with such well-connected GOP blue bloods as former Governor Tom Kean. At home, his Democrat-controlled state legislature will give him additional headaches as his second term signals the beginning of the end of his tenure. But don’t underestimate Christie or his immense appeal built on no-nonsense authenticity and a powerful connection with everyday voters and taxpayers. Christie will build up plenty of IOUs during the year traveling throughout the country on behalf of GOP candidates He will remain widely popular and by the end of the year he will be well-positioned for a presidential run.
5) The winter of 2014 will feature below average temperatures for about two thirds of the nation but this will not be enough to encourage those who believe in global warming. There will be about 17 named hurricanes in 2014 and some of them will be severe.
6) Best Picture Oscar nominations will go to American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years A Slave, Philomena, Nebraska, Captain Phillips and August: Osage County, among others.
7) Hillary Clinton will have a difficult year in 2014 as new allegations emerge about her time as Secretary of State and concerns arise over her health. Though she will try to stay out of the spotlight, she will find herself on the defensive. The idea of her automatically being the Democrat nominee for president in 2016 will lose some of its appeal and she may miss her own deadline to decide one way or the other (by the end of the year) about a presidential bid.
8) The idea of a perfect suburban lawn will begin to fade in 2014 as people turn more and more toward alternative ground covers that are viewed as more environmentally friendly. These will even include artificial turf or other synthetic surfaces as people turn away from traditional, water-dependent ground coverings.
9) One of the big new terms of the year will be “fandom.” For businesses and other entities, the “fandom” is basically your most-enthusiastic audience — the subculture of raving fanatics who can and will do a great deal of your marketing for you. They will effectively empower your brand and sell it to others. And social media makes this group more powerful than ever before. Watch closely as businesses and even non-profits take a page from sports and put diehard fans at the top of their list.
10) Come-from-nowhere political shockers of the year are likely to emerge from Maryland, Massachusetts or California where Governor Martin O’Malley, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Governor Jerry Brown will all toy with a presidential run as a possible Democrat primary challenger to Hillary Clinton. One (or even two) of these three could prove to be surprisingly viable.
11) Special mobile websites will die in 2014 as mobile browsers are being replaced by fully functional versions that run on any sort of device.
12) Best Actor and Actress Oscar nominations will go to Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Judi Dench.
13) In home decor, wood surfaces will be on the rebound. Look for butcher block to re-emerge along with hardwood, textured wood, distressed wood and carpentry with natural edges. Painted walls will lose their appeal. The warm glow of wood will provide a more homey feeling.
14) And what about the Phillies and the Eagles? Well, the teams will not make it to the World series or the Super Bowl respectively. Look for the Seattle Seahawks to win the first Super Bowl ever held in New Jersey.
Oh, here’s one more just for good measure: The honeymoon will begin to evaporate for Pope Francis in 2014 as the media prove more skeptical and the Pontiff is forced to grapple with the problems of the Roman Curia and other long-festering Church issues. The charm offensive will have to give way to the hard work of turning around a two-thousand-year-old institution. It won’t be easy and it will take it’s toll on the Holy Father. Pray for him!
Happy 2014, everybody!