Wishcaster


Saipan — Humans, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, can foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year — and then, afterward, explain why it didn't happen.

In the Northern Marianas, months and weeks before Election Day, political “pundits” online were predicting the landslide election victory of the opposition candidate for governor. But in politics, as in sports, forecasting is usually wishcasting. And so, when the ballots were finally counted, and the results showed that the opposition candidate was in fact soundly defeated, the same trolls, err, experts proclaimed that they were “right” all along, but “voter fraud” had thwarted the “will of the people.” Right.

Here are other famous, and not so famous, predictions by experts through the years (Source: “The Experts Speak” by Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky):

“Democracy will be dead by 1950.” — John Langdon-Davies, British journalist and Fellow of the royal Anthropological Institute, 1936.

“I have been over into the future, and it works.” — Lincoln Steffens, American journalist, after visiting Soviet Russia in 1919.

“FDR will be a one-term president.” — Mark Sullivan, New York Herald Tribune columnist, 1935.

“Dewey is sure to be elected.” — Drew Pearson, syndicated columnist, 1948. Dewey lost to Truman.