“Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency,” ran a headline in The New Yorker. That was back on April 14. Writer Adam Davidson gravely averred, “This is the week we know, with increasing certainty, that we are entering the last phase of the Trump Presidency. This doesn’t feel like a prophecy; it feels like a simple statement of the apparent truth.”
Can something really be a “certainty” if its odds are still “increasing?” Death is a certainty. The likelihood of it occurring is, however, quite stable.
But, hey, Davidson could be right. Remember when Karl Marx said it was an inevitable historical fact that capitalism would die? It’s only been 150 years — give the man time! By contrast, recall that, a year before Davidson turned The New Yorker into his personal prophecy-delivery system, The Independent promised (May 18, 2017), “This is how Donald Trump’s presidency will crumble in the next year.” Amateurish. Never supply an expiration date that could falsify your claim. Be thunderously certain, pundits — but be vague in your certainty.