The word is actually adapted from an ancient Sanskrit word meaning spiritual leader. According to Merriam Webster, the original pundits were highly respected teachers and leaders in India. Their title was taken from the Hindi word pandit, a term of respect for a wise person that itself derives from the Sanskrit pandita, meaning "learned." English speakers began using the form pundit specifically to refer to those Hindu sages as long ago as the 1600s. The Atlantic quibbles about the irony of today's pundits being called "spiritual leaders." click here )
But suffice it that it has been devilishly hard to predict what Donald Trump will do, or what will happen around him. Because he is so clearly a deer in the headlights, so clearly a chaotic and politically irresponsible figure, special interests are all jockeying to see who can get his ear first.
However, I am just as sure of it as little green apples growing in August near a particular midwestern city that each and every one of those major special interests has formulated contingency plans by now to account for and adapt to the inevitable event of Trump's deposing, long before the completion of his four-year term.
In fact, it is a fair speculation that the Republican Party will not want to wait until the next mid-term to replace him. The party (although maintaining its true agenda, which is to take over state legislative bodies till it can get all it wants in a Constitutional Convention) is looking at a 2018 repudiation of any Congressman or Senator who chooses to stand behind Trump's politics or policies, such as they have so far been rammed down people's throats in the blizzard of executive orders here as the 48th day of his "Administration" comes to a close.
Mike Pence will have much longer coattails than Trump. You can bet that HIS executive team has months ago formulated its contingency plans for succession. Practically the only downside this pundit can see in the acceptability of Mike Pence to the Republican Party is that he was willing to join with Donald Trump!
He's quite a social conservative, and that is certainly not acceptable to me. But it is clear that the country is at risk every day that this greedy nincompoop representative of the gambling industry, who would have made all the money that he ever wanted if he'd stuck to Plan A, the development and ownership of Havana Cuba after normalization was complete, is in statutory power.
Trump, and the entire Trump consortium, which includes some anonymous billionaires, blew it by winning the presidency. Hillary would have completed normalization for him and his partners.
With a stroke of a pen, American tourists would have been able to freely travel to and from the island nation to visit, gamble, and spend money. Trump cannot just make the same stroke, and he can't reap profits from the investments of those partners now, no matter how he might bluster about having no possibility of conflict of interest.
Remember back in early 2016, when the field of Republican candidates had been winnowed to four? It was John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump. At the Primary debate, the first three sparred over who would be more forceful in their policies against Cuba; they practically wanted to bomb the place (I can hardly think that John Kasich REALLY thinks like that).
But answering the same question from the moderator, Donald Trump quite plainly said that he would be open to doing business with the Cubans, in order to get the best deal.
The most lap-dog performance of the press, which did not take the threat of Donald Trump seriously, as much as anything else because they-- we-- miscalculated the level of support a pop-culture huckster would achieve no matter what he actually said, during the entire 2015-16 primary and election campaign, was to never question, no, not once, the extent of Donald Trump's holding, and his intentions and those of his business associates, as to real estate and casino development in Cuba. Given the cross between Trump's sheer egoism and his cockamamie figuring that a President really CAN'T have a conflict of interest, he probably would have answered with SOME information.
Pundit. Yeah, people take me for that all the time. Some of you holler bravo, some of you fire a salvo.
All of us pundits missed on Trump already. No major newspaper endorsed him. And there was the FBI Director's deus ex machina at the end that actually determined the race.
If what the candidates said was actually to be decisive in that race, then "Locker Room Talk" should have ended it. Against any other candidate, it would have.
It is in the hands of the Republican Party to depose this man for the good of the nation, and (on net assessment of Trump and Pence) for the less-bad of the planet. However, it is also asking Republicans dependent for their political lives on specific special interests to repudiate a man who so clearly represents triumph of the unregulated capitalism they mule-headedly support, whatever he does in social policy.