By Editor-in-chief
updated 1/4/2007 9:56:01 AM ET 2007-01-04T14:56:01

War protests, web-based political interest groups, a third-party presidential campaign, a hedge fund crisis, over-extended consumers and a shift in the religious landscape. That’s what’s in store for America in 2007, according to grassroots opinion leaders surveyed online.

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“I predict in 2007 an interest group will form starting from the web that does not raise its voice for very few issues, but a whole basket,” wrote Jeff Morgan of Texas. “The concept of user-generated content will cause this to trickle down to state and local elections as well as national. The group's demographics will generally be on the younger side of 40, obviously drawing from those of higher Internet usage.  The image of the group will be young pop-culture enough such that the young and politically disengaged will look there for recommendations.”

“I think if President Bush calls for an escalation in the number of troops in Iraq. Oops, I mean a surge in troops,” wrote a community member who goes by the username Chenrossii.  “There will be a dramatic increase in the number of people participating in anti-war demonstrations. The Democrats won't be able to change the direction on their own.  They won't cutoff funding because they believe they will be blamed for abandoning the troops.  They will need to work with the Republicans in Congress to put pressure on the president from within his own party to have any real change in the stay-the-course policy.

BigBear: “The nation will continue to indulge in its "Hate Bush" campaign, failing to realize that he is the only person who hasn't changed his views and is sticking with the will to win.”

Heuib: “The times are ripe for a new party to form.  A person with enough guts and friends could easily steal members from both parties.”

“When the scandals like Enron and Martha Stewart's insider trading revealed our propensity towards excess, it also showed the duality of providing a service and making a profit. As marketing manipulates our desires for a product, providing a service becomes a secondary concern, at best. Recognizing that business is always about profit first is a bitter pill for anyone. The businesses that provide for their employees first, will emerge as successful providers of "customer service,’” wrote Kolt4JC, a frequent contributor to

Ctbob: “There is too much money in the hands of hedge funds. With interest rates low, they take on riskier and riskier investments to juice up returns. I can't predict which type of hedge fund investment will crater, (but) there will be a major loss in one of these firms which could unsettle the whole market.”

Popular culture
“Since I regard mega-churches like Rick Warren's as a facet of pop culture more than a religious movement, I think the marketing arms of such churches will try to embrace more “liberals,” leading to a modern day schism among mega-churches along lines of toleration,” wrote wamoshiii.

Badger38: “Those who have been living beyond their means may learn some hard lessons in the next couple years.”

Mikekeyy: “Everything I bought this Christmas season will be obsolete next year.”

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