Written Jan 12 – updated 2/20/19
Winning an election is a game to Donald Trump and the GOP. There was nothing sacred about the 2016 election to them. Once they deemed they could not win by legitimate means, they tried to fix things. We have seen this many times – at state and national levels – both in 2016 and 2018.
Fixing elections is also central to the Russian investigations. Our country’s executive branch, and most likely many key members of Congress, may have been suborned by an enemy of the USA – Russia. There is little doubt in our minds about that now. We are witnessing an attempt at a slow- motion coupe d’etat – all to keep our cowardly president out of harm’s way for crimes committed to get elected.
Meanwhile, our president is telling us to ignore the Mueller investigation. He calls it “fake news”. About 35% of Americans still buy the lies he is peddling – but even less believe the news is fake. Fake News is NOT a majority opinion. Thankfully.
I have said over and over again – Putin is directing this coupe. In an interview with a CBS reporter a few years back he practically said this. (link)
And so, though Dems did reasonable well in the 2018 election, we still have a sold-out Senate and executive branch. The resistance must do better in 2020.
To understand the importance importance of unifying the candidates it is useful to take a step back and think on what the spectacle of 10 to 20 Democrat hopefuls running in 2020 will actually look like.
I know some will say its great to see all the fresh energy out there. But most of this energy will be wasted when only one will be president. There will be serious heartbreak in many camps. So many lose for one to win. And it’s all very expensive too. So let’s really think about this 20 candidates thing.
Can so many decent candidates really have substantially different messages? That answer is clearly negative. The overall Democratic message is one: a government for the people. There may be different approaches to fulfilling the goals of everyday Americans- but those goals and values are going to be the message no matter who is the final candidate.
As citizens in a democracy, we should collectively define those objectives and goals. And we are doing better at that lately.
Think back to the spectacle of the 2016 GOP candidate’s race. There was about a dozen running. No one GOP candidate could really differentiate himself from the others without infighting cutting them down. Trump, not a politician, took advantage of that. He had no substantive message – just catch-all phrases, name calling ( low energy Jeb, little Marco, etc.) and fear mongering. – He stood out and won!
Dems just can’t afford divided messages in 2020. They can’t afford the inevitable infighting as well. Not this cycle. 2024 will be fine for that. But there will be no 2024 for democracy if we don’t get rid of Trump in or before 2020. So Dem’s can’t afford to gamble or be stupid about anything. And Americans can’t afford personal egos to stand in the way of what this country really needs.
So why on earth are so many Dem’s signing up to run for president? It feels like egos to me so far. The list of top 20 Democrat hopefuls for 2020 as of this post on 1/12/19.
Joe Biden, former vice president of the United States
Bernie Sanders (I), U.S. senator from Vermont Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City
Eric Swalwell, U.S. representative from California
Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from Massachusetts
Beto O’Rourke, U.S. representative from Texas
Cory Booker, U.S. senator from New Jersey
Jerry Brown, governor of California
Julian Castro, former U.S. secretary of housing
Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York, New York
Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, California
Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. senator from New York
Luis Gutierrez, U.S. representative from Illinois
Kamala Harris, U.S. senator from California
Eric Holder, former attorney general of the United States
Tim Kaine, U.S. senator from Virginia
John Kerry, former secretary of state of the United States
Amy Klobuchar, U.S. senator from Minnesota
Mitch Landrieu, former mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana
Terry McAuliffe, former governor of Virginia
If they all send out the same basic message of a government working for the people, the only discussion is who is best qualified to do the job and who can actually win in 2020. All these hopefuls will have to differentiate themselves from their competitors like the GOP candidates had to in 2016.
And therein lies the real issue. There will be mixed messages and inevitably a sense of infighting will set in, just like we saw in the GOP 2016 election runoff. The infighting alone will look like the Dem’s are a bit crazed – all saying the same thing basically – but not quite on the same page. The message will become “I can do this better” than the others. It will be easy for Trump or the GOP to relay that we don’t really know what we want or how to get it.
We are in the process of losing sight of what is most important: defeating Donald Trump. I have to get to this sad truth that we all know. There is a substantial portion of Americans who will not vote for people of color for POTUS. Many of them are happy to see people of color in lower positions in the government – but not as POTUS. And the same is true about women running for POTUS. You can ask Hillary about that – she will confirm. Do we ignore this percentage of people – chalking them up as Trump votes like a handicap to overcome? I don’t think that is smart. We have too much to lose.
This much is certain. The entirety of this county is not on board with a woman or person of color as POTUS. When you automatically lose a substantial portion of the electorate to sex or color, you start the election behind. With 2020 being so important, it seems to me that being qualified to serve, though important, is not as crucial as being able to win easily. And I stress easily because we know the GOP will try to cheat and/or Gerrymander, which is just legal cheating.
If 2020 is not going to be about people’s egos and childhood dreams to be president one day – but all about saving democracy – then we have to play our best game and run a white male with a heart, a good chance to beat Trump, and the experience to govern. Lack of experience in governing should be a non-starter in 2020 because we all can see how that is not working right now. No Oprah, etc. This is just math folks. Nothing personal. 2024 will be different. But there is no 2024 if we don’t win 2020.
And I need to say that I love the fighting spirits of Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker – and the cool, steady hand of Amy Klobuchar. But we can’t start with 75% of the electorate. It’s just stupid. Why they can’t they all be part of TEAM AMERICA? Why is that not good enough for them? So then the long list whittles down to five well-known white males with experience and heart.
Joe Biden, former vice president of the United States – the leading candidate
Bernie Sanders (I), U.S. senator from Vermont – he probably would have beat Trump
Michael Bloomberg – former mayor of NYC, rare elf-made billionaire with a heart
Eric Swalwell, U.S. representative from California – I also see him as a veep
John Kerry, former secretary of state of the United States – and he did lose before, so?
Beto O’Rourke was left off this list because he does not have much time in government. Charisma alone is not enough this cycle.
Joe Biden: it may be that he just doesn’t have the energy or drive for this job. – So far we have not seen much energy from Joe. Why don’t we hear from him on our weekly Trump crises. Joe, we can’t take much more waiting. My sense is that he has been quiet for a reason. He is not sure. And that to me is an issue. If Joe Biden does not announce by February 20th – I think is disqualifies him emotionally. He has not. He is on the fence.
Bernie Sanders: He has the heart and drive to be a great president, but is easy to attack on his socialistic policies. We need more socialism in the USA. But it’s not an easy sell. He is now an official candidate. He polls well with Trump voters! And he is off to a great start. Bernie vs. Trump would be the election that should have happened in 2016 – so there is a bit of karma in that alone. And all polls showed he destroyed Trump. So as of today, since Biden is unsure, Bernie is my favorite – but as the leader of Team America.
John Kerry: He has it all. But he lost before. That alone is suspect with Kerry.
Eric Swalwell: A fresh face who really looks presidential. He could do this job just fine. He is now my number two choice.
Michael Bloomberg: I think he could be the smartest choice if he ran as a Democrat – but he may run as an independent. That sets up the Democrat Party to fight him. and that reminds me of the 2016 and Hillary fighting Bernie. Dems say be loyal to country not party. But will they still say that if a mega- billionaire like Bloomberg runs for president. Frankly I like the idea of the president not being in bed with either party – and I think the public will as well. If Bloomberg runs as a Dem – Trump has no shot. And he’s hard to fight except on one thing: he was born into Judaism. But that did not hurt Bernie.
In my opinion, all the hopefuls should get together in a room now and form committees and assign task lists and openly state they will work for the leading candidate regardless of who that candidate turns out to be. They should NAME the UNITY the way they names the GREEN NEW DEAL. Names and memes work. We all can remember the fallout when Bernie, who seemed to have more grassroots support than Hillary, was quashed by Hillary and the “party” insiders. So much lost energy. We all know that gave Trump a bump in 2016. – And that bump, coupled with Russian bots, tilted the math to elect a genuine psychopath as POTUS.
Defining TEAM AMERICA:. No infighting. All candidates united with ONE cause – to take our country back and save representative democracy. We are going to have to coordinate to undo what Trump has done to the USA. We might as well start by projecting that coordination. it will be sensed by the public – just as our division will be sensed, if we don’t unite ahead of the election.
And guess what? If we do this, the other side of America, Trump’s fan base, is going to notice something different – at last! If 2020 feels like 2016 all over again, it will all come off as same-old thing – and many people will vote in their habitual ways.
Also consider the reaction of the Democrat base, after they have put their hearts, wallets and energies into one candidate only to have them lose to another Democrat. Maybe they won’t vote at all if they can’t have their way! That happened in 2016 with many Bernie supporters. We can’t risk that. This is our last chance to save democracy. No egos. The way it was in WW2 – when people with egos were thought poorly of by so many.
Elections are a game to Donald Trump. The resistance needs a winning strategy and a war room with a few real potential winners all coordinating and not caring about whom among them wins – just that TEAM AMERICA WINS!
We’ll have to be smarter in 2020. For all the reasons above, I strongly suggest we run in 2020 as a team – united behind a white, male leader with a strong veep backup that can be female or POC. I know that sounds wrong. I hate writing it and attaching it to my legacy. But winning is everything to Trump and it should be to us as well.
Elections are math games. Numbers. Counting. Don’t fight the given math! There are plenty other things that have to go right for us to win in 2020. The competition will be cheating – count on that from now. I love Elizabeth Warren’s fighting spirit most among the female candidates. But we shouldn’t start this game with a 25% handicap. She could easily be VP on Team America or Secretary of the Treasury. Would that make her work less for Americans? I don’t think so. And I certainly hope not. And the same goes for any of these fine candidates.
It’s time to be team players. TEAM AMERICA is how we not only win, but rule effectively after we win.
ARE WE DODO BIRDS?
EXTINCTION WORKS JUST LIKE THIS IN NATURE
The last widely accepted sighting of a dodo bird was in 1662.
Like many animals that evolved in isolation from significant predators, the dodo was fearless of humans. Their fearlessness, coupled with its inability to fly, made the dodo easy prey for sailors.
(Now change a few words.)
The last widely accepted sighting of the American Democracy was in 2020.
Like many people that live ignorant of history, most Americans trusted their presidents. This trust, coupled with the Americans’ inability to deal swiftly with their internal predators, made the American democracy easy prey for takeover.
Relevant prior posts:
And if all else fails, we can use technology to replace politicians.