2020 Presidential Hopefuls Should Unite Into a Team: Team America

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. 

hopefulsbw
As of 2/20 there are 12 candidates and its likely going to 20 soon.

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 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.  

a-teamDefining 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 presidentsThis trust, coupled with the Americans’ inability to deal swiftly with their internal predatorsmade the American democracy easy prey for takeover.

Relevant prior posts:

How to Entice Trump to Step Down in 60 Days or Less

Trump is One of Many Corrupt Rulers Who Launder Money Internationally

What If Trump and the Entire Executive Branch Has Been Suborned?

And if all else fails, we can use technology to replace politicians.

The Way Back to Political Sanity Could Also Involve Facebook, Google, CNN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Job One for New Congress: Restrict Individual One’s Powers

Proposition 2019: A bill that protects Mueller while it checks Trump’s military powers until he is found innocent.

compromisedOn December 19th,  Trump took two steps that clearly benefited the state of Russia and Russians connected to Putin. Trump removed financial sanctions placed by our elected Congress against a nefarious Russian oligarch who was involved in the influence campaign of the 2016 election. Trump ordered our troops to leave Syria, leaving Russia and Iran more in control in the Middle East. Let’s analyze what this really means. 

I have been writing about my Penn classmate and AC associate for over two years now. It’s hard to miss his motives, as they are always about him. These actions Trump took today were his way of testing to see what power he actually has. 

Trump is not a student of history and really did not know a thing about being a US president when he took office. Ask yourself why he pardoned of Sheriff Joe. Trump did something borderline and when it stuck he learned that this was something he could get away with. That’s how Trump is learning the presidency. It’s really stupid that we allow this. Whatever rules keep him in office in spite of the chaos, lies, deceit and incompetence, they are not currently working towards our common welfare. And that common welfare is what the Constitution is all about!

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The “in order to” clause establishes the reason for all that follows! When actions are taken by a public official that does not sync with or works against that clause, they are at the very least, spiritually unconstitutional. Domestic tranquility and promoting the general welfare of our citizens is every public servant’s duty – even the president. And Trump just does not do that at all, does he? 

Trump also tested his ability to make and end war today. Trump gave an order to pull our troops out of Syria and the military brass did not disobey it. So Trump just learned that, at least, he still has commander-in-chief status with the military. The military brass hold immense power in this country regardless of who is president. He knows that much. If they had said no to him, he would have learned the brass deemed Trump to be potentially dangerous or to reckless to command troops. It would mean perhaps the generals knew the dirt that General Flynn shared with Mueller. It would also mean Trump could not trust the military brass to sell out to him the way his GOP has been doing.  So Trump learned he still was in control of the military today. That alone makes our world much more dangerous.  There was some outrage from career generals – but no one in power said “no sir, we will not do this.” And Mattis resigned over this. 

And since Putin still has his military in Syria there is a real question as to who put this idea into Trump’s impulsive head. If Trump has been compromised by the Russians, the Syria pull out order likely originated with Putin – whom it benefits greatly. If that is the case, since it involves war and not an election, removing troops from Syria to benefit an enemy state is the actual legal definition of treason. Look this up. Espionage and Sedition Act of 1929.

Trump also tested his ability to favor his Russian business friends charged with crimes with his removal of sanctions against Derepaska. And no person or group had the backbone to say, “no, you can’t do that sir. Derepaska is an enemy to the USA. His was sanctioned for good cause. Since Derepaska is a Russian living in Russia, there was no real way for the USA to punish him for his crimes except financially. Today, Derepaska, a Russian oligarch aligned with Putin,  was effectively pardoned by Trump for his crimes against the USA today. He will pay no price for his crimes. That is a pardon. 

OUR PRESIDENT IS ALSO “INDIVIDUAL ONE”

Trump is now individual one in the investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential campaign. That means Trump is now suspected in crimes against our country. It now seems critical to our survival as a sovereign country that Trump’s powers be temporarily restricted for the safety of our American homeland.

We all know he never says one bad thing about Vladimir Putin. Imagine how stupid we will feel if we discover that Trump actually has been suborned and is taking military and financial orders from Putin. Actually, that is how criminal money launders operate. They do for each other and cover for each other. 

We must soon decide. Is it really worth it to leave our 240 heritage here up to a spoiled, incompetent liar and thief like Donald Trump? To think we are allowing Trump to have the nuclear codes while he is under investigation for what could be treason – is way beyond crazy and stupid. Who really knows what Putin will ask for next? How sold out are our government officials? That all has to change in the new Congress.

But first things first. 

I am proposing that job one of the new Congress when they resume on January 3rd is to create a bill that secures two things to keep our democracy safe:

  1. It must protect Mueller and his investigation until the truth about Individual One is a known quantity and he is found innocent of any crimes against our state.  
  2. It must restrict the war powers of Donald Trump until Mueller’s investigation reaches a conclusion. In the meantime, it relegates those powers to Congress, where there is more balance – at least until the investigation ends with Trump not found guilty of any crimes against the state. This will also give Congress a chance to repair its terrible reputation with the American people. They should like that on both sides of the proverbial aisle. 

For the remainder of the investigation, Congress should take over some of the other absolute powers bestowed on a president in good standing. Trump does not have to be impeached for the Congress to do this.  Trump just needs to be checked until we are sure he is working for us and not the enemy.  A bill can do that. This bill could also serve as incentive for Trump to be more helpful to Mueller investigation if indeed he is innocent.

However, it certainly does not look like Trump is innocent. I am sure Mueller, if left to discover the truth, will prove that Trump and his family were both aware of and complicit in the foreign attempt to influence the election of 2016. And that is both traitorous and treasonous. 

P.S. As I edited this post there was Breaking News that Sec. of Defense, General James Mattis was stepping down end of February. That only makes the two above requests even more crucial to our survival. For God’s sake children, don’t let this madness go on one more day beyond the end of February. Imagine the wacka-doodle Secretary of Defense Trump will want in his cabinet. Someone with no real experience. A loyalist. That spells death. It’s going to feel like that apocalyptic movie from the 1960’s – Dr. Strangelove – ’round here. 

Joseph Aronesty is an e-commerce pioneer, author, linguist, songwriter and political activist living in Los Angeles. He was in a class with Trump in 1967 at Penn and worked close to him in AC in the 1980’s. 

Relevant prior posts: 

How to Entice Trump to Step Down in 60 Days or Less

Trump is One of Many Corrupt Rulers Who Launder Money Internationally

What If Trump and the Entire Executive Branch Has Been Suborned?

 

And if all else fails, we can use technology to replace politicians’ functions.

The Way Back to Political Sanity Could Also Involve Facebook, Google, CNN

Trump Threatens to Leak On His Enemies as Mueller Turns Up Heat

mueller-trumpDonald Trump just threatened to release classified information on his opponents – largely Democrats –  but also outspoken civil servants like James Comey, who is about to go through a phony inquiry. The intent of the GOP’s Comey investigation is to scare Democrats from acting against Trump and the GOP. It’s sole message is “you come after Trump he will come after you”. This is one of the last desperate cards individual one can play in his attempt to obfuscate truth and obstruct justice.  But do not underestimate it’s value. Targeting Congress members has historically been a very effective of getting one’s own way. But why is this? Consider the following:

To our collective shame, the American citizenry has allowed politicians to enjoy the fruits of bribes and graft with little recourse. We’ve not been very politically active as a group. We elect politicians but then let them do their thing. We just hope they live up to their promises, but they rarely do. Lying to the public is not even illegal and the criminal type of politician knows that. We give them uncheck-able legal power and they run with it for self-aggrandizement. Therein lies the main problem with our current democracy. 

There’s a heck of a lot of old dirt hiding in the skeletons of both GOP and DEM Congressmen these days. That dirt is the real swamp. And it exists on both sides of the aisle. That dirt, which we permit to exist, consistently stops Americans from enjoying a robust democratic government that really could work for them. That dirt is the real enemy and we have to clean it up. Maybe we know this at last. Maybe. We will see. 

Why do you think Donald Trump said “I like Nancy Pelosi”? Yes, Pelosi is red meat for his base which includes plenty of misogynists who believe women belong in the kitchen, etc. But is it possible Trump already has some palpable dirt on Pelosi? She has been in politics for a long time. That brings experience, but it also means she has a history of business deals. I don’t know the details on how Pelosi got to be worth 29 million in real estate. And that’s not so much in California. I assume she is an honest player having not heard to the contrary. However I also know how Trump thinks. He figures he can paint her black because she has money. All the people in his circle who have money have dirt – he practically insists on it. So when Trump says he likes Nancy Pelosi, he’s saying he likes her as an opponent or enemy – not as a fellow politician to engage in an effort to help Americans live better lives. You can count on that.

For too long, a dis-engaged American electorate has permitted the criminal type to not only infiltrate its politics but steep in it with little consequence. Many of these self-serving politicians exist in both parties. Yes, it feels like the GOP has more of them but that may be because they have the power now. The only congressional group that might not yet have skeletons in their closets is the young freshman class that contains folks like Alex Cortez. So I am specially reaching out to them because it may come down to them to clean up the dirt and make self-serving politicians a thing of the past. 

What this all means becomes more apparent when you consider what happened to the idealistic Barack Obama after he entered the presidency. Barack made an effort to create “change we can believe in”. But,  beyond healthcare it seemed to many that he did not try that hard. Many Americans felt ignored. And that gave the GOP palpable traction to their success in 2016. It seemed like Obama sold out, but we couldn’t quite see it. With Trump – we know 100% he is selling out. We do see and hear about it every day. And it’s finally bugging Americans on both sides of the aisle. That’s what the Blue Wave was all about. And that may turn out to be a good thing. 

When the Democrats take power it will come down to why politicians sell out and why we permit it? Trump has already learned that there are skeletons in closets of his allies and enemies. He is collecting the dirt and he will play that game. It has begun!

So all this means when the DEMS come to power with Pelosi in charge, we the people will have to  keep an eye open for signs they start going soft on Trump. I hope that is not the case unless it’s to have Trump step down and I have written about that. ( see below)

But one thing for sure. Obama’s idealism hit the swamp/wall and he backed down. That wall still exists and the new House members will learn about it soon. Do they buckle? Do they start seeing paths to self dealing and join the swamp? Do they start complicated motions that ultimately go nowhere? We will know soon. 

And what is that swamp/wall anyway? It is the same military-industrial complex that Eisenhower made note of when he passed the baton on to JFK. It’s the Kochs, the Mercers, the Zuckerbergs, plenty of congress members, Boeing, GE, Saudi Arabia’s MBS. Putin, etc.  That’s a heck of an obstinate wall. And when it’s structure is challenged that wall fires back with back room deals and bullets. 

That’s why I sort of wanted the small band of 25 idealistic freshmen who opposed Pelosi to have their way. It’s not going to happen. I’m apprehensively okay with it. The freshman class is among the few in Congress that are not yet suborned by that wall. And yes, we recognize there are plenty of good, decent Congresspeople. But time spent in Congress turns many good people into cynical jaded operatives of the establishment. 

If we are going to make change that really restores America’s position of authority as a beacon of hope for the world to behold, we’re going to have to go “all the way”. That Frank Sinatra song comes to mind. When somebody loves you, it’s no good unless they love you all the way. ( One of my favorites.) We need to love our American democracy all the way this time folks. 

Citizens. If there is one good thing Trump has done for America it may be that his inexperience in government has resulted in exposing political corruption and dirt. And  it is now abhorrent to us all. But it’s only going to be a blessing of we go all the way and root out corruption at all levels of government – city, state and national. We’re going to have to vet our public servants to the core and have them reveal all their financial dealings if they want to work for us. We need to think of political appointments more like we think of doctors with licenses to uphold.  We’re going to have to instantly retire any public servant who does not want to put their books on the record. That’s how graft starts. 

Of course, there would be resistance to this kind of scrutiny from both sides of the aisle precisely because there are crooks in both parties. They have votes and they stick will together to protect their personal interests. So if we don’t go all the way, getting rid of Trump won’t mean that much. We’ll just get a new smoother Trump in time.

Anand Giridharadas, bright young author of “Winners Takes All”, said that maybe it would be a good idea to have a personal wealth ceiling for those seeking office. it’s idealistic, but that won’t happen. There are good people who have money too. So it’s the vetting that has to be done. Laws have to set up that disqualify people to serve immediately if they are found to be corrupt by standards we will have to create. We’re going to have to fix what’s broken in the US government system. 

Now that Cohen is revealing the truth, Trump has admitted he was indeed trying to build a Tower in Putin’s Russia while a candidate. I guess he figured he would not win and he could come back to the Moscow Tower after the election. When he won, he scrapped the tower project for the time being. But once he is not POTUS again in two years ( we presume – or less ) he can and will go back to that or other Russian projects. And so his not-so-far-into-the-future hope INFORMS his decisions today as president. And that we cannot not abide! We can all agree that a US president cannot have present, past, or soon-to-be financial interests in countries that are enemies of the USA and democracy.

Last thing. We’ve learning from Trump that the current rules that might constrain a rogue president are not sufficient to protect our democracy and nation.  Just why we permit the office of president to pardon people who are convicted of crimes is suspicious. We know it’s in the constitution. But it’s such a bad idea for modern times. Pardon power and other absolute powers given to the POTUS since 1776 have to be re-examined and updated to reflect 21st century technology. Maybe we should allow a president to suggest a review for pardoning. But giving one man all the power in a democracy of 300 million is not going to work out for us. They will pardon their criminal friends and how is that good for us?

The Constitution was written when the population of the entire country was 2.5 million. There’s that many people in Brooklyn today.

We’ve got to fix our democracy now and go all the way.

Joseph Aronesty is a father of five, e-commerce pioneer, songwriter, author, creator of etymology by ear, activist since 2015. @EnglishCodeWord

Relevant prior posts: 

How to Entice Trump to Step Down in 60 Days or Less

Trump is One of Many Corrupt Rulers Who Launder Money Internationally

What If Trump and the Entire Executive Branch Has Been Suborned?

Trump’s Main Problem: Cheating To Win

And if all else fails, we can use technology to replace politicians.

The Way Back to Political Sanity Could Also Involve Facebook, Google, CNN