Welcome back. This topic may cause some of you symptoms of nausea or lightheadedness. Others may feel anger or outrage, and still others might gain a sensation of redemption or empowerment from what follows. I would suggest you sit down, buckle up, pull the hand bar down into the safety position, and grasp it tightly. Let’s put our big, adult pants on, and a brave smile. The ride’s about to begin.
Does 2020 really appear to be a Republican victory? If I was a betting person, you’d have to give me some good odds before my response would be “yes,” but of late, we’ve seen some mighty strange happenings in regards to presidential elections; look no farther than the 2016 race and outcome for proof of this statement. There’s no such thing as a “sure thing” in politics. The fickle, American electorate almost guarantees unpredictable election night results, leaving pundits squirming in their chairs, and offering quickly formulated answers for the unforeseen results. This November, undoubtedly, will provide us some political insight into our country’s next four years, but at this moment, can we assuredly predict its result? I think not, and recent history backs up this thought.
“Hey man, enough with the intro. What do you got to say?” Well my impatient, word-counting, time-constrained amigo, your car has reached the summit, and gravity is about to take over. The Democratic primary is basically over and what shook out of the primary tree was Joe Biden. Joe is probably the worst or close to the worst person out of all the viable Democratic primary contenders to go up against Donald Trump. He is not a dynamic, articulate, intelligent, insightful, or a quick-on-his-feet politician, and he will not suddenly develop these characteristics and bring them on the 2020 presidential campaign trail. With Joe, what you see is what you get. He’s slow thinking, struggles with public speaking, and, well, he’s just plain boring. Joe Biden is the only Democratic primary candidate who could make Donald Trump look good in a debate. Not a smart choice, Dems, and one I fear you’ll regret in November.
I’m going to jump off the rails for a moment, and digress to another subject. There were lots of young, energetic, Capitol Hill–savvy, intelligent, articulate Democratic primary contenders. None of them got a “bump” from the Democratic Party’s “Brain Trust.” The older candidates, at one time or another, did. I kind of get it. The powers-that-be decided a familiar, safe, fatherly type with broad political base was the best choice and threw their support behind Biden. I said “I kind of get it” because, though it’s safe, it’s the wrong call. The Democrats needed to pick someone who would make Trump look like a fool in a debate. Someone who could think quickly and turn an ignorant, dubious statement into a lethal mistake. I would have loved to see Amy Klobuchar go toe-to-toe with Trump. That debate would have been worth the price of admission. As it is, we’re going to witness painful, verbal jousting in the debates, which pundits will score, and the results may very well go against the Dems and their platform.
Okay, back on the tracks. Why is Joe Biden the wrong candidate? Well, another problem for Joe’s success is he’s been around forever. With that duration comes lots of sponsored bills, votes cast, words spoken from behind political podiums, and much time spent in the public eye. Such candidates are easy targets for campaign attacks (reference 2016 and Hillary Clinton). This campaign season has been slow to unfold, because of COVID-19, and yet we’ve already heard about Biden’s inappropriate mannerisms with woman; one individual accused him of unwanted sexual advances; and much discussion focused on his son chairing a seat on a Ukrainian energy company’s Board of Directors. (Really? A Ukrainian energy company. Does this seem weird to you? It does to me.) Which reminds me; have we heard anything from Trump’s private detective, oops, I mean personal lawyer, lately? Rudy has been pretty quiet. Does he have a surprise, politically motivated announcement waiting to be unveiled at an opportune moment? Joe Biden is running against an opponent who delights in attacking his adversary’s personality traits and political record. Trump will jump on Biden. I don’t think Joe can adequately defend himself and will appear to be the weaker candidate. Advantage GOP!
How’s your political roller coaster ride going? That first drop is always a doozy. Makes you question why you chose the roller coaster in the first place. Now, you’ve got lots of screaming around you, some nervous laughter, and the people up front are showing off with their hands raised in the air. Stomachs back in place? Well get ready for the side-to-side jolts before the next incline. Donald Trump won the 2016 election because he galvanized what some refer to as the “silent majority.” I’m not sure “silent” describes this group at the moment, and majority is questionable, too. I watched most of the Democratic primary debates. Not once did any candidate focus on Trump’s base and offer them a lifeline to a Democratic administration. There was no attempt to carve off from this group a voting bloc sympathetic to the moderate left ideologies. It was as if these voters didn’t exist or weren’t relevant. I fear that once again Democrats feel invincible. This kind of thinking lost them the 2016 election. For one reason or another, some plausible, some totally erroneous, the undereducated, white, American electorate feel the political left robbed them of their entitlement, “The American Dream,” and left them for some forty years in the backwashes of social change. Wake up, Dems! Trump’s base needs to be reckoned with and helped just like any other demographic in our country. If you don’t better this group’s life and livelihoods, they’ll always provide a solid springboard for any right wing politician. The Democrats, in the primary process, missed their chance to win over Trump supporters. They said the “same ol’, same ol’.” Things like “and we’ll give more money to education.” This simply implies to a Trump supporter that teacher wages will go up again. The Democrats need to be specific and mention relevant suggestions like, “We’ll delegate funds to public schools for vocational and technical classes.” This kind of rhetoric will give Trump’s voting bloc something positive to think about in regards to their lives and living with a left-leaning administration. Some of you will remember in our last “State of the Union” address, Donald Trump specifically mentioned vocational training classes and his support for them. Playing to his base, for sure, but all of us can see the logic that supports this statement. The Dems had better see it, too, because ignoring Trump’s base again, like they did in 2016, could very well get them the same election results in 2020.
Thrown to the left and tossed to the right. “Hey stop this coaster. I want off!” No can do. You’re on this ride till it slows down and comes to a stop near the gate. So grab tight to your safety bar and listen up; I’ve got more potentially disturbing thoughts for you. COVID-19 is disrupting most everything in this country. To date, approximately, 132,000 Americans have died from this disease and there’s no end in sight. In regards to politics and voting, the virus has already messed with our primary process, and will rear up its ugly head, again, come November, and cause more damage. Wisconsin and Georgia primaries have shown us a few major problems. I’m sure a larger variety of issues remain to be discovered and fear that November’s election may expose them.
How will the Dems lose the 2020 election? Well, like I just alluded to, one way is to think the election polling process will run smoothly in November. I don’t know a lot about voting at the polls. Being a resident of Oregon, I’ve been fortunate to vote by mail for most of my adult life. Easy-peasy. Mark your ballot, sign where need be, lick and close the envelope, and drop your ballot off at a collection site. What I do remember about voting at the polls is a group of wonderful, smiling, retired and/or elderly volunteers taking care of business – just the age group affected most by COVID-19. Consequently, during our pandemic-influenced primary season, polling sites were inefficient or just plain closed because large numbers of volunteers were concerned for their health and stayed away. This could very well happen again in November. I read somewhere that one polling site had 600,000 voters assigned to it during the primary. This sounds ridiculous to me, but if that news was available in the media for all to read, then I wasn’t the only person who took note. A GOP strategist could have read the same article and thought, “Ahah, this tactic could really work for us.” The Republicans could easily use the pandemic’s volatile characteristics and ease of transmission to scare people away from the polls. The “Right” feels that by suppressing votes in November, they’ll have their best chance for victory. They can reduce ballots by limiting numbers of voting sites within precincts, and if they targeted precincts favorable to Democrats, an election outcome could be easily swayed. You thought gerrymandering was bad. Think about this possible strategy. The Dems had better plan for such gamesmanship. If they need to recruit younger volunteers for polling sites, get it done. Providing PPEs for volunteers would be a great idea. Making sure adequate amounts of absentee ballots are present and that the needed manpower to mail and count the results is available. Bottom line, get proactive; pick strategies to aid polling site efficiency, put everything together now, and have it ready to implement by November.
“Getting out the vote” is an election year mantra, and rightly so. You need more people voting for your candidate than the other party’s candidate to win. This year, more than others, requires young people’s voter registration to be successful. The youth in our country want change. The Dems need to take advantage of this. The traditional fall voter registration booths on college and high school campuses may not work in September. I don’t know how many kids will be, physically, at school this fall. Do you? Assuming the usual may get you a lot of nothing in our present pandemic environment. The Dems need to develop a plan, right now, to ensure all possible young voters are registered for this coming election. They may need to go door to door in neighborhoods. Further, to get them registered, they may need to set up booths in malls, in parks, at beaches, or wherever else young potential voters hang out. This action would require a large volunteer group that is ready to act. The Dems had better get moving if they want a win in 2020. Inactivity now will cost them votes and only favor a GOP victory.
I mentioned a motivated, youthful movement that is demanding change in our country. If the Dems take this group for granted and feel anyone wanting social justice and is concerned about humanitarian issues will automatically vote Democratic, they may be sadly disappointed. The left cannot assume these young activists will vote for their candidates. I recall a twenty-ish BLM protester being interviewed by a national network reporter. She stated that her candidate, Bernie Sanders, lost his presidential primary bid, and that she could not endorse Joe Biden and would not vote for him in the fall. Ahh, the idealism of youth, you’ve got to admire and respect it, but on the other hand, it’s dangerous. This young woman doesn’t understand that a vote taken from Biden is a vote for Donald Trump. The Dems must accept youthful, political wishes, add them to their platform, and also educate them about the reality of politics. It’s presumptuous of Democrats to take young people and humanitarian causes for granted and dump them all into the Democratic camp. Right now, I don’t see the urgency needed by the left to woo and win over the youthful participants who are demanding police, environmental, and human rights reforms. This cavalier attitude toward young people could invite their indifference to the Dem’s party and platform. Not a good response in a presidential election year, and if this entitled attitude continues, the Dems will lose out on a considerable number of votes. A vote not for Joe Biden is a vote for Donald Trump. Get it together, Democrats, or you’re going to lose 2020.
Maybe COVID-19 is distracting Democrats and the party’s strategists. This disease cares not who wins in November. The GOP “Brain Trust” knows they’re vulnerable in the 2020 election. They’ll use the COVID-19 pandemic to their advantage and allow its disruptive nature to influence voter turnout. The Democrats better not forget this. Protecting the democratic process, making sure all eligible voters can cast their ballot, will require much vigilance and additional volunteers for the 2020 presidential election. Signing up new voters will require the same effort, and harnessing all the diversified, youthful momentum that abounds at present will require understanding this energetic electorate, educating them, and accepting their needs. The Dems need to accept this reality and start addressing these issues with action, now.
Whoa! Where are my word counters? “You just now became concerned about article length? I would have bailed long ago, but this coaster’s speed and height put the kibosh on that idea.” Yah, I hear you, friend reader. In my subconscious, I may have known this article would be lengthy and chose the coaster as an exciting, momentary vehicle from which there was no escape. Once again, I apologize for the subliminal trickery. Take heart, though, because the ride is near its termination; only a few more dips and side-to-sides remain.
There is one truism in American politics that rarely deviates from the norm. The country’s electorate votes with their pocketbooks in mind. This concept has held true, time after time, after time. The country’s present economic climate bodes ill for the sitting president. COVID-19 has created the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. Unemployment at record highs, many businesses shut down, or partially open, and who knows how many establishments will never reopen their doors. Citizens are running out of money and redemption of unpaid bills is looming near. Foreclosures and personal bankruptcies wait in the wings for their turn at center stage. Things could not look worse. Yet, this could all change. The human spirit just needs a scrap to be tossed its way, a slight glimmer of hope, a hint of possible better days, and all is forgiven. The deeper the hole, the greater the emotional response to the slightest positive sign.
Small, encouraging signs pointing toward economic recovery will quickly change the voting public’s opinion about our country’s future. Such things as weekly “filings for unemployment benefits” numbers growing smaller, and new job growth and rehiring statistics producing optimistic results will easily sway voter loyalty. A “V” shape recovery trajectory will quickly bring back voter confidence even with the pandemic’s harmful realities near at hand. With increased voter confidence, more consumer spending will occur, and this above all else drives our economy toward recovery. Wall Street direction, never a true indicator of economic stability, nonetheless can influence public opinion. If the markets head in the right direction, many Americans feel the country’s economy is doing the same. All the aforementioned situations are presently happening, or nearly happening. Throw into the mix a lower death rate from our pandemic and a possible vaccine looming on the horizon, and an uncomfortable electorate could forgive a mostly derisive, dysfunctional president. Look out, Dems, the perfect storm awaits beyond the horizon.
There you have it. How the Dems will lose the 2020 election. Hey, your ride just stopped near the turnstiles. You can exit to the left. Hope you enjoyed our intellectual roller coaster ride, and please note that I was thinking about your endurance and chose not to address many other factors that could easily cause a Democratic loss in the fall: such things as ballot fraud, a large military engagement, which usually enhances a sitting president’s reelection probability, an Electoral College ambush, etc. Before you’re out of earshot, one last thought. The next article from “Thoughts About American Life” addresses why the GOP will lose the 2020 election. “Oh, very politically correct, Mr. Writer Man. Giving both sides equal time, riding the fence, hedging your bets… Well, no tricks this time. No seat belts, no safety bars, and no hunks of steel moving at insane speeds. I want to read your article in comfort and not fear for my life. Also, I wish the ability to disengage from your thought stream at my own leisure and seek shelter if need be. Capisce?” Yah, I get it. No more ruses. I’ll be “straight up” with you, and in all honesty, this next article will be so much easier to write. Did I just say that? Bad me, Bad me, off to bed with no dinner. Until later, my friends…stay positive and healthy.…