What is worse? Global Warming, or another four years of Donald Trump? Well if we elect Trump we’ll have both, and that together is much worse by an order of magnitude than anything we have now.
The 2016 Election
Trump of course, as he tells us over and over again, won the election with some 31 states and 304 electoral votes. Hillary’s 19 states with 227 electoral votes came in second. What about 2020?
What changes might we expect in the electoral vote totals? Things look good for us, the noTrumpists, because while the Democratic candidate can count on almost the whole of Hillary’s electoral vote total, there being few if any “battle ground” states among them. Trump’s 31 states are now, because of his constantly waging war with his opponents throughout the country, and while doing so making frequent and extravagant and unsupported statements and tweets, many of which will come back to hurt his chances, and losing thereby base supporters, and turning at least some of states into real battle grounds for the 2020 election. Even the big ones, Texas and Florida, as evidenced by the Democrats having almost won, in these two deeply red states in 2018 races for Senator and Governor.
But here’s the Democrats’ big problem. Their opponent is a known vote getter, a classic demagogue, meaning a leader who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational arguments. Wow does Trump do being a demagogue well!
Not the greatest president as he is so fond of saying, but as he never says the greatest demagogue. Trump will literally say anything at all, regardless of its truth or worth in order to attract to his own positions, baseless and as little thought out as most of them are, the large numbers of voters, who like himself, are ignorant of American government and American history. Yes, those of his base are in their majority the “deplorables.” The best chance of the not Trumpists is that the deplorables are not yet a majority in the country.
If you don’t agree with my conclusions about the deplorables you ought to attend one of the President’s rallies, where what you will witness is not reasonable persuasion and argument but screaming crowds of Trump adoring followers wearing MEGA caps and holding up signs of “lock her up,” or “build (finish) that wall,” or something similar.
Crowds of people seemingly uninterested and unable to follow an argument on one or more critical issues, such as global warming, immigration, executive overreach, or plain old corruption in government. Or if you still don’t agree read Dave Egger’s account in the Guardian of the recent Trump and O’Rourke rallies in El Paso, TX, “Why Donald Trump could win again.”
Yes it is discouraging to meet up with Trump’s mindless base at the rallies, or to be reminded day after day of Trump’s spineless enablers in the Congress. Historical knowledge does give us ample evidence to conclude that not always will the right and the just and the strong win out. At the rallies the wrong, the unjust, the weak do seem to be winning, or at least for the moment shouting louder than their opponents.
So what should the Democrats do, and right away as the 2020 election is not even 20 months away? The Democrats should and need to look at the candidates, some 15 of them at this time, in regard to how they are seen or will be seen in the battle ground states, how effectively they can do battle, because Trump, is little of anything else if not a battler. I don’t get the impression that the Democrats are doing enough of that.
Texas, Florida, and also Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, represent 121 electoral votes. In 2016 they were all won by Trump. The election of 2020 will probably by won by whoever comes out on top in a winning combination of these five states plus a few more. Why go anywhere else than in these battle ground states during the months leading up to the election in November of 2020?
The choice of candidate for the Democrats is, of course, all important. If they lose in 2020, as in 2016, it will be. I think, because they will have chosen the wrong candidate. With the right candidate I believe that the conditions on the “ground” are good for a Democratic win.
At the moment there are some 15 candidates that are being talked about. Some have already declared themselves, and a few of them, plus a number of others probably, haven’t yet done so. The 15 are, Eric Holder, Terry McAuliffe, Jay Inslee, Julián Castro, Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, Sherrod Brown , Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala D. Harris.
Among them are 8 present or former Senators, one Attorney General, two Governors, a former Vice-President, a former Congressman, a former NY mayor and billionaire , a former Obama cabinet member.
So the question for the Democrats has to be, who would out fight, out perform Trump in the battle ground states? Who are the fighters among the 15? My own very preliminary choices would be at this moment, of the women, Harris and Warren, of the governors, have no idea yet, of the male Senators, Brown and Booker, and perhaps old and reliable Bernie Sanders (although the socialist card played by the Republicans will probably undo his candidacy), and finally, of the “former” category, a Congressman and a Mayor, both of them fighters.
There you have it. Let’s go for it.