So I have been obsessed with politics for as long as I can remember. It’s a trait with Aspies that we get these obsessions and we divest huge amounts of time to those obsessions. Trying to learn as much about them as possible. We really like to understand the things that intrigue us to the greatest degree we can. It isn’t so much that I like politics but I like watching trends and seeing if I can predict what will ultimately occur. Call me a prophet of the political establishment but in reality seeing trends and understanding where things are headed is not all that difficult.
A few examples of my own predictions that have come true in recent times were Mitt Romney losing to Barack Obama, relatively easy to spot that one. The charismatic popular leader taking on the run of the mill, boring, rich, Mormon guy. Seriously, can you think of something outside of Ben Carson that is more boring than a guy named Mitt? Less easy to predict was that Mitt Romney would be the nominee in the very beginning of the 2012 primary system.
See the republicans in both 2012 and 2016 made some key mistakes during their primaries and I will explain. Any time you would see a front runner on the news, every other candidate would begin attacking that candidate, with the exception of Romney who stayed in the background for about the first half of the primary season. By the time that Mitt did take center stage, the rest of his rivals had bashed one another so much that they had absolutely no credibility. Early in the primaries, the vast majority of republicans were saying anyone but Romney, yet then he took the lead and sailed through to the nomination.
I will say that when I saw Trump descend on the escalator, I looked at my wife and said, “Oh My God, Donald Trump is going to be the next president.” See, at the end of 2012 I told everyone that the republicans would learn absolutely nothing from the election they just lost, and in 2016 they would nominate an even worse candidate who might actually win. I would live to regret that prediction. The difference between that election and this last election is the idea of the joke candidate. Trump survived the primary because none of the other candidates felt the need to actually attack him.
See in the game of chess, the pawn is such a weak piece that many players will make the mistake of ignoring them altogether, but a pawn that breaks through to the other side can become a queen and completely destroy the other players pieces. Trump was a pawn for the first half of the primaries and by the time his opponents began to take him seriously, he had amassed a large group of voters who were inoculated against normal campaign attacks. Call Trump dumb, they’d say he’s not an intellectual and we like it. Call him greedy and they’d say he deserves to keep all he has. Call him a womanizer and they’d say, hey we’re not electing the pope. Any attack you threw at him they’d deflect and over time their numbers grew.
Now I know what you’re thinking, yeah he won the primary but he lost the popular vote in the general election. Well yes, he wasn’t that popular but it isn’t like the electoral strategy is anything new. He won the election in the fashion deemed suitable by the constitution, which I disagree with but until we change the constitution to eliminate the electoral college, that is the system we have.
However, he did not win the election without the democrats making some completely boneheaded moves a long the way. It’s what I call the idiots wager…
Let’s say you have two choices for candidate…
Group A wants choice one but says in the end they will support whatever choice is made.
Group B wants choice two and says if choice two isn’t selected they will just stay home.
Now do you see the conundrum? If group A will support anyone, and group B will only support their choice, then isn’t the most logical choice to go with Group B’s choice and have both groups support? Strangely enough that is not what occurs in most cases. Group A says that Group B is selfish and then says they don’t really need Group B’s support. Then the general election comes, they lose, and they then blame group B for their loss.
Now with that said, I will admit that I voted for Hillary but I also know many people who voted third party or did not vote at all, who would have voted for Bernie Sanders, had he been the nominee. So you would have had me and everyone else who voted for Hillary, along with all those people who ended up staying home or voting third party, and Trump would not be our president. Now you can make the case that third party voters cost her the election and I say that’s bullshit. If your candidate cannot get third party voters to support them, then they were the problem and not the voters themselves. Lets not forget that in some of the states that Hillary lost, huge numbers of voters actually voted democratic on the down ticket while leaving the presidential ticket blank.
Number two, you cannot beat a populist candidate with a establishment candidate, especially if that establishment candidate starts out incredibly unpopular, has a major scandal that decreases their popularity even more, wins the nomination due to a super delegate system that rendered the entire primary season as useless, and then spends the majority of the campaign trying to win over white collar republicans instead of regaining and retaining blue collar democrat voters. It isn’t going to happen.
So what happens next? Well the Democrats are faced with two choices, learn or lose. In 2020, if they run an establishment candidate they will once again lose. Trump may not be winning any friends at the moment, but his base is still just as into him. Even if he takes away every right they have, he will not lose the majority of their support, because he is a cult leader and you do not question the cult leaders actions. On top of that, those voters who stayed home or voted third party in 2016 will do the same in 2020 if another establishment candidate is selected.
So how do you win? You fight populism with real grassroots populism. You run someone that gets young people excited, not because of the concerts or celebrities they can bring in but because of the stances they take. You run someone who is popular, can get their message across, does not disregard huge swaths of the electorate, and who understands the plight of the working class. You do that and you win. Simple as that. Only time will tell what actually happens.
I hope you have a great weekend. Goodnight