This page and those that are linked immediately below are a series of articles I'm referring to as the American Political Series. What goes on in America, politically, is of vital importance to all on this planet so we need to pay attention, and we need to understand what has been the most important dynamic in play in the American political system for almost a century. The Manchurian and Mizaru articles are essentially all about trump, but this series of articles is mostly focused on the principal misunderstanding the vast majority of people in America have about the American political system. It is this principal misunderstanding that is entirely to blame for the political state in which America finds itself today. trump is worse than what came before but he is symptom and consequence, NOT the cause.

Post-mortem 2018 and prologue 2020    

Not a Manchurian Candidate, BUT....    
Is the enemy of my enemy my friend?   
"Torn between Jupiter and Apollo"   
"Let's go serfin' now, everybody's learnin' how"   
Mizaru and Kikazaru, but definitely not Iwazaru   
Republicans are like "the good old days"   
Bits and pieces (part one)   
Bits and pieces (part two)   
Bits and pieces (part three)   
And finally, Probitas laudatur et alget   

Post-mortem 2018 and prologue 2020
November 2018

So,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, what are we to make of that election?
    For at least fifty years in the twentieth century the American electorate had been very consistent in separating their vote for the President from their votes for the two houses of Congress; Nixon and Reagan and Bush41 all had to contend with Democratic majorities throughout their Presidency. Both Nixon and Reagan had 49 State wipe out wins and Bush41 had a 40 State wipe out win and they still couldn't wrest the House from Democrats, and of the three only Reagan managed to win the Senate. This story has been changing because Republicans have been fostering divisions in the country in ways and means that have become broader and more extreme with the passage of time. In the 1990s gingrich accelerated the process that "started" with Pat Buchanan and like minded Republicans in the 1970s ("we need to split this country in two and hope that ours is the bigger half"). Limbaugh and Karl Rove continued to give the process more momentum in the 2000s and then the Koch brothers gave it something extra and all but birthed the Tea Party movement, which in turn all but birthed the modern iteration of trump, and that is where we are today. There would continue to be a significant double digit percentage of the US population who still separate their vote for the President from their votes for Congress, but there is no denying that Republicans have succeeded in splitting the country in two, and that trump is making matters much worse.
    Unfortunately we don't get a clear indisputable report card for trump in these mid-term elections because the bottom line results I'm about to overview will allow Republicans to muddy the waters to try and make you believe that "what you're seeing and what you're hearing, is not, what's happening".
    Democrats won back the House in 2018 by winning seats that went for trump or Republicans by ten, twenty, twenty-five points in 2016, but if it were a consistent nationwide swing of that magnitude then Democrats would have won over sixty House seats. Democrats grab Senate seats in Nevada and Arizona but lose ground in the Senate and don't win control, that picture being muddied by the fact that the seats Republicans flipped just happen to be the places where trump campaigned the most. Democrats flip seven governorships and State Houses, but they lose three gubernatorial contests that were a flip of the coin going into election day, and they just so happen to be, inarguably, three of the four most important governorships that needed to be flipped on the day (you know, if America wants to have free and fair elections in the 2020 Presidential contest), and again, trump was "in da house" in the closing days of two of those contests. So what are we to make of this seemingly mixed bag?
    The specific dynamics of the Senate seats Republicans flipped in North Dakota, Indiana, and Missouri were such that they were going to be very hard to retain, and because Florida and Georgia and Texas and Ohio were mired in Republican vote rigging, even more than in previous elections (Ohio under "bipartisan middle ground honest" John Kasich), they were always going to be tough to win, even with a wave. I've alluded to, overviewed, gone in to, Republican vote rigging frequently in these articles so rather than do that again, let's have a look at the flipped Senate seats first and then have a brief drive-by on the vote rigging after that. In the deep Red State Senate contests that Democrats won in 2012 (Presidential year with higher turnout, which favours Democrats), they got a lucky win with a razor thin margin in North Dakota with an excellent candidate, McCaskill (Missouri) successfully (and deviously) picked the worst Republican candidate out of that primary (someone who had a habit of letting his mouth runneth over), and Donnelly got lucky in Indiana with a candidate who was almost as bad as the one McCaskill picked for herself. So yes they did flip back to Republicans in this election, and trump did campaign hard with his particular brand of rallies (trump and these rallies being no small part of the reason why the Republican Party has been shrinking over the last three years), but two six point margins and a ten point margin in deep Red State Republicanworld, in mid-term elections, is not something to crow about. That is the most important context of those Senate seats. Now there was unusually high turnout for a mid-term, and unusual levels of enthusiasm on both sides, and trump must be given some large part of the credit for inflaming partisan divisions and riling up the country over issues that shouldn't be issues. Shamelessly turning nothings into big somethings is the standard Republican trait he most excels at (because it allows the person doing it to be the centre of attention, and that is his only significant skill; making himself the centre of attention). But when your behaviour is shrinking your own party and bringing out opponents in mid-terms who never vote, rarely vote, or only vote in Presidential years, it doesn't help the Republican side of the picture, and the most Republicans can hope for if they want to view it with rose coloured glasses is that one cancels out the other. The next piece of context we have in trying to assess this election is the usual Republican strategy of scaring their voters about whatever soup du jour is on the menu at the time, in addition to the usual fake bogeymen who are good for all seasons. Of course trump couldn't help himself and dialled up the standard Republican scare strategy to a preposterous grotesquery, and there is an argument to be made that because he ended up beclowning himself inside this strategy, he essentially nullified his part of what is the standard Republican scare strategy. When you bring two positives to the table, such as trump did, but those two positives are accompanied by two negatives that are at least as significant as the two positives and almost certainly more significant, then you're not helping. When we add in the ridiculous levels of vote rigging that went on in this election it is just as easy to point to all of the standard Republican fare, such as the standard scare strategy and excessive vote rigging as the reason why Republicans didn't get their "veins opened as well" (sixty seats in the House, flipping the Senate, Ohio, Florida and Georgia governorships lost would have been just that, and it was almost that WITH all of the vote rigging). You don't need to be a Democrat to make the arguments that trump actually nullified the Republican scare tactics in the closing stages by being so preposterous, that he brought out as many opponents as supporters, maybe even more, and that it was the vote rigging that won the day (after all they have been ramping this vote rigging up to eleven for almost ten years now). And enough of calling this voter suppression please. When it is done on this scale using more than a dozen different tactics to collectively tilt the playing field by two percent, five percent, ten percent (depending on what you're measuring) this is not some wishy washy term like voter suppression that sounds like nothing to most of the population. This IS black and white; it IS vote rigging. And by the way, the more noise Republicans make about voter fraud in Florida, the more we need to be suspicious about whether or not there actually was, BY REPUBLICANS. They ARE notorious for accusing Democrats of the things that they themselves are doing. It is probably just to deflect from all of their vote rigging, but it would be worth looking into inside those few months of "peace time" we get after elections are over.
    It's encouraging to win a half a dozen governorships, but it's disappointing to not break through on the four most important governorships that were up for grabs this time, especially when three of them were in play (Ohio is not as far gone as some have mused). Republicans know that the only thing standing between Texas, Florida and Georgia flipping blue for a generation or more is attaining the governorships so Democrats can undo all of the gerrymandering and stop all of the other election shenanigans. Democrats should already be winning a lot of these elections so when the vote rigging is taken out of the picture, they're going to feel so put upon that, all of a sudden, their seemingly Red States, have actually been purple trending Blue for a decade.
    It's a funny old thing. You can have a sense or feeling about how something is, and that sense or feeling can be based on a long history of observing the sort of things you're assessing, but until you actually analyse you're not getting a proper appreciation of what actually happened. In the immediate aftermath of the 2018 mid-terms I was disappointed and "felt" that this result does not auger well for where America is heading. Now, after analysing the details and putting them all into their proper context, I have something close to the opposite view on what these mid-terms mean. Losing the Florida, Georgia and Ohio gubernatorial races are still a bitter pill to swallow, to yet again be bridesmaids to razor thin margins in such important races, but the post-mortem on this election is mostly positive (because of the things I related above), and the only challenge, ONLY challenge Democrats have, is to do more of what they just did in this election (well, except calling to abolish ICE, but I think they got that message loud and clear). Technically Democrats lost those races, but on an even playing field they would have won them all. Demographics are shifting, and Republicans are just stupid enough to continue with their existing lawsuits to get rid of pre-existing conditions, so when these races next come up????? Talk about setting yourself up. If all of these Republican lawsuits to get rid of pre-existing conditions succeed, Democrats will pass a pre-existing conditions bill twenty times a year for the next two years, and Republicans will continue to shoot themselves in the foot by not bringing it up for a vote in the Senate (again, so much for the genius of Mitch McConnell). And if they do bring it up and it passes, trump is likely to be spiteful enough to veto it because of all the investigations. Hopefully there won't be too many deaths caused as Republicans continue to play their games.

    Do we take a breath or do we hard tilt into 2020 immediately. In most other countries, elections take up three to ten weeks, once every three, four or five years. Before long in America we'll be looking at one long election cycling round and round, because Republicans can't keep the blood of the base up unless they keep reminding everybody how divided the country is, accompanied with the usual lie that it's the Democrats who are causing it all (everything is always the Democrats fault, even policy that Republicans enact with Democrats trying to stop them these strange days).
    Unless the Mueller probe drops something truly earth shattering, it's going to be trump on the Republican side. People need to stop talking this silliness of Republicans growing balls and challenging trump or running as genuine Republican. trump IS genuine Republican, and all Republicans know it; it's just that he's a more extreme version. After all, with everything he did in 2018, and the way he was speaking in the last month of the 2018 election, he still has a Republican approval rating in the 90% range, and most of those believe him to be a good role model for children as well; yeah Hillary Clinton was wrong wasn't she, these people are not deplorable at all. The question is what happens on the Democratic side, and after listening to some early talk, on CNN, on MSNBC and on Bill Maher, and after thinking about how the Democratic primary electorate are likely to vote, there are a few comments I would like to put forward:
    First things first is to reiterate (from other articles) that there is a reason why Democrats can govern and Republicans cannot, and the reason is that in order to be in leadership in the Democratic Party you have to know things; legislative, governing things. You need to know what you're doing in the process. So everybody who does not qualify on that score needs to be told some polite version of would you kindly bugger off and not muddy up the waters for your own personal aggrandisement. Look, we've all enjoyed Michael Avenatti having fun at trump's expense, Tom Steyer seems like he's on the good side, and everybody seems to think that Oprah is good, but these people have no pedigree for political leadership, and they don't know the things they're supposed to know. I'm all the way over here in Australia and am not an American, and I guarantee that none of these three people know as much as I know about American politics and the American political system, and legitimate people in line for leadership of the Democratic Party in the United States know ten times what I know. It's why they've governed so well for one hundred years. Billionaires and TV personalities who know nothing or a bare fraction of what they're supposed to know can go and apply to lead the country with the Hard Right, because that's where Plutocrats and know-nothings belong. I tried to be as nice as I could; was I too subtle?
    There are four main things the Democrats can do to dramatically (negatively) impact their chances of winning back the White House and to actually make it a horse race in 2020. Well, there are a lot more than four but I can see four that they're more susceptible to making than the others. The first is if they put forward a city slicker as their candidate, which counts out a significant number of those who are likely to run. The second big mistake is if they put forward someone who comes across as young or not ready, and this counts out a few as well (Republicans can put forward people who are obviously not ready, like their current and their previous President, but the bar for leadership on the Democratic side is so much higher). The third is if they put forward someone, at the top or the bottom of the ticket, who has strong connections to Hillary Clinton (talk about a gift candidate to Republicans and trump if they're silly enough to do that). The last one is that authenticity is IN, and if they pick someone who has even a hint of crafting themselves for the electorate, then they will find themselves in a close horse race again. I didn't include the abolish ICE thing in this paragraph because surely they can't make that mistake again (and drawing allusions between ICE and the KKK, oh boy; that's what they call a blunder and a half blunder so let's not do that again, eh, pretty please with sugar on top).
    I agreed with most people who were making an assessment on Beto O'Rourke in the final month of his Senate campaign, in that if he'd won he was probably the front runner for the Democrats to oppose trump in 2020. There was some tiny thing about him that I couldn't put my finger on, something that felt a tiny, truly tiny bit forced or inauthentic inside his authenticity, but it was one of those nothing things you tend to shake off, and if he'd won then maybe I was seeing something that wasn't there. But he didn't win, and it's a rare thing for someone to aspire to a higher office, lose, and then decide to go even higher, and win. Yes he struck a chord with a lot of people, but it obviously wasn't as strong a chord as everybody was imagining; Texas is a State that is ripening for the Democrats, and although he had to contend with the mass of Republican vote rigging, he did only have to beat (inauthentic and worst actor in the world) Ted Cruz, and had the benefit of a rising groundswell against trump to boot, so if the energy was as high as everybody seemed to be saying he should've won (this is not casting aspersions on him or his campaign, it's more about the media seeing a bright shiny object and saying it was brighter and shinier than it was, and you don't win a Presidential race by picking someone based on how you hope he is). He also comes across as a bit young for a Presidential contest right now, and although that may play well with the kiddies, may (because that's not certain), it doesn't play well with the old fogies you need to pry away from trump; and the old fogies come out to vote and the kiddies don't, even when they do. Yes it's important to try and get the kiddies out to vote because you can catch some of them, but you do not, MUST NOT, craft an election strategy around them. The vast majority of them are la-di-da-di-da-ing their way through life, and they cannot be relied upon to vote even when it looks like they're going to because their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook fingers are running wild. This is the simple fact of the matter. They don't vote, and there are reasons why they don't that cannot be addressed in the normal course of affairs. If civilization started to break down and we could only get electricity for twelve hours a day, every day, for every week and every year, and voting was the only way to redress the issue, then you could rely on them to come out and vote, but unless "that" happens people will continue to come to it in their own time; people can only wake up as fast as they can wake up.
    Andrew Gillum is in the same boat as Beto O'Rourke as far as aspiring to a higher office and coming across as a bit young is concerned, and it would be a surprise if we didn't see him in the Presidential primaries for 2028. Andrew Gillum and his team gave us the line that is probably going to be one of the big impact lines of the 2020 Presidential election if used correctly, so although I'm sure he'll be out on the hustings in the Presidential election to come for others, he's already contributed mightily by delivering that line as well as he did. It was a ripper.
    I look at Andrew Gillum and Beto O'Rourke and think in terms of horse racing. In the big game they are two year olds, and although it's possible that Secretariat or Sea Biscuit or War Admiral as two year olds would have won a race against four year olds at even weights, it wouldn't have been worth taking the risk of breaking them by trying; let them be the future for now, and let the memory of their losses, in their minds and in the minds of those in the electorate, dissipate a little. In wisdom or awareness of the world some forty year olds are eighty year olds and some eighty year olds are still just twenty year olds. Are Gillum or O'Rourke Secretariat, Sea Biscuit or War Admiral, maybe, maybe not. I see Gillum as possibly being closer to that comparison than O'Rourke, but neither of them have an old head on their shoulders yet and they need to mature; they're being pushed with hype and they're not ready; let them feel the sting of their losses, mature a little, and get stronger; stop pushing them. Yes, trump behaves like a jilted thirteen year old Mean Girl, has the youngest head on his shoulders of any President before him, and in every meeting he goes into he is out of his depth and flailing about fifty miles above his "pay grade", but again (to reiterate for the "twentieth" time in these articles), Republicans have no leadership standard for leadership and every time they grab the White House they blow up the economy, so they probably shouldn't be used for justification in the matter of leadership.
    Gillum and O'Rourke are ten years from now, but how about right now: I think that now trump is being taken seriously as someone who can actually win in a contest for President, because he did and caught even himself by surprise, the Democrats and the electorate at large will not underestimate him again. Boy are you going to see some turnout in 2020. It is conceivable that in writing the rest of this article I've accidentally left someone out, but I'm very aware of all those who are likely to run at this point, and if I don't mention them it probably means that they suffer from three and perhaps even four of the disqualifiers I mentioned above; well, what I believe to be disqualifiers if you have three or four of them. Either that or I've left them out because it's obvious they are trying to punch way above their weight; like for example the three who tried their hand in the 2016 primaries against Hillary and Bernie (it was only three wasn't it); obviously it would be very poor form to suggest specific names for this category in the current group of hopefuls.
    I don't actually expect Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders or Michael Bloomberg to run in the upcoming Presidential primary and for three very different reasons. I think trump and his cronies have primed the pump on Elizabeth Warren in a few areas, and although it's possible the Pocahontas thing could well backfire in the big two person spotlight, why would you want to put yourself through that; and she must realise that she handled the revelation of her heritage badly. I would be surprised if Elizabeth Warren and I disagreed on any of the big issues, but a Presidential campaign affords the opportunity to make ten such mistakes every month, and that was an easy one to get right and she got it wrong; I doubt there is a single high flyer on the Democratic side who thinks she got that one right. I'm still a Bernie fan and still believe that he'd knock the stuffing out of trump in a one on one, but I've seen probably four or five interviews with Bernie in 2018 and I got a very strong impression that he wasn't going to run. The sense I got in one of the interviews (not based on anything that he said directly) was that a semi-successful detente with one corporatist Democrat may be possible, but when you have a half a dozen of them running against you, and a half a dozen others to boot, perhaps 2016 was his shot and he missed. I still hold to the view, that I've held for about five years now, that he would have ended up as one of the great US Presidents whose main function and accomplishment would've been to move the centre back to the actual centre rather than Right of the Centre Right which is where it currently is, but as the vernacular would have it, what are you gonna do. My feeling about Bloomberg is that he simply makes some noise from time to time in an effort to keep people on their toes, and in any case, as I said a few paragraphs up, Plutocrats in charge of countries belong on the Hard Right side of politics, not on the Left.
    At this point it seems certain Cory Booker and Gavin Newsom are going to run, and although I may be seeing things that are not there, neither of them look ready for the role. Cory Booker and Gavin Newsom come across as too young in their demeanour, and both look too crafted or scripted for the electorate. Cory Booker has also looked to me as though he believed all the good press he got just before and just after he became a Senator, and that's a very unwise thing for a public figure to start to buy. Of course they both come across as corporatist Democrats who are also coastal city slickers and I don't think that's going to play at all in 2020.
    It's been a bit of a rollercoaster with Kamala Harris for me. In 2016 she came across as a bit young and not ready for something like this, but then seemed to improve dramatically in 2017 and started looking the part. But I noticed a few things she did over the last several months before the 2018 election that looked forced, crafted, and inauthentic, and that last one is going to be a cardinal sin coming into this primary. It may just be early jitters as we get closer to the point where people will start to declare and she'll shake those bugs out and just be who she is. Of course she suffers from the same thing Booker and Newsom suffer from in that she also comes across as a coastal city slicker corporatist Democrat, and my default view is that's a bad choice for 2020. Yeah, trump's a coastal city slicker too, but he behaves like a bitchy shxtkicker of the ilk that's portrayed on the TV shows Shameless or Housewives of whichever city, so apparently he gets a pass on being a coastal city slicker. Unfortunately drawing allusions between ICE and the KKK is a very heavy thing to handicap yourself with when you're just starting your run for President, such as Harris did in mid-November 2018, and although it's not a kill-shot in the primary, it is a very heavy handicap in the General against trump; it's Hillary Clinton level baggage going into a General, and it was self-inflicted. Republicans can get away with drawing allusions like that because they'd be willing to tear down the department and tear the country apart in order to prove their point, and Republican voters would be out in force with torches to egg them on, but Democrats have integrity and won't do that, AND Democratic primary voters wouldn't put up with it.
    Eric Holder seems like a good option if you want to get into a slug-fest with trump, but does he really want to put himself through that, because just like Clinton, they've primed the pumps for Holder with a bunch of trumped up non-scandals. Unfortunately he has one other trait that could count against him in a general election. When it's justified I think a condescending tone and air coupled with a little acid on the tongue is a good thing, is greatly entertaining, and I like it, especially when it's cleverly done, but I believe the American voting population have a bit of a problem with that sort of thing. And if he tries to craft it out so that he doesn't do it coming into the election it could come across as inauthentic, and that would be an even bigger problem.
    Jay Inslee kicked the living shxt out of trump in that White House governors meeting; lectured trump like he was a little boy, and trump even behaved like a recalcitrant little boy where the only things missing seemed to be his fingers in his ears and eyes tightly closed. My only possible, possible, negative is that he may come across as too much of a city slicker, but he doesn't reek of it so it would probably be okay. When he doesn't have that massive smile on his face he certainly looks the part of POTUS.
    In looking to find someone to beat trump everybody is just blowing off the facts on the ground of the last election and ignoring what almost everybody accepted as obvious truths in the post mortem. The primary relevant facts on the ground of the last election are that it was an extraordinarily lucky win for trump (he will run the next one as he ran the last; an openly admitted dog's breakfast), Clinton had been unfairly demonized for two decades by Republicans, Clinton had an FBI investigation come to a close in July of election year, Russians interfered on a monumental scale against Clinton, and then the straw that broke the camel's back with the FBI investigation being announced as having been re-opened ten days before election day. It's a high probability assumption to make that without that last straw Clinton would have almost certainly still won. An obvious truth is that boring John Kasich as the Republican nominee would have beaten Clinton more easily than trump, just as it is also an obvious truth that Bernie would have clobbered trump (Florida and all of trump's unexpected wins in the mid-west would have all gone to Bernie, and to be a bit silly about it, I'm a million percent certain on that one); any one of a dozen other Democrats as the nominee would have also clobbered trump in that election. It was a ridiculously lucky win for trump, and all you need to beat him in 2020 is an authentic candidate who doesn't take any guff. For example, I'm genuinely NOT suggesting Sheldon Whitehouse is a potential candidate (haven't seen enough of him to say either way), and it would initially be a bit strange to have someone with that name as President, but look at him in the Kavanaugh hearing in September. That's what you need. The way he was in that hearing is how you make trump look about two inches tall, which is essentially what he is. And in misogynist and racist America a lot of people can't see that unless it's a message coming from a white male.
(As I see it there are four main types of racism in America, and the fourth type that nobody ever speaks about is far, far more prevalent than most Americans would ever know or admit; it's subtle, unfelt, but ingrained, and has been revealed in "a thousand" different studies, some on the subject matter and some unconnected to the subject matter. It's not really fair or politically correct to call the strongly pervasive trait of perceiving actions and statements dramatically different depending on whether it's a black person or a white person - or an Arab person - speaking or acting, racism, but it has similar impacts on outcomes - and incomes - and from one perspective it's actually worse than the others; the others you can fight, but this one you can't because most times you never know about it and "nobody" ever thinks they do it. This general principle was well defined in an interaction Christopher Hitchens once had when some Christian said to him: "let me ask you this, if you were walking down a deserted street in a major city late at night and saw a group of young males walking towards you, would you feel more or less comforted to know that they were religious?" And as quick as you like he shot back: "where am I, am I in Baghdad, Belgrade, Beirut, Belfast, Benghazi, and that's just the B's?" Yes the point I'm drawing from this is the secondary point of that interaction, and the main point I'm making is that it's perceptual, unconscious, ingrained, and very few people even realise that they're doing it. Obama once wore a tan suit and saluted with a cup of coffee in his hand and white America lost its fxcking mind, and yet Bush43 picks his nose in public, on video when he was governor I think, and sits frozen for six minutes after being told the country is under attack, and then the thousand things that trump has done, and all of that is just pfffted away; there's not enough room in this article for the 50,000 everyday citizen examples you could list here to drive the point home, so have a think about them yourself. I'm sure people like Charles Blow or Bakari Sellers or William Barber could rattle about fifty of them off the top of their heads in five minutes. A fun side point to this bracketed note is that trump supporters seem to hate political correctness, so does that mean we abandon political correctness in this case as well, hmmmmmm?????? They don't care about fairness either so they can hardly challenge it on that point.)
    Most people are getting caught up with the fear of how do we beat trump. You don't take him lightly because that's how it becomes a horse race in 2020, but trump has had Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin degrees of luck throughout his whole life and that luck held in 2016 only, ONLY, because "nobody" took him seriously, and literally, literally used literally, only a few percent of those who analyse elections thought he was a serious contender; even trump himself and all in his campaign thought they were going to lose, not least of all because that campaign was an openly admitted dog's breakfast (that was mostly about improving his brand and later on about starting a new media outlet). People are rightly concerned about trump getting a second term, because if we are not concerned about it then, again, that's how it becomes a horse race. But can we please stop reading that old fire saying into the narrative as if it's almost lore and is the only way to beat trump in 2020. You do not fight fire with fire. You fight fire with water, with sand, with dirt, with salt of the earth. When the fire is this much out of control with tonnes of ash dirtying up everything for as far as the eye can see, people crave to again gaze upon a normal green forest. A handful of dirt, a handful of salt or a bucket of water is the key, not another flamethrower.
    You don't need somebody exciting to run against trump. You need someone excessively mid-west normal to run against trump so America is assessing trump against a person who represents that fifties look and feel so many of them crave to go back to (a period in America that is the product of almost 100% Democratic governing by the way; with Republicans fighting hard against all of it, incidentally the same things they're still fighting against today); someone who has been a genuine advocate for the working class for decades is what you need; someone who is plain spoken and who IS rural America (someone who could win back Ohio). Every Democratic operative in the country would know who I'm talking about even if I hadn't mentioned him a couple of times in other articles. So, he's one of my top picks; probably my top pick, and now the other.
    When people started talking about him for 2020, I was initially resistant to the idea of Joe Biden for no good reasons; ridiculous, non-current and now that I've thought about it, quite irrelevant reasoning. Then I saw him campaigning for others in the mid-terms. One thing we know about Joe Biden at this stage in his life is that in a one on one race with trump, Biden would knock the stuffing out of him half the time and grab the electorate with policy the other half of the time, whilst brushing trump off as a nuisance whenever trump says things that demonstrate he doesn't know what he's talking about (which happens incessantly these days). Is Joe Biden going to be the one? With Biden you don't get the benefit of allowing the electorate to draw the comparison of erratic and ignorant set the world on fire trump, with mid-west normal, but I wouldn't be prepared to say that one approach is better than the other. And after all, Biden may not be mid-west farm country normal, but he is mid-west adjacent and plain spoken, which makes him about 20,000 leagues closer to mid-west normal than trump, and I'd be pretty sure that Biden knows that authenticity is in. He'll just let it all hang out and have the attitude that the chips will fall where they may. In a race against trump, ten percent of authentic Joe will hurt Joe, but ninety percent of authentic Joe will have trump feeling like he's being schooled by his second grade music teacher again. Whether that is a better option than showing up how much of a freak trump really is by having him run against someone who comes across as the smartest farmer in rural Ohio is a tough call to make, so either would probably do just fine.
    Sherrod Brown would be the sand, the dirt, the salt of the earth to compare to trump and douse his fire, and Biden would be the water to give trump a good soaking. Which is the better approach who knows? Whichever way they go, mid-west female as the number two on the ticket seems to me to be the best option. But then again I'm biased because the person I have in mind for the number two spot has been my pick for the bottom of a Democratic ticket (to a male at the top of the ticket) for about five years. I definitely liked her look better with the glasses but I've gotten used to her without glasses now, and although that's hardly a substantive issue, it does give away the game as to who I'm talking about (or has there been more than one mid-west female Senator who has stopped wearing glasses in the last couple of years). It has become an increasingly more common trend for people to start wearing glasses when their intelligence has been called into question, but when you go the other way and take the glasses off, I guess that means you're smart enough already eh??????
    There have been many out there who are suggesting the Democratic Presidential primary for 2020 is going to be a bloodbath, but I don't see that, and I don't see that because I think that in the face of trump, displays of naked ambition are going to be paid for in very quick order with precipitous drops in the polls. I think the upcoming Presidential primary on the Democratic side is going to be analogous to the second Hunger Games movie in some respects. Republicans (the Capitol) have created this incredibly divisive and partisan environment with open hatred mongering to divide the country and encouraging their base to literally hate Democrats as the enemy. Inside this upcoming primary you will get the occasional transgressor, but the line from that movie that sticks out as the most relevant is "remember who the real enemy is". And to those Republicans who suggest this characterization as enemy to be inappropriate or divisive, or whatever criticism, which they would if it is ever talked about, I would simply say that it is they who created this environment starting circa 1980, they hit the gas a little in the 1990s with gingrich, got to third gear during Bush43, put it in fourth gear during Obama's Presidency, and then went to fifth gear and put the pedal to the metal in 2017, so fxck you in relation to absolutely any negative thing you have to say on the matter, okay.
    In my opinion the bottom line for the 2020 election is that it's going to be an absolute slaughter, especially if Republicans move on Roe v Wade in the interim (the symbol of heading back to the dark ages, which is how it will be perceived if they "touch even so much as one hair on its head" will be too much for the electorate), but, But, BUT, if the 2020 election is treated like trump is going to be an easy beat then that's how it becomes a horse race and that's how he could win, so it needs to be all hands on deck to make a bird of it. Regardless of who the potential candidates were going into this election the absolute best option for the Democrats must be someone from the mid-west at the top of the ticket, and the same for the bottom of the ticket, and both need to be authentic who don't, and don't look like they are, crafting themselves for an election. I don't think I've left anybody out in this article and I think it would be a shock for anybody other than those mentioned in here to win the nomination. Now of course what I'm about to say here should be thought of figuratively, rhetorically, for literary effect, grain of sand, because as soon you believe you're going to win something for sure, that tends to be the point at which you find a way to lose: With Joe Biden or Sherrod Brown at the top of the ticket, every State that Obama won in 2008 will go for the Democrats, Arizona, Texas, and Georgia would also be in the bag, Missouri would be in play, and with a Democratic Governor for the next two years and considering the mess that Republicans made of it over the last ten years, Kansas wouldn't be out of the question either; and I don't know whether Democrats could win the Dakotas, but with Sherrod Brown at the top of the ticket I'd lay London to a brick on that it'd be a lineball decision (Obama got within ten points on both). Of course the important context to keep in mind for this paragraph is that I was just as wrong as everybody else on trump in 2016. The counter to that context of course is that I'm not underestimating him this time, and far more importantly, neither are the Democrats and the electorate. To quote a line from a song from the 1970s that I like very much: so when you're ready to make a stand, open your mouth and raise your hands; when you're sick of your parties, sick of your sweets, get off your asses I'll see you, out on the street. Well, I, won't see you out on the streets in America, but I think you get the point.

It is possible, and maybe even likely, that trump will do something that he can't take back over the next two years, but if he's given another four, he WILL do something that over 90% of the American population will not like that he won't be able to take back. It could be a North Korean thing, it could be an Iranian thing, if an odd array of circumstances arise he could do a 1984-ish thing with Putin that could take any number of forms (perhaps without trump even realising that he's doing it, in all three cases); or it could be some big thing he bungles with trade and debt and because a particular set of circumstances are playing out in China (nuance other administrations would pick up and avoid because they actually have staff), the Chinese say "fxck it, if you wanna play then let's play" and it precipitates a worldwide depression - everywhere except underdeveloped countries - and China would come out the other side of it even more powerful than they are today; or it could be a bungled oil thing like Nixon did (and we know how he loves to do the things that Nixon did); or it could be a bumbling entry into a flare up between India and Pakistan that pushes China's, India's and Pakistan's buttons to cause the first deployment of nukes in the field since 1945; even if a weapon is deployed but self-destructed before it reaches its target, that would be a geo-political ripple bigger than anything we've seen since America's entry into World War II. There are more things than wars and more things than these that fit into this category of trump doing something that "nobody" wants him to do and that he won't be able to take back. And that he (the dumbest person in every room he enters at the moment) would be emboldened to believe himself the smartest person on absolutely every subject if he managed to win a second term is certain. In his first term he has been stopped from creating any such disasters twice in North Korea that we know of, the most notable being the removal of US troops from South Korea (or was it just families of troops), he's engaged in a not insignificant number of protracted faux pas with China that they may not put up with forever if they continue and the Chinese situation changes for the worse, he's held the view for forty years that if we have nukes then why can't we use them and we know he doesn't change his views on things just because "a bunch of losers" tell him it's the wrong view to have (or was that just his sons who expressed that view); and based on this same principle of what he's known for forty years (pulled out of his backside) is fact, he thinks federal debt of the richest country in the world is something you can negotiate down (I believe that's roughly the way he put it); he still doesn't get the basics of the concept of the US dollar as anchor currency for the whole world nor even the concept of national debt (he would say he does for appearances but then he would keep talking and say things that clearly demonstrate he doesn't understand; he does that for almost everything these days and everybody just glosses over his stupidity, every time; a laugh about it after the fact on shows his supporters would never watch doesn't accomplish anything, and he's demonstrated his stupidity like this AT LEAST fifty times; we all thought that Bush43 was dumb, but oh boy). He "knows all about oil", he knows "more about the markets than anybody else", he's the "smartest person on taxes" you'll ever meet, he "knows CHina", and of course he knows "more about the military and NATO than the generals, because of his great brain and because he watches TV"; hey, he's the one who said it, with words coming out of his very own mouth, on video; one of the great laughs we had during the campaign at his expense; it's not very funny now, and it'll have a whole new context if he wins a second term. After all he is getting angrier and angrier as his Presidency progresses, and the first trump cabinet, with one or two possible exceptions, were mostly third, fourth, and some even 2000th stringers who would never have managed a place in any previous cabinet, Democrat or Republican, and they were his first stringers. The mind boggles at who he may pick in the second half of his first term, let alone what he'd pick in a second term now that he's become ever more angry and suspicious of all those around him, and of course his clearly stated employment principle that is in his first book (never pick smart people, which is just weird; I feel like I'm misstating that because it's been years since it's come up and it's so ridiculous, but I don't think I am). The point being that HIS first stringers stopped him from making major bungles, but the team around him today inside the White House are too scared to even tell him when he has some toilet paper stuck to the bottom of his shoe, and his second term cabinet will be just as weak; so telling him that he's wrong on policy or stopping him from doing something??????? And to give him a taste of his own medicine and say something about that we absolutely know he would say if it had happened to Hillary Clinton: what was on that toilet paper to make it stick to his shoe; dirty disgusting creature that he is; hey, Hillary had two minutes extra for a bathroom break once and he called that disgusting so.......; hard to remember little things like that inside avalanche after avalanche isn't it; so if it's disgusting to spend an extra two minutes in the toilet in trumpworld, what do you call trump who's obviously not even potty trained, hmmmm (maybe he should've spent an extra two minutes in the toilet)???????? That is not my view of things, but he has clearly shown us that it is his view of things. His second cabinet would be nowhere near as good as his first, and his first was bloody horrible with those ridiculous scenes where we went around the cabinet table and they all debased themselves by fluffing him one at a time, for that is what it was (like how one imagines it would have been at the court of King George III; yeah, he was the mad one); forty, fifty, seventy year old people, at the very top levels of government behaving like that, and the next bunch WOULD be worse. It says so, so much about Republicans that they're okay with this behaviour. Enough is enough of this freak show. Get him out!!!!!

PS. From now on, after trump is gone and a Democrat is in the White House, anything, any, thing, Republicans bring up to criticise a Democratic President about needs to be greeted with some version of, "we saw the way you were with trump, and what you're bringing up now does not even rise to one percent of what he did and you said nothing, so sit down and shut up". Nothing, NOTHING a Democratic President will do for the foreseeable future will ever rise to even one percent of what trump did. If a Democratic President does a bad thing then it will be addressed, but any Republican who weighs in needs to be greeted with a "go screw yourself" retort. Of course all of the media will help out Republicans by crucifying a future Democratic President for every tiny little thing he or she does wrong and there's nothing one can do about it; for at least a hundred years the bar for a Democratic President has been so, so much higher than for a Republican. With this in mind it's no wonder that Republicans believe they can, and do, get away with all of this vote rigging.

Sean Gallacher

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