Something to keep in mind for 2020 as it starts to get ugly out there. Donald Trump didn’t win the White House by convincing the majority of America to like him. He did it by convincing the majority of America to be so disgusted with Hillary Clinton that they stayed home. He accomplished this by manipulating the right-wing media and the mainstream media, getting a little bit help from the Russians, and getting a lot of help from Democrats. People don’t remember this, and I’m anticipating some of my friends to comment on this post telling me otherwise, but five years ago, Hillary Clinton was a reasonably popular public figure. She wasn’t toxic, and she was a sure bet for the presidency. One primary and several exaggerated scandals later, she’s the least favorite politician in America.
This tactic worked in the low-turnout elections in 2000 and 2004, when two decent statesmen were so dragged through the mud that the public, who didn’t really like George W. Bush, were even less sure about those guys. The Trump campaign took this and elevated it to a grand guignol, and they’re on track to do it again. Try going onto a forum manned by Democrats and mentioning a candidate’s name and see how fast and furious the attacks will come. Bernie’s washed up and crazy. Biden is a clueless Boomer. Mayor Pete is an evil capitalist. Warren is condescending. A Democrat can, right off the bat, tell you five things they hate about the other candidate, but they can tell you may be one or two things they love about theirs.
Voting not-Trump isn’t going to win the election. It didn’t work in 2016, just like not-Bush didn’t work in 2004. What worked in 2008 and 2012 is that we had a candidate who, despite his flaws, we liked enough to unite behind. The only candidate who has people united behind him is Trump.
I don’t know what the solution is. The allegations against Buttigieg are awfully troubling, almost as much so as the verbal diarrhea that comes out of Joe Biden’s mouth. I don’t trust Sanders, and his followers are really off-putting. The one I’m behind is Warren, but anyone will tell you they have “problems” with Warren (I haven’t been able to get people to tell me what those problems are), and according to the Bernie people, her health care plan will effectively torpedo any chance for us to ever have single-payer. Democrats are amazing about finding flaws in their own people.