Saturday, June 13, 2020

Race for the White House # 76

Once again, I feel frustration about what to write about or what to not write about. I definitely cannot cover every news event, but if I go into detail about somethings, I will feel like I will be neglecting even more important topics altogether.

The news cycles continue to feel surreal, yet nothing is really too surprising anymore. America seems pretty divided, yet not divided enough apparently to give me the sense that the incumbent President of the United States is in serious political trouble. That is what the polls are saying, even as his backers denounce them as "fake" and Donald Trump himself pathetically asks CNN to retract and apologize for their poll showing him trailing Joe Biden by double digits nationally.

I have no trouble believing that Biden is ahead of Trump now and if nothing major changes, a victory could be substantial. Of course, there are many states that will stay red no matter what. This will not be anywhere close to a 49 state landslide, but yet the margin might be significant. There is a long way to go though relatively speaking. All of this is happening right now though to Biden's benefit, in spite of his continuing to be a somewhat invisible candidate, who when he does speak publicly, often says confusing things. There is also this movement on the left to "Defund the Police", which is about the greatest gift that could possibly be given to Trump's struggling reelection campaign. Biden tried to make it clear though that he did not support that effort. Nonetheless, Trump and his people will try to tie Biden to it. Does that mean that Florida Congresswoman Val Demings, an African-American female former major city police chief makes more sense as a Vice Presidential candidate?

Reports this weekend say that the shorlist for Biden's running-mate has shrunk and includes Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Another name mentioned is Susan Rice, the African-American and sometimes controversial National Security Advisor to Barack Obama. Picking her might seem like what would be referred to as a "governing pick", but I do not know how many would truly be excited about her candidacy. I also note that her adult son happens to be a Republican who was active on his college campus in support of Donald Trump. I think that angle would create quite a story that the media and many on Twitter would not be able to let go of. Now, if Biden were to pick Susan's distant cousin Condoleezza Rice, I would consider myself impressed!

Speaking of the former Secretary of State, she is once again playing it coy about who she might vote for, but has implored Trump to be more careful with his Tweets. Gee, Melania could say that... Last Sunday, Colin Powell, Rice's predecessor, went on a Sunday show and endorsed Joe Biden. He is the same "Republican" though that refused to support John McCain and Mitt Romney so this endorsement is about as surprising as Chris Christie endorsing a piece of cake for dessert. Nonetheless, there is clearly evidence of many "old school" Republicans continuing to withhold support for Trump or becoming increasingly distant from him. It should come as no surprise if Mirr Romney, George W. Bush, and Cindy McCain all do not vote for Trump again. To what extent might they speak out though in terms of voting? Could any of them possibly endorse Biden publicly? If so, Mrs. McCain would be the most likely. She may have her hesitation though because apparently her son is interested in running for office as a Republican in the near future. For now, Trump still owns the party, but if he loses, that could change very quickly.

Speaking of the party, we now know that the Republican National Convention will be severely curtailed. Some formal business will take place as scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina. A new platform will not be adopted though. They will stick with the 2016 document that nobody read (except Putin perhaps)  that includes denunciations of the "current President." Then, some major players and Trump himself will address a "large crowd" in Jacksonville, Florida to formally accept renomination. This is occurring at a time when we hear now that Coronavirus is on the rise again in many southern states such as both North Carolina and Florida. I am glad that things seem to have gotten better in Illinois in recent weeks and I hope it stays that way.

Trump is also anxious to return to "rallies." He had one scheduled for next Friday, which happens to be the historic African-American unofficial holiday of "Juneteenth" in of all places Tulsa, Oklahoma. Is that now a swing state? This raised many eyebrows because of an historic race riot that occurred there in 1921 in which whites killed many African-Americans. Trump and his team should have known better, but still, that was a long time ago, and Tulsa is of course an American city that has long since changed in many ways. In a somewhat rare move, Trump agreed to delay the rally to Saturday instead. However, anyone who attends has to sign an agreement saying they will not sure if they catch Covid-19. The Art of the Deal indeed! Along those lines, there is a new book claiming that the current First Lady refused to move to the White House in 2017 until her prenuptial agreement was strengthened.

There are a lot of other things that happened, including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff issuing a detailed apology for marching with Trump in uniform to the church for the stupid photo op.  Trump also Tweeted out conspiracy theories about an elderly protestor who received serious injuries when being pushed by the police in Buffalo. As I said, it is all surreal, yet nothing surprises me anymore. Many in society, even on the right, are now talking about how it is needed to cut ties with relics of the Confederacy. Yet Trump, mindful of a part of his base, resists and talks again of "heritage."

Part of me is heartened to see so many white people coming to the understanding that racial reconciliation is needed in the wake of the George Floyd killing and I have long stood opposed to symbols honoring the Confederacy. Yet the "wokeness" on the left and unwillingness to compromise is also a problem. Yes, there is probably no good reason to have statues up of former leaders of the KKK or those who are only known for fighting against the Union. However, there is a difference between that and erasing the legacy of George Washington for example, or toppling statues of Christopher Columbus. The divisions will continue for a long time.

As I have said several times, Joe Biden has taken positions on issues I consider dealbreakers for me in regards to voting for him. However, he does not need my vote to win my state and I realize that I cannot prevent myself from "rooting" for him. As the election gets closer, I just become more ready to see Trump gone once and for all. That will not solve all of the problems in our country or in the political party I was once proud to be a part of, but at least we can maybe start some more honest debates about the future.


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