Saturday, January 05, 2019

Race for the White House 2020 #1

This last year of the decade brings with it the beginning of a fierce battle to determine who will lead America in the next decade.

As for me, I can enjoy the "contest" from the perspective of a political junkie, but as someone who cares about the future of the country and the world at large, these continue to be somewhat disheartening times. Normally, by New Years Day, I am certain whom I want to be the next President, but it may take some time before I know specifically whom I will be supporting.

One thing is clear though. I will not be supporting reelection efforts of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. Never.

It also a near certainty, perhaps in the 99 percent range, that whomever the Democrats nominate will support positions and have an agenda that is inconsistent with my beliefs and values and thus I will be unable to support them either.

Thus, in early January of 2019, I am left hoping that somehow, someway the Grand Old Party will go in a proud new direction, away from Trump and Trumpism. I am far from convinced that the incumbent will actually be renominated, but if he runs, that has to be the assumption. To that end, I will be supporting anybody who enters the Republican fray who stands the best chance of garnering support from anti-Trump Republicans. After all, our numbers may one day increase.

Since it is nearly impossible to dislodge a sitting President through the primary process, I also know how necessary it will be for at least one person on the "center-right", to start taking steps to run as an Independent candidate in the 2020 general election. These efforts in regards to building political networks and securing ballot access will of course need to be made completely separate  of the nomination activities in both major parties or any third party effort.

Next Saturday, we can start looking at some of the names of those who are already running or might run. The field for Democrats will be massive, perhaps over 30. Allies of the incumbent President are asking the Republican National Committee to officially "rig" the primary process to make it impossible to launch a primary challenge against Trump. Clearly, they fear what might happen.

The democratic process will continue to unfold though and Americans of all political leanings who wish for a change in the Oval Office will get a chance to make their voices hold. It may not be a perfect system, but it is better than anything envisioned anywhere else.

While most Americans continue to be pleased with the economy, the situation in Washington D.C. sure seems chaotic. The government is "shut down" and a new Democrat majority has just taken over the House of Representatives, while a slightly larger Republican majority continues to rule the Senate.

One of those Republican Senators is a freshman from Utah named Mitt Romney. In the past, three times actually, I have written at the beginning of January in the year before a Presidential election to state my desire that he be the President.

This year, he is saying that he will not run, and I really do not think he intends to, but I hope he might. As mentioned, someone sure needs to challenge the unacceptable incumbent and represent conservatism. A recent op-ed by Romney, in which he stated support for aspects of the White House's policy record and agenda, but continued disappointment with the personal character of the President and in the way he approaches American leadership has the Trump apologists exercised in a very negative way. Senator Romney really said nothing he had not said before though, which is what makes all this the more remarkable. He also did not say anything that an extremely large number of mainstream Republicans say privately. Clearly, some are very worried about the potential of Romney challenging Trump. He needs to continue to challenge him in one way or another.

As the long campaign begins, both major parties have a lot of inward looking to do. Partisans on both sides are inappropriately cocky. Both the 2016 result and the 2018 midterm results show just how unacceptable large number of voters in various parts of the country consider "the other side" and how they are willing to vote for just about anything or anybody as a means of opposition.

Democrats will need to consider the risks of nominating somebody very far to the left in 2020 and Republicans will have to ask themselves if Donald Trump is truly the strongest possible person they can put up, and what it means for the party in the long-term by allowing him to dominate it. He also happens to be a person who just might be in very serious legal difficulty in the months ahead.

However Americans wind up voting next year, it is my main hope that more people feel like they have something to vote for and not merely against.


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