Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Are Democrats Poised To Throw Away A Golden Opportunity?

Like Rep. Clyburn, I am an older American -- and I vividly remember the election of 1972. Democrats nominated a good, smart, progressive candidate. But his stance on the Vietnam War and some other progressive ideas put him far to the left of the voting public at that time. The result was that voters chose a criminal to be their president.

It was decades after that terrible defeat before any progressive ideas were seriously considered again. Are Democrats headed for a repeat of that in 2020?

I don't think the total disaster of 1972 will be repeated, but I do think Democrats may be in the process of throwing away a golden opportunity to take back the White House and Congress. And considering that would leave Trump in the White House (and Republicans in charge of the Senate), that could be an even greater disaster for the country than 1972 turned out to be.

Currently, I see two ways the Democrats could blow the 2020 election.

First, they could nominate Bernie Sanders to be their presidential candidate. Bernie is not a bad person, and many of his ideas are good (and would be good for the country). But he has more baggage than any other president (more even than Hillary Clinton had entering the 2016 election).

Bernie is a socialist, and he's proud of that. He has been bragging about that for decades. Unfortunately, socialism still scares far too many Americans -- especially the moderate Independents that would be need to win a national election.

Some of you are probably saying that Republicans are going to try and brand any Democrat with the socialist label. You are right. They will try that, just as they have done in the past. But it won't stick to most Democrats. It will stick with Bernie. The Republicans have access to years of Bernie (in his own words) extolling socialism and defending some left-wingers in other countries (Castro, the Sandinistas, etc.). Republicans will use Bernie's own words to brand a red hammer and sickle on his forehead, and scare the hell out of moderate voters. It could scare away enough voters to create another electoral college win for Trump.

Second, if Bernie gets to the convention with a plurality of Democratic delegates, but is denied the nomination then that could be trouble. Undoubtably, many of the Bernie supporters will once again cry that the nomination was denied them because the DNC cheated. It won't be any truer than it was in 2016, but it could easily be believed by enough of them that they either sit out the election (or vote for a third party). And that could again result in an electoral college win for Trump.

I hope I'm wrong, but I'm starting to get worried. Bernie would be a disaster as the Democratic nominee -- but he has to be beaten before the convention (with someone else entering the convention with a plurality of delegates).

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