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Anti Trumpers: Be careful for what you wish for

In 1992, the world expected another presidential victory for George Bush 1, the mastermind of the First Gulf War.

So the Democratic heavyweights stayed out of the primaries, not wanting to be seen as the 1992 loser. They were willing to wait until 1996. So a third-rate politician won the Democratic primary, complete with a history of putting himself in controversial situations. Most pundits thought this person would be an insignificant footnote in American history.

Then came a little recession, and there were fewer economic opportunities for average Americans. That third-rate politician was an energetic campaigner, promoting this great message: “The Economy, Stupid.” For crafting such a simple slogan, he got to run the country.

The lesson: the state of the economy is perhaps the biggest factor in determining election results. If people feel the economy isn’t working for them, they will vote against the incumbent. The quality of the alternative to the incumbent is not that important.

The last recession in the USA was in 2008. Statistically speaking, the USA is due for another recession. And there are signs another recession is close-at-hand, but probably won’t be a factor in the November election. For sure, the spin doctors of the Republicans will craft stories of a great economy still happening. So what happens if the recession makes its full effects obviously known in, say, November 2021?

If Mr. Trump wins the presidency, it will be hard for him to escape the blame. After all, he took credit for all the good economic indicators that were probably more due to the great decisions of Mr. Obama. Enough of Mr. Trump’s base will leave him so that his successor will not be able to win the 2024 election.

If the White House turns Democrat, it is very likely that new president will be blamed for the recession, just like Mr. Bush 1 was. Mr. Trump and his minions can say: “We left the White House with a good economy, and they messed it up.” That sociopolitical force known as the Trump base will remain intact for 2024. Many soft D supporters will stay away from the voting booth. A landslide victory for the R side is plausible in 2024. Do we really want a Republican Party, with its current culture, to be gifted with a landslide victory?

As my few fans know, I have an ulterior motive for being on Medium. I am trying to advocate for building a new system of democratic governance. And this new system will need workers, not watchers.

If the White House goes Democratic, much of the anti-Trump vote will be placated into believing that the “problem” has been solved. So new systems of government are not needed, right? I will have to wait post-2024 to get some traction.

But if Mr. Trump wins and eventually is held accountable for the inevitable recession, there will be a few open-minded thinkers from both sides of the political spectrum and more moderates who will ask: “How and why did we elect this guy in the first place?” and “How do we really fix this mess?” Some of these thinkers will conclude that American democracy really needs to be replaced. Then this new movement should find some workers.

To really move America forward, it seems we really needs to move another step backwards.

Published on Medium 2020

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