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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/7/19

Democrats: To Beat Trump, You Need to Buck Your Leadership

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Political cartoon from 1876 presidential campaign
Political cartoon from 1876 presidential campaign
(Image by by Albert Bigelow Paine [public domain])
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This essay is for rank-and-file Democrats, which includes friends of mine. (Disclaimer: As many of you know, I'm not a Democrat; my politics are much further to the left. However, with this piece I am wishing you well.)

Many of you are focused on the 2020 election, which you hope Trump will lose. Of course. But you cannot trust the leadership of your party to do what it takes to make that happen.

If you are serious about putting a Democrat in the White House, you'll need to do it yourselves, through dint of will and sweat of brow. It's not impossible. In fact, it's totally doable. But you need to get on the stick now, and that means educating yourself about the reality of your challenge, which has not been well publicized.

As you know, your candidate, Hillary Clinton, won the popular vote in 2016 by nearly 3,000,000 votes. This is impressive given how unpopular she was as a personality. The good news for 2020 is that virtually anyone nominated from the Democratic fold this time around will have better numbers than her going in. Given that Trump's approval rate is stalled in the low 40s and his disapproval remains in the mid-50s, it should be no problem to meet and exceed that margin in the popular vote again.

Of course, as you don't need to be reminded, the 2016 outcome wasn't decided by the popular vote. Yes, it's a travesty that the results were decided by the electoral college -an arcane institution put into place to serve the interests of slaveowners (and whose descendants, in both blood and spirit, it is still serving)-but you're not going to make it go away before 2020 (if ever) so you'll just need to work with it.

Let's look at the numbers. Trump eked out his 304 vote victory by winning three "battleground" states: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Had Clinton taken them, her electoral total would have been 273 votes, rather than 227: three more than the required 270.

State : Electoral votes : Popular margin
MI : 16 : 10,704
PA : 20 : 44,292
WI : 10 : 22,748

So, Trump "won" with just 77,744 votes. That's only 0.55% of the 13,967,421 votes cast in those states.

That's nothing. If that were the whole story, then victory in 2020 would be as simple as flooding those states with volunteers to pound the pavement, knock on doors and register voters; surely the hatred for Trump is strong enough that sufficient people could be rounded up and bussed in for such a campaign. If the party's national leadership didn't bother to organize this effort (and there's certainly no guarantee they would), then party activists could do it themselves, in cooperation with county and state level officials who care about their people.

But the electoral college is not the whole story.

The whole story involves uncounted ballots, voter suppression and other dirty tricks. Nothing that can't be overcome, but you -rank-and-file Democrats -will have to face these challenges without the assistance of your national party leadership, who have shown no interest in addressing them.

Let's look at some details.

Investigative journalist Greg Palast has been a bulldog on on these issues, and I rely heavily on his work for what follows. Palast began his muckraking during the 2000 Bush v. Gore debacle in Florida where he was one of several journalists who demonstrated that Gore would have won there if all the votes had been counted by the state (which they never were). Two months before the 2016 election, Palast released his film, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," and predicted that Trump would win by means of a Republican-connived theft. Post-election, he jumped into the fray, pursued the story relentlessly, and uncovered numerous cases of fraud -enough to change the results. His work is very well-documented but the implication -that US elections are not as free or fair as people would like to think -is a hot potato for both the mainstream media and the political establishment, including the Democratic party leadership, so we haven't heard enough about it.

But you, Democratic rank-and-filer, can be more honest and forthright; you can educate yourself on what happened and what's going on, the better to kick out the orange menace.

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Kollibri terre Sonnenblume's articles are republished from his website Macska Moksha.  He is a writer, photographer, tree hugger, animal lover, and dissident.

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