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Have We Got Anything to Lose?

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Kamala Harris
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I read yet another essay by a Republican pleading with Democrats to run in 2020 without any progressive policies. The desire is to defeat Trump before he institutionalizes his warped understanding of governmental operations. The reasoning is that voters in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Florida who voted for Trump or stayed on the sidelines in 2016 will be scared off by "pie in the sky" options regarding healthcare, education, welfare, immigration, and housing.

If Republicans are that concerned about Trump, why are they not supporting a challenger? The Democrats allowed Ted Kennedy to run against a sitting president of their own party in 1980. Except almost all elected Republicans are doing whatever they can to allow Trump's policies and decisions ride, no matter how egregiously misinformed and malignant they are. Anyone who is surprised by the GOP following Trump in lockstep has not paid attention to how the GOP has managed its partisanship since 1994. These are the people who had no comment when it was discovered that George W. Bush's casus belli regarding Afghanistan and Iraq was grounded on lies.

Speaking of which, another one of those people who remained silent when OMDs were proven to be a hoax is Hilary Clinton. She literally traded her vote for the war against Iraq (i.e. support for having Americans go to their death) for money for the State of New York. Part of the argument in favor of ignoring the need for progressive policies is that the Democrats need an electable candidate to defeat Trump. Except they thought they had one in Clinton and she blew it. If Clinton couldn't beat Trump, what makes anyone think Joe Biden is going to be any better? His history of ignoring racists and being too physical around women blows away any chance of using those concerns against Trump.

What is most incomprehensible of all is that no one has learned from the mistakes Bernie Sanders made in 2016. He talked a good game about political revolution but was empty-handed when it came to explain just how that revolution was going to unfold other than electing him first.

If any of the Democratic candidates hopes to be elected, they must be explicit about how they are going to fund projects like Medicare for all and free college tuition before mentioning those two goals. They must call for a return to taxation levels last seen in 1970 (or 1960) when the government could provide grants to cities and sustain a social safety net. They must show an abiding concern for maintaining full employment through public works projects. They must have an answer to what to do with the crush of immigrants banging on our doors. They must stand against corporate welfare and any continued decline in middle income earnings compared to productivity gains. They must listen to the Defense Department's better lights who know their budget can be slashed without harming preparedness. They must demonstrate vigor and thoughtfulness in international affairs. They must remove partisanship from their vocabulary and speak as leaders of all of America. They must recognize that Trump's self-inflicted wounds will do the work for them and not bash the president on matters that are obviously absurd or horrifying.

In September 2015, I argued in my ruffbear7 Daily Kos blog why Donald Trump was going to become president if Hillary Clinton was the Democratic candidate. The full explanation is in Remaking Democracy in America. Despite acidic, venomous diatribes posted as comments to that piece, I was vindicated in November 2016. Not only was Trump elected, but he was elected for the reasons I had stated fourteen months earlier.

I will make another prediction. If Senator Kamala Harris does what is outlined in the preceding paragraph and becomes the Democratic nominee, she will defeat Trump in November 2020. Let the 2008 primary be a guide to how she will gain the nomination. She is Barack Obama in drag just like Hilary Clinton is Richard Nixon in drag.

Unfortunately, being a nobody writer with this as my only platform, Senator Harris is never going to know my advice. Bernie Sanders never read my advice that he needed an investigation of the DNC in February 2016 to find out what WikiLeaks proved in June 2016. By June it was all over for him. He never read my advice about forming a political organization to promote his revolutionary agenda even if he wasn't elected. If he had, the Squad might be supporting him now and he might have the endorsement of a few of the people now running against him in the primary field.

Have we got anything to lose? The Republican's pundit's concern was to prevent Trump's warped sense of government operations from becoming permanent. The fact is that his views are the same views put into practice by Ronald Reagan. The damage was done decades ago. The mistrust of government, the politicization of the Supreme Court, the aggressiveness of military policy, the shunning of redistributive tax structures, and the hyper-partisanship in Congress and statehouses were in place by 1988. Patrician George H. W. Bush was a brief throwback. But like most of the men with outstanding records in public service who lived in the White House (John and John Quincy Adams, William Howard Taft, and Herbert Hoover), his stay lasted only four years. Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich made certain that the Reagan Revolution would take hold.

That is why it is time for a political revolution, a new political system to emerge in this country that embraces the principles of democratic socialism, renounces saber-rattling, and stirs citizens to build nurturing communities. The Democratic candidate needs to demonstrate that change is possible and beneficial to everyone.

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Bear Kosik is a political scientist by training. His Remaking Democracy in America was published in the fall of 2018 by Stairway Press. Well-received science fiction novels (two under Hugh Dudley) are available on Amazon. Several screenplays (more...)

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