Vote for your ideal figurehead in 2020!

Summary: Let’s take a cool hard look at Campaign 2020. It reveals much about us, as our elites manufacture the candidates we dream about.

Political polarization in America

One of the fascinating dynamics showing the decay of the Republic’s political system is how we select candidates. In 2010, after we had elected Obama as President, I said that a new era had begun. Obama’s only relevant experience was 8 years as an Illinois State Senator and 4 years as a US Senator (much of that time was spent campaigning). He was elected as a symbol, a political icon manufactured by influential groups outside those that had governed Washington for a century. The Tea Party and Occupy movements were further evidence that American politics had become a street party in which people acted for symbolic reasons – to display their identities.

I said that a period of political instability would be the certain result. There were clear precedents. Such as Sarah Palin, the GOP VP candidate in 2008. Then came Trump, the clearest possible demonstration that our politics are broken. Temperamentally unsuited for high office, personally corrupt (a long history of failure to pay vendors, also see Trump University), ignorant of public policy basics, and totally lacking in relevant experience. People rejoiced that the political system was now open so that unqualified clownish outsiders could win!

The face of Tacitus

“Although Nero’s death had at first been welcomed with outbursts of joy, it roused varying emotions, not only in the city among the senators and people and the city soldiery, but also among all the legions and generals; for the secret of empire was now revealed, that an emperor could be made elsewhere than at Rome.”

— From The Histories by Cornelius Tacitus (56 – 117 A.D.).

The Democratic Party has many elected officials well-qualified to become president. But none of those satisfy Democrat’s desire for a vivid symbol, someone on whom Democrats can project their dreams. Our elites heard their wishes, learned the lessons from 2016, and manufactured a crop of candidates from whom to choose. Like the rows of soup on the supermarket’s shelves, there is a flavor for everyone. In the political free market, we choose among the brands offered.

Most of these would not survive five minutes if we choose presidents with the care that we choose a plumber, or a corporation chooses a CEO. But we are not citizens choosing someone to run the nation, but children electing a class president. This is why our elites despise us and believe that they are better suited to rule.

We have a 45-year-old businessman with no political experience: Andrew Yang. A 37-year-old mayor of a small city: Peter Buttigieg. A rich guy with no political experience: Tom Steyer. Two very old guys with strong experience – Joe Biden (77) and Bernie Sanders (78) – and an old rich guy who was mayor of NYC: Michael Bloomberg (77). What they, and the other candidates, have in common is that none can act as president in any meaningful fashion.

All will pick advisors who will run the nation. Yang and Buttigieg lack the experience to even pick advisors to run the nation. All are “The Price is Right” candidates in the sense that we will not know what is behind the door until the winner moves into the White House.

But this is a win-win for Americans! Supporters of the winning candidate will feel a surge of satisfaction that their brand won. When the result does not match their dreams, they can whine that the system is unfair. We just can’t win, no matter which button we push on the television voting machine.

Elizabeth Warren
Photo: Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

The exception

There is one real candidate running for the Democratic nomination: Elizabeth Warren (age 70). Twelve years in Washington, including 7 as a senator. She is a true revolutionary. She has the radical lawyer’s delusional confidence in her ability to drastically rearrange complex social, economic, and political systems (none of which she understands) – and the radical’s contempt for the proles’ ability to run their lives. She is a law professor who has re-invented her past with a shyster’s (and salesperson’s) disregard for objective fact.

Continuing my series of radical wild predictions (parts one and two), I predict that an old white guy will become the candidate. He will nominate Warren as VP. This will gain the support of the Left (who would otherwise despise him). If elected, early in his term of office he will turn the reins over to her. Perhaps informally (as Edith Wilson was our first woman president). Or formally through resignation, death, or the 25th Amendment. This will put an unelectable Leftist radical in the White House.

Historians will consider this a political masterstroke. Given the precarious state of the Republic, this might irrevocably change America in ways we cannot even imagine.


Campaign 2020 will teach other peoples (perhaps successors to America) the consequences of believing that voting is citizenship – and the necessity of deeper political involvement. If we will not make the effort to run America, then others will do so – and (naturally) to benefit themselves. That is the Great Circle of Life in action. We must change, or accept the consequences. If we choose the latter, let’s not whine about them.

For More Information

Ideas! For some shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see a story about our future: Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about ways to reform America, and especially these…

  1. ImportantA 4th of July reminder that America is ours to keep – or to lose!
  2. Remember the last liberal. We still have people like him.
  3. Visions of America if the Left wins.
  4. The Left can win in 2020 and dominate US politics.
  5. The middle in American politics has died. Now extremists rule.
  6. Election 2020 will be about open borders & America’s future – Fascinating quotes from the first debate.
  7. Campaign 2020 shows who will mold America’s future.
  8. Two levers to bring the Democrats victory in 2020.
  9. The Left becomes revolutionary. Few realize it yet.

Useful books explaining what happened to American politics

I have not found a good book explaining what happened to the Left, causing its hatred of America. These are the best I have found, looking at our politics.

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank.

The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted by Mike Lofgren.

"Listen, Liberal" by Thomas Frank
Available at Amazon.
"The Party is Over" by Mike Lofgren
Available at Amazon.


20 thoughts on “Vote for your ideal figurehead in 2020!”

  1. So your prediction is that a Democrat will win? That seems to be the implication of the prediction that an older guy will appoint Warren as VP and then resign in her favor. One of the three.

    Interesting. I find it too uncertain to predict. Would you put any probability on it? I would have thought a Trump win is something around 50/50, but I am terrible at predictions.

    1. Henrik,

      “So your prediction is that a Democrat will win?”

      Good catch of my sloppy writing. I have no idea who will win (accurate predictions are difficult in ClownWorld). I meant that the plan is that …

      I will change the text. Thanks for flagging this!

  2. today’s nitpick: “who has re-invested her past” re-invented.

    The comment on the other post has some errors. Feel free to get even. It seems I can only find them after I quit thinking about what I wrote. Unfortunately, that is after I hit the post button.

  3. Larry: “The Democratic Party has many elected officials well-qualified to become president.”

    Agreed but I think the primary reason they are not running for President is that they do not want the job under the current circumstances. Admittedly, your point is made more valid by the sprinkling of qualified candidates in the Democratic presidential field who are not getting the publicity they deserve.

    I believe that this is more an effect of what you accurately describe as “Clownworld” than it is a conscious decision on the part of the Democratic party leadership. The people who brag the most and who have the boldest vision (even if it has zero chance of being implemented or has obvious flaws) attract the most media attention and drive out the more staid, sane plans of more experienced candidates.

    The thing that strikes me hardest about the plans of all the Democratic candidates is that their followers assume that one magic election will allow their candidate to do anything they want, the “elected omnipotent Emperor” syndrome that pervades Trump’s thinking in virtually all issues.

    “Clownworld” indeed. We are all going to live in interesting times.

    1. Pluto,

      “Agreed but I think the primary reason they are not running for President is that they do not want the job under the current circumstances.”

      I would bet big big big money that is not the case. I’ve never met a politician that was not ambitious.

  4. Donald J. Trump

    They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously. They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial. Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy…

    1. Ron,

      “They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders”

      Total nonsense. Everybody involved is a US citizen and has an equal right to work for their own politics. Some work harder to maintain the pretense of neutrality, but there are not (and probably have never been) many neutrals in politics.

      Party officials work for what they believe are the best interests of the party. Journalists work for what they believe will generate ratings – and benefit their personal politics. It’s life.

      1. Larry,

        Don’t shoot the messenger. It doesn’t matter what the Dimms do…they loose.

        I don’t give a dam about about Warren’s qualifications.

      2. Ron,

        “they loose.”

        I feel sad about your arrogance and gross overestimation of your ability to predict the future. After your first billion dollars, check back and I’ll take your predictions as definitive.

        Accurate predictions are difficult in ClownWorld.

      3. Larry,

        “Party officials work for what they believe are the best interests of the party. Journalists work for what they believe will generate ratings – and benefit their personal politics. It’s life.”

        Truer words never spoken.

  5. InstanaK (aka Paul Erdos)

    I predict Warren fades after Iowa but won’t drop out until after Super Tuesday. She won’t get the VP nom from either candidate – she’s got terrible political instincts and doesn’t deliver any key constituency to either Biden or Sanders.

    It’s gonna be a race between Biden and Sanders. Biden loses to Trump, Sanders defeats him.

    1. InstanaK,

      “I predict Warren fades after Iowa but won’t drop out until after Super Tuesday”

      I agree that she won’t get the nomination. She lacks basic political skills, much like Hillary. Hillary was also Senator, like Warren. But Hillary became the Democratic candidate – so those are not disqualifiers. Predictions are difficult in ClownWorld.

      “She won’t get the VP nom from either candidate”

      But the odds of Sanders making Warren his VP probably went to zero when she pulled the “Sanders is a sexist” card (as obviously false as Warren’s claim to be a native Amerian). As for Biden or Bloomberg – they might believe that a Leftist woman on the ticket will help. Clownworld!

    2. Curious. Why do you think Sanders defeats Trump?

      My guess would also be that Biden loses to him, but Sanders I would have thought no better than evens, probably worse. Not that I know anything!

      A country that cannot do better than a choice between Trump, Biden and Sanders is in really deep trouble. Its reminiscent of the Soviet gerontacracy that preceded collapse.

      1. Or evidence that the presidency is not nearly as important to our daily lives as we imagine it to be.

      2. CHute,

        “Or evidence that the presidency is not nearly as important to our daily lives as we imagine it to be.”

        Too broad a statement. FDR’s fantastic political skills made the New Deal possible, changing the daily lives of a big fraction of Americans. LBJ’s decision to push through the great civil rights acts changed the daily lives of Black Americans. Presidents are leaders, and can have influence at inflection points.

      3. Sanders’ has a more credible message on trade, healthcare, and foreign intervention. Particularly in places like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania which Trump will need to win if he wants another term. Sanders can convincingly point out Trump’s failure on these issues – Biden will say nothing but “Remember Obama? He was good” in a 1000 different ways.

        Will a broad-based appeal on economic issues be able to turn out the base and bring out people who don’t usually vote? That’s the question of the Sanders campaign. No one knows the answer for sure because it hasn’t been tried in so long. As I see it, it’s the one thing on the horizon that might have the ability to reshape our politics in a positive direction.

      4. Instanak,

        Your belief in candidates’ white papers is touching, but shared by few Americans. For good reason. They’re written by interns and outsiders, and ignored once the candidate gets into office.

        All we know about Sanders for certain is that he is a died-in-the-wool socialist, a believer in massive social engineering projects to shape America into a society that he likes better.

        “Sanders’ has a more credible message on trade, healthcare, and foreign intervention. Particularly in places like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania which Trump will need to win if he wants another term. Sanders can convincingly point out Trump’s failure on these issue”

        You are kidding yourself. We’re in the longest economic expansion since WWI (when records began). Sanders can say “under me it would have been even better” – bizarre given his near-total lack of experience in economic policy and his belief in long-disproven economic nostrums.

        Health care is a mess, and has been a mess for generations. But it is not a hot issue, and far less important to most voters than the economy.

      5. I would say that Sanders or Biden have the advantage of already being known and not having been the target of the right-wing messaging machine to nearly as great an intensity as HRC was. Any of these guys will get called a vicious socialist by the right-wing messaging system. If Bernie has an advantage it is that he would be like “Yeah, so?” as opposed to being looped into playing defense.

        We do seem to basically be a gerontocracy right now. When the Baby Boomer bulge begins to fade, interesting things will happen.

  6. It should be compulsory voting. It works here in OZ [but that was because we had few voters back in the 1920’s]. Here the problem is more the screwing with the right to vote and all the blockages put in the way to discourage voting. Making it compulsory would instantly derail all such impediments. Elections would cost less as you wouldn’t have to get people out to vote. It would make a huge difference to the results. Remember too not voting does make a difference. It says your non vote helped the winner.

    1. John,

      “It should be compulsory voting.”

      I can’t imagine how that would help.

      “It works here in OZ.”

      Define “works.” What benefit does it provide?

      “Elections would cost less as you wouldn’t have to get people out to vote.”

      Color me skeptical. We spend little to “get out the vote.” Why should we? Any serious enforcement would probably cost more. In either case, the money is pocket change. Who cares?

      “It would make a huge difference to the results.”

      How would it improve the Republic to force people to vote that don’t want to vote? That sounds quite daft, imo. In any case, voting is not the problem. We have too many people who think citizenship is like ordering from the menu in a restaurant – that we can whine if the menu isn’t what people of our awesomeness deserve.

      We need people to have a deeper awareness of citizenship.

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