Political Schisms in 2020?

Political Schisms in 2020?

There may be three election schisms in 2020.  The two that we are directly staring into with 23 Democratic candidates are within the Democratic Party.  The easiest to envision is the guaranteed one between VP Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders, as occurred in 2016.  If Sanders’ supporters are disappointed, as they were in 2016, some of them could stay home, and lose a close election again.

The second Democratic split could occur between the younger, women, and minority candidates who are taking more radical stances, partly just to stand out and get noticed, and the old-white-men candidate supporters of Sanders and Biden.  We are delighted that California moved up its primaries to Super Tuesday, with the largest number of 55 electors, but they will be split proportionally in the primary, just compounding the chaos.  Of course, we prefer this democratic representation, but it could lead to a deal-making national convention, and more disappointed backers.

With all of the Democratic chaos, lets say that in the general election they come close to an electoral tie with Republican Donald Trump.  Trump has made it clear in many ways that he will contest a close but losing result.  Near the end of the 2016 campaign he would not agree to accept a losing result.  After the election, angry that he had lost the plurality to Clinton by 3 million votes, he invented 3 to 5 million (!) illegal voters, largely in California, who would have voted Democratic.  Trump has stacked the Supreme Court with the most conservative candidates from the Federalist Society.  Trump has pushed the citizenship question onto the census, in order to eventually dismiss a massive number of non-citizens in Democratic districts, and the number of Democratic House seats.  Republicans are working hard to prevent ex-cons from voting, despite State laws allowing them to.  Stalwart Mitch McConnell will block anything advantageous to Democrats.  Trump tried to set up a purge of voter roles, and an ID requirement.  Trump has ignored and prevented any action to keep the Russians out of our elections.  Trump has already indicated that he thinks the 2020 elections are fixed, just like he did in 2016.  When recounts were ordered in 2016, Trump prevented examination of voting machine software.  Trump has been blocking science in government regulations, and is now doing so for climate science.  Trump played dirty in the 2016 Republican primaries, threatening revelations about opponent Senator Ted Cruz’s wife, if he continued his campaign.  The Republicans continually attacked Hillary Clinton on her server issue, and created rumors that she was in poor health.  Trump lied about making his taxes available, and his health records.  Trump’s associates tried many times to get Russian dirt on Clinton.  Trump has never admitted that the Russians hacked the DNC, DNCC, and John Podesta’s emails.  “Russia if you are listening”.  Two unapproved Republican Comey public denunciations on Hillary’s server.  Finally, never, ever, admitting or decrying Russian interference, until a slip in a Tweet last week.  Sorry for the long paragraph, but it’s not MY fault.

We are being told that there is a growing polarization between conservatives and liberals, or Republicans and Democrats.  While there are several close states, there is also a massive geographic separation of Red and Blue states.  The Blue states are on the West Coast and Northeast Coast, plus Colorado.  The Red states are middle and the South.  Maybe some of the Rust Belt will turn Blue again.  Am I saying that a losing Trump could split off the Red States, and the Democratic winner the Blue states?  Yes!

In 2024, there will possibly be Republican schisms between whether Trump will run again (whether or not he gets a second term), whether the Trump support will pass on to Donald Jr., Ivanka or Jared Kushner, and whether anybody will bother to challenge them.

Schisms happen.  I can cite some religious ones, and the one between Sunni and Shia is the current alignment of conflicts, although hardly the source of them.  The US schismed from England.  England is Brexiting from the EU.  Our civil war was a costly result of the long standing schism between North and South.  Germany was schismed after WWII.  The Republicans temporarily schismed over Never Trump.  The Democratic Party meeting last week in California already showed schisms between progressives and centrists.

Our TV and internet news has schismed between conservative and liberal.  Even balanced news on CNN is severely targeted by Trump.  Fox’s “fair and balanced” disappeared a long time ago, if it ever really existed.

Trump has tried to schism everything that the US belonged to in alliances and trade.  Except, of course, his unexplained love affairs with Putin, Mohammed Bin Salman, and Netanyahu.  

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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