Sometimes winning is losing and losing is winning....
If you are and old-time Democrat, you've probably been scratching your head for the last few years. After all, the party had a chance to keep the Presidency with the election of Hillary Clinton in 2016, and despite all the hoopla over stolen elections and Russian interference, the biggest obstacle to her Presidency came not from the Right but from the Left - a certain "Independent" Senator from Vermont, who once again wants the nomination of the party he refuses to join.
Fast forward three years, and the same group of leftists are tearing down the one candidate that has the best chance of beating Donald Trump. Joe Biden, we are told, is too conservative, too white, too old, too establishment. Nothing short of overthrowing the country will fix our "problems" (what were those again? Being the wealthiest country in the world? Oh, that).
So we are hearing all sorts of far-left nonsense these days. We need free college, loan forgiveness, guaranteed annual income (free money) and voting for felons - while they are in jail. The latter troubles me a bit. If you were a convicted felon, who would you vote for, for Sheriff or District Attorney? A fellow gang member? Just saying.
And then hoary old ideas like slave reparations are once again dredged up, as if somehow this was a compelling issue today, when it wasn't eight years ago when we had a black President. It is nothing short of pandering to the black vote, and I suspect more than one black voter is scratching their head and wondering where this all came from.
For the record, I am in favor of slave reparations. Anyone who was enslaved in the United States prior to 1865 should be compensated. However, their children, grand-children, great-great-grandchildren, and so on and so forth - that's another story. We have something called a "statute of limitations" for a reason. We can't keep re-litigating old grievances forever. You could argue that a young black man today doesn't have the advantages of some young white man - and maybe that would be true. But does that apply to the young black man whose father is a stock broker versus the young white man whose Dad is a broken-down alcoholic? Do we just hand out money based on race? People are individuals, not statistics.
It is a relevant question to me. You see, distant ancestors on my Mother's side of the family owned slaves. And no doubt they profited from that - although Colonel Thompson did lose most of his wealth due to the Civil War - and left Alabama for Texas to start over again. His son didn't run a plantation, but rather went to Civil Engineering school and became the road commissioner in Texas, because by then, there was no inheritance to be had. Between that and the generation today is a pattern of bankruptcy, alcoholism, and suicide. And my Father's side of the family came over here with nothing and managed the same trick - to gain and lose wealth over the generations. At more than one point or another in my family tree, there was a time when one generation had to start over with nothing. So did we really get "money batons" as some would argue?
It is an interesting thing to think about, and of course politics plays a part. Republicans (who freed the slaves, ironically, but are racist today) are against slave reparations, but in favor of Cuban-Americans getting back property seized more than a half-century ago by Castro. But on the other hand, they are not in favor of Israel returning lands seized from Arabs in 1949. It depends on which side of the spectrum you are on, in terms of reparations and refunds - and which voting bloc you represent.
My position? No one gets their money back, after a certain time period (and I think once you are dead, your kids don't get it back, or after let's say, 50 years). Israel isn't going away or giving back their lands. Castro isn't giving back casinos or fincas to Cuban ex-pats. And no, we aren't giving Manhattan back to the Indians. It just isn't going to happen, from a practical standpoint, and these sort of issues don't engender progress, but rather retard it. Once you predicate any negotiations on "I get all Grandpa's stuff back!" nothing will happen.
And again, when do I get all my Grandpa's stuff back? After all, my ancestors were thrown off their tenant farms a hundred years ago when the English decided to convert all that to sheep farming for the wool business. "Off my land!" they said, "And here's a free ticket to America - on the Titanic!" Or maybe I should get back the 100 acres my ancestors farmed in Park Slope, Brooklyn. After all, it was our ancestral land! Never mind that we lost it through mental illness, poor business practice, and heavy drinking. We want everything back the way it was!
It just is a non-starter. There has to be some sort of time limit on this stuff. And speaking of non-starters, do you think any of these "progressive" agenda items will ever pass both halls of Congress? Do you really think AOC's efforts to outlaw garbage disposals as "bougie" will succeed? That the vast majority of Americans will just lay down and say, "take all my money and give it to convicted felons so they can vote?"
Of course not. These are just talking points that they know have no chance of ever being enacted into law, but are a way of pandering to the far-left voters who might turn out in a caucus in Iowa. They are, in a way, trying to buy votes by falling all over each other to give away government money, which is to say someone else's money. And they know, deep down, that unless they win huge majorities in both houses of Congress and the White House, none of this will ever come into being. And even then, a new conservative Supreme Court may take issue with some of these items as an "unjust taking".
So why are the Democrats embracing far-left ideologies? I think in part because they want to lose the next Presidential election. Losing would be better than winning, in 2020, for a number of reasons:
1. The Recession: We are overdue for a recession and the signs one is coming have been unmistakable. The trucking business, once booming, is now retreating - several companies have gone bankrupt. Not but a few months ago, there were cries of driver shortgages. Today, they are laying off drivers because there isn't enough freight to move because people have stopped buying things. Car sales are off - everyone is so far into debt they can't afford a $75,000 pickup truck. And the hot housing markets are cooling off, rather suddenly.
All this spells trouble down the road - and the ballooning deficit and national debt aren't helping - and tariff wars will insure that the recession is protracted. If Trump loses in 2020, it will be as he predicted - a recession will follow. But of course, if Trump wins in 2020, the same is true. The difference is, of course, that if Trump loses, he can (and will) blame the Democrats for causing the recession.
Already today, people believe that the market crash that took place during the Bush era somehow took place during Obama's term - or failing that, that Bill Clinton, a decade earlier, plotted and planned the entire thing. When the stock market crashes, you want Herbert Hoover in the White House, not Roosevelt.
So in terms of "It's the economy, stupid" you want a Republican to take the blame (as they rightly should) when it all goes horribly wrong.
2. Teach the Left a Lesson: The leftists are convinced, much as their rightest brethren (and they are more alike than you think) are, that the reason their party is losing elections is that they are not radical enough. If only Bernie Sanders was at the top of the ticket, Trump would have lost! In reality, Trump would have won the popular vote - and not just the electoral college - if Sanders was running against him. Americans don't want socialism - outside of certain parts of New York and California.
So if they put up some leftist wacko, who promises free shit for everyone, you can bet the middle-of-the-road independent voters - who make up the vast majority of the electorate - will either stay home or hold their nose and vote Trump. The Left loses, and maybe (just maybe) they learn a lesson that incremental changes are better than no change at all, and perhaps sometimes you have to compromise your principles in order to get anything accomplished (and acknowledge there are others out there whose opinions are different than yours - and for good reason).
3. Win in 2024: If Trump is re-elected, we can be sure that things will likely get a lot worse, unless he turns out to be some sort of mad evil genius (I don't bank on that). So by 2024, the recession kicks in, made worse by tax cuts, deficit spending, and a trade war. What would have been the mild recession of 2021 turns into the market crash of 2022. All the lessons of 2008 will have to be learned all over again - that banking regulations were there for a reason, and lending money to insolvent people never works out well.
Funny thing is, we keep having to re-learn these lessons. Back in the 1980's we had the S&L crises and everyone went ga-ga over "junk bonds" and then acted shocked when they turned out to be.... junk.
And it goes all the way back to the great depression. My Grandfather, who was head of the banking section of the New York State Bar, was involved in the financial banking reforms of the 1930's - reforms that were slowly unwound over time, with predictable results. We keep having to re-learn these same lessons again and again, it seems.
So, by 2024, people will say, "enough is enough!" as they lose their jobs, their houses, their cars, and their life's savings. And they will turn away from far-right and far-left politics and elect someone who can straighten things out. And like a drug addict or a drunk, as soon as economic conditions improve, they will say, "You know, having a little debt is OK, now and then - let's just have a tipple!" and the whole damn thing starts over again.
Maybe by 2024 things like "white privilege" and "cultural appropriation" and "micro-aggressions" will be finally put in the dumpster where they belong - because dividing people by race and class and trying to make people feel guilty for working hard and succeeding in life simply isn't a marketable strategy. People will always vote for the politician who tells them they are great and makes them feel good. If you doubt this, check out who is in the White House.
But then again, I am not confident that humanity has much common-sense. And it is one reason why I am not worried too much about it. Even if they enact all this socialist nonsense, I will be safely in the grave by then.