Congressman Dean Phillips, a moderate Democrat representing Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District, confirmed what was first reported by Politico that he is “engaged” in talks about a bid for the White House in 2024. This last Sunday I expected this news would light up the political shows aired on Sunday. It was not mentioned on what I watched. The puppeteers do not want other than the wacky RFK Jr. and mystic Marianne Williamson to contest President Biden.
I have no opinion on whether Congressman Phillips would make a good President, but my hope is that his initiative takes flight. If he goes forward much as Senator Eugene McCarthy, also a Minnesotan, did in 1968 opposing President Lyndon Johnson, it will invigorate the Democratic Party which is now inert. The Party’s officials seem all in on President Joe Biden fighting the clear voice of its Party’s voters, who in poll after poll say they want a younger leader.
McCarthy, in his stump speeches talked of patriotism: “To serve one’s country not in submission but to serve it in truth.” Who will step forward?
Stick It To the Man
There are a whole lot of Republicans who want to stick it to The Man. They imagine Donald J Trump as being the big stick.
If Trump is nominated, the campaign will be at least a three-Party affair. The third force, the Courts. But, most importantly, the evidentiary voices who are sworn to tell the “whole truth and nothing but the truth”. Along with the witness voices, documents will be authenticated and entered into the record and then presented to Judge and Jury as reporters scramble to be the first to report the news.
The campaign will be one for the books. Democrats will be pleased; cynicism has few boundaries, if any. Columnists will be pleased. My preference is for the US electorate to select between contending views about America’s future in a complex world. But if it is Biden v Trump v The Courts, I will have my pen in hand.
Republicans should be pleased with the diversity of candidates seeking its Presidential nomination. Democrats, of course, will claim that real diversity is in voter demographics. But, as preferences and poll results show Hispanic, Asian and African-Americans are no longer allergic to Republican candidates. If that were not so, the presidential field would not be so diverse.
At this point the Democrat’s field is, well, not diverse. Is this the face they want to show, to other than hardcore Party voters?
What to make of the large percentage of former Trump administration officials openly campaigning against him? I suspect there are many reasons and some quite specific to relational circumstances. But, after listening or reading about these reversals of support, one thing is clear. Most, if not all, believe a second Trump term would result in a degrading attack on America as a Republic enriched by constitutional safeguards that we call checks and balances.
In reaction to the most recent indictments of Donald Trump his most loyal Vice-President Mike Pence said: “Today’s indictment serves as an important reminder: anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States.”
Donald Trump is not talking about the future; he is at war with America’s institutions. To begin: States cannot be trusted to fairly hold elections. Courts cannot be trusted to fairly adjudicate claims and counter-claims. Same with Juries. Same with Congress.
Trump’s campaign simplified: Believe in me and only me.
Fitch, an important credit rating firm just downgraded US securities. As CNN reported: Fitch Ratings downgraded its US debt rating on Tuesday from the highest AAA rating to AA+, citing “a steady deterioration in standards of governance.”
Nobody would call Fitch political. Its analytics are understood and respected by the financial community. A downgrade often results in having to pay a higher interest rate to offset greater risk.
If the United States is unable to choose its political leadership and thus those who are instrumental in its financial affairs without dysfunctional polarity, decline will be our trajectory.
Al Sikes is the former Chair of the Federal Communications Commission under George H.W. Bush. Al writes on themes from his book, Culture Leads Leaders Follow published by Koehler Books.