Without question the chief theme that has emerged in the wake of Virginia is the revolt against and the resultant steady implosion of the current system. Peggy Noonan highlights this well, along the lines of David Brooks’ comments the other day (my emphasis in bold):
“The larger picture? We’re in the early scenes of big change. We’re seeing the gradual cratering of both parties. Tuesday night obscured this for the Democrats and highlighted it for the Republicans. Democrats are split between moderates and a rising progressive left, which has all the energy, enthusiasm and intellectual action. Mr. Trump united the Democrats in Virginia. That won’t last forever.”
In my September case for an Independent Political Party I highlighted this exact phenomenon. Trump’s deep unpopularity can now be added to the list of decisive evidence:
“…the Democratic Party’s systematic implosion at the grass-roots level under Barack Obama and Congress’ current 16 percent approval rating represent decisive evidence of electorate revolt against the current system.”
* * *
The evidence is overwhelming that space has emerged for an Independent Political Party. Despite my personal love of Trump’s bulldozing of political norms, I have been dubious he could spearhead an “IPP movement”. As demonstrated by Virginia, optics matter; but as demonstrated by the Democrat Party’s systematic implosion under the optically pleasing Obama, policy also matters. The system needs a non-Trump Trump. My vote: Jamie Dimon.
However, for those who may believe Trump’s 2020 reelection is now firmly out of the question, I would strongly encourage them to study Maine Governor Paul LePage’s reelection in 2014. LePage is a well-documented racist, and he makes Trump’s “optics” look like Mother Teresa. The similarities are astonishing. And unlike LePage, Trump’s policy implementation has been stellar.
Everyone and their brother says that Hillary Clinton won the election for Trump. But this ignores the very, very real effect the uncertainty of BOTH candidates played in driving down participation at the top of the ticket. I do not have the data, but how many mainstream Republicans are out there that voted third party in 2016 but would vote for Trump in 2020 if up against an establishment Democrat, let alone a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, simply because he simply has not been as bad as feared?
Consider the following:
- In 2016 Trump/Clinton received 4.55 million combines votes in Michigan versus 4.68 million for Obama/Romney, or 130,000 fewer votes;
- And in Wisconsin, 2.79 million versus 3.02 million, or 230,000 fewer votes.
In 2020, the 2016 no-vote Republican cohort will work to offset some of the Democrat enthusiasm seen in Virginia. And since Trump’s base is, emphatically, not going anywhere, the “Paul LePage effect” is very alive and very real.
Again, if the Democrats want to win in 2020, NOT running on and identity politics and single payer healthcare platform + running Jamie Dimon is the way forward.