The other day I was talking to my friend, Steve, about politics. I met Steve in 2008, when we had both volunteered to work on the McCain-Palin campaign. At that time, Steve and I wound up doing frequent door-to-door canvassing together, and feverishly working the phone banks for the national, state, and local races. We both soon became GOP precinct captains of our adjoining respective areas, and even though I later moved a short distance away, we have stayed in close contact ever since, occasionally reuniting to volunteer on campaigns, attending political meetings and events, and talking on the phone quite often.
Steve is self-employed. He makes his living by studying the financial markets and publishing a specialized newsletter, for which his subscribers around the world pay him to advise them on financial forecasting.
So I’m on the phone with Steve recently, and as usual the topic of the 2016 presidential election came up. Steve hit me with an intriguing (although somewhat troubling) concept which I have not been able to shake from my skull since that day he suggested it.
My friend argued that Republicans should just let the Democrat party keep the White House in 2016; deliberately throw the election to whoever the Democrats nominate.
His reasoning went along the following lines: A horrible economic reckoning is coming, and the masses and the media will lay the blame for it on whoever/whichever party holds the presidency when it hits.
According to Steve’s analysis–based on market trends, key indicators, debt/GDP projections, and mathematical models with which many other experts agree–the worst of the bad economic policy chickens of the Obama administration (along with, finally, those of LBJ’s “Great Society” and various other mostly Democrat fiscal train wrecks) will come home to roost after Obama completes his second term and is gone from office. Things will get very bad, and very ugly.
Furthermore, the next president–no matter how wise, moral, and strong of character–will not be able to really do anything to help the situation enough to avert profound and widespread calamity, due to its far-reaching roots and tentacles, and its severity. Any and all manner of market collapses and fiscal disasters will take place, and the “low-information voter(LIV)” crowd will of course associate it all–rightly or wrongly–with whichever party’s president happens to be “holding the bag” at the time.
That is, whoever occupies the White House, when the corrupt spigot of fake entitlement money/benefits starts to sputter and run dry, and even more millions are thrown out of work than already have been, will be seen as the chief culprit.
Do Republicans really want to be anywhere near the scene of that crime, if and when such an economic doomsday scenario comes around?
Steve’s argument really gave me pause. Of course, I had already been exposed to theories about how the GOP shot-callers hadn’t really wanted to win presidential elections before. The conspiracy-theory concept of throwing an election isn’t new. It’s just that I’d never really contemplated that it might actually be a good idea, for longer-term prospects of emerging as the party of genuine reform and recovery, without misplaced stigma and blame.
Have I (and others) been a bit naive all along?
The teeming throngs of millions of average, everyday voters simply do not follow politics as closely as do most of you who are reading this. They largely don’t vote (or don’t actually scrutinize the issues/candidates) in mid-term elections for House of Representatives and Senate seats. Millions of them vote only every four years when the presidency is at stake. So notwithstanding GOP ambitions for winning back the senate this November, doing harm reduction tactics against Obamacare and so forth–can Republicans afford, politically and for the sake of the next generation to follow the reckoning, to have one of ours at the helm of this particular ship of state, this Titanic?
As a country, we have incurred insane debts which are mathematically impossible to ever pay off. Despite our being the most productive nation on the planet, we simply cannot produce enough, even if we somehow miraculously enact spending moratoriums, to ever catch up with the runaway interest and payments on the staggeringly unfathomable amounts we’ve borrowed and spent.
Perhaps, once the party’s really over and the horrific hangover and delirium tremens set in, it’s best that the low-information voters who are finally, rudely jolted awake get a good, long look at the kind of politician who has never met a spending increase or entitlement program he or she didn’t like. Maybe the person appearing on their screens, pleading for calm and for an end to the rioting–and appropriately bearing the brunt of all the blame for it–should have the Democrat brand all over her (or his) face and name.
Just a thought.