The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Dems' best bet to vote moderate


February 16, 2020

Some observations on the presidential campaign so far:

• Making predictions on the outcome of the Democratic nomination race based on results from two small, non-representative states is like predicting the winner of the Super Bowl based on pre-season games, which are essentially practice days.

• In “All the President’s Men,” we learned about the GOP’s “Dirty Tricks Squad,” and its role in assuring the Democrats’ weakest candidate, George McGovern, got the nomination in 1972. Substitute “Russian trolls” for “Dirty Tricks Squad” and I think you can account for the sudden attacks as “racist” on former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s policing policies and his pointing out that young men of color seem to have the highest murder rate, which is borne out by statistics.

These attacks came out of the blue and are the product of a well-oiled propaganda machine, I think more efficient and even more ruthless than the GOP’s domestic spin works.

The attacks seem to be designed to turn minority voters away from Bloomberg as the Democratic presidential nominee and toward Bernie Sanders, the Democrat seen as most likely to lose to President Trump in November.

This situation puts a glaring spotlight on how “political correctness” prevents constructive dialogue, but that’s another story.

• “Momentum” is a phenomenon invented by the news media that has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Momentum originates with press coverage that treats political campaigns like sports stories. Obviously, the more press attention a candidate gets by winning, say, the Iowa caucuses, the more enthusiasm gets generated for his or her campaign. That “momentum,” a creation of the media, then, becomes the story, which, of course, gets published and broadcast as well, and feeds on itself.

• Back to Bloomberg. Is he smart to skip the early primaries, relying instead on a self-financed blanket advertising campaign? I think maybe he is. He escapes the false “momentum” of victories or defeats in two minor primaries while still drawing attention to his campaign. He also gives himself time to strategize and campaign where it really matters in states with larger, more representative voter populations.

• Bernie Sanders is as much an absolutist on his democratic socialist agenda as Trump has been with his “white-people-have-been-victimized” agenda. Sanders’ supporters have shown the same intolerance to those who disagree even slightly with their agenda as Trump and his lackeys demonstrate daily.

I’m beginning to think that a left-wing Trump would be no better for our politically fragmented nation than the current right-wing (sort of) model.

• I think the Democrats have a patriotic duty to unite around a moderate candidate who can unify their party, invigorate voter turnout and even attract disaffected Trump voters repelled by Trump but who retain traditional views.

Trump is dangerous. He has trampled the independence of independent agencies, treated the U.S. Constitution as a doormat, and has gained control of the U.S. Senate. He rules by fear, taking vicious vengeance on even minor opposition.

Republicans who know better are powerless, so it’s up to opposition voters in November.

Steve Hansen writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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