From Robert Whitcomb’s “Digital Diary,’’ in GoLocal24.com
‘Stranger things have happened, but it seems highly unlikely that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren can win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination; she has staked out some admirable (if maybe unrealistic) positions on addressing yawning income inequality, on breaking up increasingly monopolistic companies in the tech and some other sectors; on the need for close oversight of the financial-services sector, parts of which engage in massive fraud and out-of-control speculation from time to time, and where some institutions have become “too big to fail,’’ and she backs some kind of “Medicare for all.’’ She has positioned herself as a latter-generation New Dealer.
But she can come across as strident, and coming from Massachusetts is not particularly beneficial for a national candidate. Senator Warren also is often seen as “anti-business,’’ although she calls herself “a capitalist to my bones.’’ She, at 69, is also old, as are some other possible Democratic candidates (and Trump). I’m leery of people over 70 assuming the presidency; at that stage of life you could be seemingly very healthy one minute, and fall apart in the next, mentally and/or physically. (Yes, I know that Ronald Reagan was in his 70s when he served. Thank God that he had a superb staff in his second term….)
The Democrats would do best to nominate someone like Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown or Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. They’re both very smart, have engaging personalities, and, importantly, can’t be accused of being “East Coast elitists,’’ which is how Senator Warren is labeled despite the fact that she comes from a poor family in Oklahoma and has long fought for the socio-economically disadvantaged.
Whether or not Trump runs for re-election, the Democrats should have a good chance of winning back the White House. While congressional gerrymandering and the power of business lobbyists in Washington have usually suppressed reforms sought by liberals, the majority of Americans think that the rich have too much power in Washington and are very concerned about income inequality; support Medicare-for-all; favor raising taxes if necessary to preserve Social Security, and like labor unions. There’s not as much polarization on policies as you might think. And it bears noting that Democratic presidential candidates got more popular votes than Republican nominees in four of the past five elections.
Then there’s the strong likelihood that we’ll have a recession, perhaps a deep one, between now and the 2020 election. The GOP will be blamed for it, as it was in the 2008 financial crisis.