The Fearful Shape Of Things To Come

I don’t like the way the 2024 presidential race is shaping up! A book I’m currently listening to is causing even further concern related to it. That will provide plenty of fodder for today’s article.

I’m currently listening to (and enjoying!) Claire Dederer’s, Monsters. While ineligible for the Recommended Reading list, the book is both interesting and thought provoking. It is not (at least to the point I’m currently at) a political book, but it touches on it a bit. One theory that Dederer advances is that Americans like rectums. (She like I uses another word but I’m trying to stay PG.) She was specifically referring to Donald Trump.

There is no question that Trump garnered more media coverage in the 2016 GOP primary and is doing the same thing in its 2024 version. The only one even close to him in coverage (and the closest to him in the polls) is (as of this writing) yet to be declared candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who also qualifies for the “rectum” assessment. What does this say about American news consumers?

One of the reasons Trump won the 2016 nomination is that the Republicans run winner take all primaries and have no super delegates to their national nominating convention. In a large field you can win with well under 50% of the vote and in the GOP setup you get all the delegates.

The larger the field the smaller the percentage of votes it takes to win a contest. There are about six currently declared GOP candidates and another ten or so rumored. In any event it looks like a large field just like in 2016. That plays to Trump’s advantage since he appears to have about 30% of the Republican primary electorate locked up. 30% is a distant second in a head-to-head race but usually a winner in a large field.

Add to that the reality that a few of his challengers have almost no chance in a modern-day GOP primary. Can you actually see a Black man or a Brown woman (who sometimes admits her ethnicity and sometimes doesn’t) winning a GOP contest in 2024? (If all three are still in the race when South Carolina votes it wouldn’t surprise me to see Trump garner the most votes in the Palmetto State.) Several of the other challengers are basically carbon copies of each other. Like in 2016 they will simply cannibalize each other’s campaigns.

For those waiting, (sometimes in the wings), for Trump to self destruct or be blown up you are on a fool’s mission unless he happens to die between now and the election. He was recently criminally indicted in New York. In a separate civil action, he was found liable and guilty of a sexual assault. His poll numbers didn’t crater and he used both occasions as an opportunity to raise funds. While it may not be all of us, a significant number love a rectum.

Here is the simply truth: the winner of the 2024 election will be either the Democratic or Republican nominee. No other candidate (and there will be several) stands a remote chance of winning. Both nominees, regardless of who they are, starts out the general election campaign with over 40% of the vote. If Trump is the GOP nominee, he has a decent chance of getting a second term. That is terrifying!

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