By Steve Flowers
The 2020 Presidential Election year has already begun. It usually begins on Labor Day of the year prior to the Election. However, in recent decades the parade has started early. They really are four-year caravans. They begin the day after the President is sworn in.
Indeed, President Trump never shut down his campaign organization, He essentially has never stopped campaigning. He loves to campaign. He loves to entertain. That is really what he was before he was President and that is what he has been as President, an entertainer. He treats the Presidency as though it is an extension and continuation of his television game show. As long as he is the center of attention he is happy.
Trump is amazingly similar to our two most colorful and prominent Alabama political icons, Big Jim Folsom and George Wallace. He is just as uninhibited and disarming as Big Jim was with the same irreverence for protocol and decorum. He is similar to Wallace in that he really likes campaigning and prefers campaigning to governing. Wallace really didn’t want to govern, he just liked running and getting elected governor.
Speaking of Wallace, he liked to run for President also. He ran several times. He usually ran under some third-party banner. As he ran around the country running as a third-party state’s rights candidate, he would proclaim that there is not a dimes worth of difference in the national Democratic and Republican parties. However, even Wallace could not say that with a straight face today.
Folks, there are a lot of philosophical differences in the national Republican and Democratic parties. They really should change their names to the Conservative and Liberal parties. The Republican Party is extremely conservative and the Democratic Party is very liberal. This extreme philosophy by each party is what has driven people into different political corners and is the reason for the political polarization of American politics.
The electronic media and news networks have further driven and enhanced this polarization. Fox News Network is simply the network that Republicans watch. CNN and MSNBC could be and people assume they are appendages of the national Democratic Party. The CBS Stephen Colbert show is unashamedly the hate Donald Trump show. They should change the title to that name.
The two-party machinery and nomination process is designed to choose a presidential contender as their nominee that is from the extreme segment of the party. This is especially true in the Democratic ranks. Therefore, the probability of a left wing socialist like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren being the nominee is likely.
This does not bode well for our anomaly junior Democratic U.S. Senator Doug Jones. He will be running along with one of his liberal Democratic buddies. Jones has organized and voted lockstep with the Democrats since his arrival last year, which is what most folks who know Jones expected. He is a real national, liberal Democrat. He has always been and will always be a Democrat.
In Jones’s defense, he is not a demagogue. He will not change his stripes or beliefs to get elected. That was evident with his vote against the conservative Trump Supreme Court appointee, Brett Kavanaugh. Jones was the only Southern Senator to vote against Trump.
Indeed, Jones is the only Democratic Senator in the Deep South. His being on the ticket with the Democratic Presidential candidate in November 2020 in the Heart of Dixie, makes his chance of being elected slim-to-none. It would be a surprise if he gets 40% even with a ton of left-wing money pouring into the state on his behalf.
Last year’s General Election proved we are a Red Republican State. One of the most Republican in the Nation. Donald Trump, or for that matter any Republican, will carry Alabama next year. Mickey Mouse would carry Alabama 60 to 40 if he were the nominee. However, Donald Duck would carry California and New York if he were the Democratic nominee. Folks, I hate to break it to you, but California and New York have more electoral votes than we do.
It was just as much an anomaly that Donald Trump carried Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and even Ohio and Florida, as it was that Doug Jones won in Alabama. As we look to the 2020 elections, it is evident that Alabama is a Republican state. However, the United States is probably a Democratic nation.
See you next week.
Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His weekly column appears in over 60 Alabama newspapers. He served 16 years in the state legislature. Steve may be reached at www.steveflowers.us.