HARLAN HILL: In 2020, It’s Trump or the Dems, Anything Else Is Pure Fantasy
Every presidential election season, we’re treated to a barrage of harebrained schemes for overturning the two-party system that have persisted throughout American history.
“It could totally work!” the masterminds behind such plans always claim, as one ex-Republican operative did this week about her idea for a third-party Democrat-Republican ticket to defeat Donald Trump: former Vice President Joe Biden and incoming Senator Mitt Romney of Utah.
Such schemes are always pure fantasy, though. America has always had a two-party system, and it always will as long as we maintain a winner-take-all electoral process.
Even the most successful third party efforts do nothing but siphon votes from one of the major party candidates. In 1912, Teddy Roosevelt’s “Bull Moose” candidacy helped Woodrow Wilson kick Republican William Howard Taft out of office. Democrat Alabama Governor George Wallace stole the South from Hubert Humphrey and helped ensure Richard Nixon’s win in 1968. And in 1992, billionaire Ross Perot helped elect Bill Clinton by splitting the Reagan coalition that George H.W. Bush needed to win reelection.
That’s the goal here, too, even though proponents won’t come right out and say it. It’s just about undermining President Trump by planting the idea you can oppose him without supporting the Democrats and their liberal agenda.
There’s nothing new about this kind of deluded thinking, of course. Donald Trump has been facing abortive attempts to split his base ever since he announced his run for President. In 2016, for instance, now-defunct Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol promoted a “Never Trump” candidacy by little-known columnist David French, who then passed that torch to the even lesser-known Evan McMullin. Nothing came of either run, but Kristol is still solicitinginterested candidates for a repeat attempt in 2020.
Reportedly, John Kasich — whom Donald Trump destroyed in the 2016 Republican primaries — and Democrat Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper are considering a joint run for president, as well.
There’s a reason these crossover ideas never amount to anything: they’re completely divorced from reality. Republicans don’t want to vote for a Democrat like Joe Biden, and Democrats don’t want to vote for a Republican like Mitt Romney. Combining them doesn’t make for a ticket that everyone likes, but rather one that everyone hates.
Things are different now, though, we are assured, as that ex-Republican operative asserts that Donald Trump running for re-election is a “break-the-glass” emergency that creates “an opening for a radical departure from our malfunctioning two-party political system.”
The theory is that Trump is so uniquely divisive that Americans will abandon both major parties en masse and flock to Biden as though he were some kind of messiah of unification. Yet, while some are able to foresee that a center-right candidate wouldn’t be viable at the top of a hypothetical ticket, based on the assumption that “around 36 percent” of Trump voters wouldn’t abandon him “under any circumstances,” it wasn’t explained how a Biden-Romney ticket would be able to overcome the Democrat Party’s formidable campaign apparatus and steal enough votes away to secure a plurality.
The implication here seems to be that if enough Republicans and GOP-leaning independents give up on President Trump and the America First agenda, Democrats will repudiate the progressive radicalism that is rapidly consolidating power within their party. Not only is that premise contradicted by common sense, the liberals are literally telling us that they will not do that.
So why are we talking about this? Because the ex-Republican operative is now working for Joe Biden, so it’s in her interest to undermine President Trump and help Democrats win the White House in 2020. And if she can get people talking about her new boss’s presidential prospects in the process, so much the better for him.
When swamp dwellers on a Democrat’s payroll start pushing ideas that your gut tells you make no sense, it’s probably because they make no sense. And when they claim that “It could totally work,” you can be certain they already know that it totally couldn’t.
Harlan Hill is a political advisor, media commentator, and an advisory board member of the Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.