Effect of Internet, Social Media: Faster Political Cycle(s)
[Reader warning: the following piece contains opinions likely to offend Republicans, Democrats, and members of various other political parties. If you identify as one of those . . . stop reading now! The views expressed are solely those of the author.]
One theory extant in presidential politics (I’m a fan) is that each President spawns their opposite.
So, “tricky Dick” Nixon, who ended up being impeached, inevitably gave rise to boy scout Jimmy Carter (in between: former Eagle scout Jerry Ford).
Feckless and weak Carter was succeeded, naturally, by Reaganesque strength, especially on foreign policy (this assessment, from an erstwhile moderate Republican and now libertarian/liberal).
So, who does the country elect after Barack Obama?
Professor President Obama
It depends how you think the nation views him.
My take: as an intellectual and well-intentioned novice who didn’t really know how to either seduce, clobber, or co-opt his (many) enemies (the three available options).
In other words, not an especially good politician (ironic for a President).
Tired of eight years of grayish complexity, the country is yearning for black-and-white, in-your-face smash ball.
Enter Donald Trump.
Next: “the Anti-Trump”
If refined Obama is caviar, vulgar Trump is red meat.
Unfortunately for Trump, this yin/yang cycle now spins much faster.
It doesn’t take eight (or four) years for the electorate to tire of a politician’s (too extreme) personality and style — it can happen in months or weeks: just witness the collapse of previous frontrunners Ross Perot, Howard Dean, and Rudy Giuliani (it also plays out on the state level: Minnesota voters’ love affair with Governor Jesse Ventura — and vice versa — went sour well before his single, four year term was up).
With 14 months to the election, there’s plenty of time for one — or more — “anti-Trump cycles” to play out.
Moonlighting at Lehman Bros.
So, who fits the bill as the “anti-Trump?”
I think Ohio Governor John Kasich, who comes off as thoughtful and compassionate, has as good a shot as any (one quibble: did all the Republican presidential hopefuls moonlight at Lehman Bros. before it crashed??)
Combine him with Marco Rubio, and the Republicans would seem poised to win both Ohio and Florida — and the election.
heard read it here first.
Have a nice Labor Day weekend!