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Before the election of 2008 when Republicans were counting on a black Democrat to guarantee them the White House and before it dawned on them that Silicon Valley had spawned a new kind of election campaign, Facebook was a happy place. I had a Facebook page myself but ignored for years until my daughter started posting photos of my grandsons on her page. I’m now a self-hating devotee.
After it evolved from a college hook up ap, Facebook became like the Great British Baking Show a competition so sweet that bakers cry when their rivals fail to advance. That cooking show, not Facebook, ought to be required watching in prisons everywhere. This happy state continued until the campaign to replace Barack Obama. Then Facebook was invaded by Russian trolls and Steve Bannon’s army of rumor mongers full of bile, paranoia and false flags. That made Facebook a cage match like the Iron Chef with one man left standing in oodles of Octopus tentacles and broccolini. It helped elect America’s first Narcissist President who lucked into the credit for Obama’s surging economy.
As the 2020 election creeps closer Democrats are torn between fighting President Donald John Trump or fighting among themselves. It would be this Republican’s suggestion they that they follow the example of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.
It won’t be easy. Herding cats never is. No one knew that better than the Depression’s Will Roger’s who declared, “I don’t belong to any organized political party. I’m a Democrat!”
I don’t mind offering Democrats some advice. Unless or until a new Lincoln emerges in the GOP it’s not the party I remember from my youth - a boring white cake full of public service-oriented moderates with a sprinkle of John Birchers – the original Deep State. Although I haven’t changed the GOP has evolved and in so doing has turned me into an apostate. Maybe that’s why I got an invitation to join the “members only” Reach High Minnesota Facebook page.
The name is clearly inspired by Michelle Obama’s directive to go high when others go low. But bucking Will Rogers ain’t easy. Even the higher reaching invitees have been at each other’s throats posting complaints about each other’s beloved Democratic candidates. One is said to be mean to the staff. Other’s are (gasp) triangulating like the Clintons to win over independents. And among the many excellent reasons for these good people forming a circular fire squad is this - the unforgivable betrayals of 2016.
Even the fellow who tendered an invite to this Republican apostate pulled a scab off the other day. He circulated an unflattering comparison since removed (I think) of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. On its Russian troll-like list of similarities between the two men was the suggestion that Sanders, like Trump, didn’t want to release his tax returns. How alike they are, the kumquat and the watermelon.
And too tactile Joe Biden has been taking it on the chin for not anticipating the Hashtag Me Too Era thirty years ago during the Anita Hill hearings. That was long before future Justice Kavanaugh was going through his callow young boofer stage. You silly Democrats! There are fifty million reliable older voters who can identify with Joe. It would be to your advantage if their feelings were weighed every bit as carefully as those of the young voters of 2016 who “just couldn’t vote for Hillary.”
Dems have plenty of problems to contend without being too rough on their candidates. Trump has Obama’s economy. Republicans own gerrymandering. And the public is sympathetic to investigations but not to impeachments as the Republicans discovered to their dismay during Semen-stain-gate.
I may be a newly reborn Republican, but I will vote for whomever the Democrats challenge Donald Trump with. I am an American first. But in 2024 I’d love to challenge a Democratic President, him or her, with a Lincolnesque Republican. That can’t happen in 2024 unless the Democrats set aside their blood feuds in 2020.
To encourage them I offer some lyrics paraphrased from the last five lines (or first five depending on which way they are being sung) of the Holiday Classic Twelve Days of Christmas (Sorry Dreidel lovers)
On the fifth day of campaigning my true love gave to me
F i v e g o l d e n
w o m e n,
4 Ethnic peeps
2 western guvs
and a gay Mayor with a
Here’s my advice to Democrats in a Will Rogers’ paraphrase, “I never met a Democratic candidate for President that I didn’t like.” You should treat yours like the contestants in the Great British Bake Off.
Harry Welty is a local eccentric and perennial candidate for public office in Duluth who also pontificates on his blog: www.lincolndemocrat.com.