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The Republicans have daily talking points that are filtered through Fox News, talk radio, think tanks, Internet wingnuts (Alex Jones’ “Infowars”), right-wing blogs and Facebook propaganda. Point is, they have message discipline and they pound over and over again to the uninformed and unread.

Will Rogers once said, “I am not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” As a Democrat, I need to make a public statement: “I am not running for President of the United States.” Why are so many Democrats running for President? Vanity. Fame. Free publicity. Why the hell not! Maybe they can do a “Bernie” and write a book that makes them millions. Some are angling for a potential Cabinet position. Some are trying to increase their profile for name recognition, re-election and/or a higher office run in the future. Many are running because of the math. With this many candidates, the field is diluted. Someone could potentially take the Iowa or New Hampshire primaries with 20% to 25% of the vote.

Let the 2020 Hunger Games begin — and may the odds be ever in your favor! So far we have 23 Democrats and one socialist running for the Democratic presidential nomination. The first round of the Democratic debates is scheduled over two nights on June 26 and June 27, with 10 candidates featured in each. I’d prefer they stick all 24 in a WWE steel cage match and let the top four walk out alive. The rest — buh-bye.

The voters want to know if Joe Biden is “Uncle Joe”, “Creepy Joe” or “Grandpa Joe” as he turns 78 just after the November 2020 election. Not to be out-aged, Bernie Sanders turns 79 before the election and wants tuition-free college, only he ain’t gonna tell you how he’s paying for this. Elizabeth Warren stands for the middle class and was the one who helped create the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau that the Trump administration has done everything in its power to castrate. Our own California Sen. Kamala Harris is “For The People,” whatever that means. Sen. Cory Booker is for reparations — for which oppressed group from 200 years ago? Oh yeah, a couple of other female senators that no one outside of their home state has heard of — Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar — are running, and most voters within their states would be hard pressed to name them.

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee is running on “defeating climate change” by issuing white paper after white paper that no one will read. Andrew Yang, the tech investor, is running on “universal basic income” of $1,000 per month, per person, from ages 18 to 64 and he too ain’t gonna tell you how he’s paying for this. Mayor Pete Buttigieg (pronounced: “Boot-Edge-Edge”) of South Bend, Indiana, is the dark horse as the Beltway (D.C.) outsider. He’s a Harvard grad, an Oxford Rhodes Scholar, a Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan and openly married gay. After these, there’s a bunch of other current and former mayors, Congressmen, and governors you’ve probably never heard of and will forget in the coming months as they have no endorsements, no money and no polling numbers.

Keep in mind that back in 2007 the front runners for the respective parties were Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Rudy Giuliani for the Republicans. The 2020 primaries are just around the corner as California’s was moved up to “Super Tuesday” on March 3, 2020 with 13 states voting that day. A lot can change until then. However if you’re campaign slogan is “Google Me!” ‘cuz no one’s heard of you, then maybe you shouldn’t be running for president.Once again my fear is the Progressive Democrats (“communists and socialists who use the Democratic Party as base as they don’t have one” — Willie Brown’s words, not mine) voters won’t get behind the Democratic primary winning candidate and “do a Berniecrat.” Back in 2016, more than 12% of the Berniecrats who supported Bernie Sanders in the June 2016 primary didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in the November general election. They either voted for Trump, a third party candidate or stayed at home. If that happens again November 2020, then the Berniecrats will effectively elect Donald Trump once again.I’m hoping the front-runner will start wearing a blue cap that reads “Make America Normal Again.” We could sure use it.

Matthew Owen resides in Eureka.

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