The State of the Democrat Primary, part II
by Todd F. Brook
Continuing from where we left off last week, this article will analyze the prospects of some more “underrated” candidates, who are still considered by mainstream experts and prognosticators to have some viable shot at the nomination. These candidates are: Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro and Tom Steyer.
O’Rourke is in many respects a tragic figure (from a Democrat “3D chess” point of view). While he has little chance of winning the nomination — due in part to his own blunders and also to the fact that the Democrats simply aren’t going to nominate some random White male this cycle unless there is a convincing reason for them to do so — he would almost certainly be one of the Democrats’ stronger candidates against Donald Trump. As explored in my previous article, if the Democrats nominate a White male, then they have a greater than 50% chance of beating Trump; if they nominate a PoC (especially a WoC), then Trump has a greater than 50% chance of winning. This is especially true for O’Rourke, who has a moderate congressional record and, despite losing last year’s senate election in Texas, still won 48% of the popular vote and incorporated counties which Democrats haven’t won since the civil rights era. This electability is O’Rourke’s real asset (and what would make him formidable against Trump), but surprisingly this is not the focus of his campaign. Instead, O’Rourke has been trying to shed his image as a privileged White male (which he is) by dedicating his speaking times to topics like “White privilege,” “institutional White supremacy,” and so on. The problem here is, as a privileged White male, there’s simply no way for O’Rourke to “out- identity politics” rivals like Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Julian Castro and the like, who are actual minorities — in other words, the central conceit of his campaign is inherently weak and necessarily holds him back. If he ditches this strategy and instead focuses on his electability, he could be back on track for the nomination if there is a collapse in Joe Biden’s poll numbers (Biden is sucking all the “moderate Democrat” energy towards his campaign at the moment), in which case he would very likely win the general election against Trump. Fortunately for Trump, however, this seems unlikely to happen.
The thing to understand about Pete Buttigieg is that while he presents himself as a moderate, my theory is that he is actually an undercover radical Marxist operative. Think of it this way — imagine an alien, who had never experienced a U.S. presidential election in his life but had read extensively about every U.S. presidential election in the past 30 years, was tasked with creating a winning presidential candidate in his laboratory. The resulting candidate would look, in both character and appearance, extremely similar to Buttigieg: Midwestern, ostensibly moderate, from a “small town,” Harvard graduate, Rhodes scholar, served in the military, oh and also he’s gay, for added diversity points. Now think about Buttigieg’s father, Joseph Buttigieg: The elder Buttigieg was not only a Marxist, but also one of the most prominent scholars of the philosopher Antonio Gramsci in North America, and was the founder of the International Gramsci Scholar. Gramsci himself was a Marxist political theorist who believed that in order for Marxists to gain political power, the avenue was not to create a violent revolution (like Marx, Engels and Lenin argued), but instead to have individual Marxists quietly infiltrate progressively higher levels of government and society, and ultimately take control of the State this way in a few decades. So, what do you think the elder Buttigieg was teaching his son in his formative years? To make a long story short, I think Buttigieg is actually much more radical than he appears to be, but it will be very difficult to explain this to normie independents, and even normie conservatives, who will decide the 2020 election. In other words, Buttigieg may have a strong chance against Trump should he win the nomination. Like we mentioned with O’Rourke, Buttigieg has a reasonable shot at the nomination if, for whatever reason, there is a total collapse in Biden’s polling numbers. Also like O’Rourke, Buttigieg would be formidable in the general election, though probably less formidable than O’Rourke, since the fact that Buttigieg is gay can be easily exploited by seasoned Republican operatives in swing states that have strong Christian populations. Furthermore, if Trump is able to somehow distill this narrative of Buttigieg being a Marxist sleeper cell to the general public, then he should be much easier to beat than a generic White male candidate (like O’Rourke or Biden).
Castro another really interesting candidate in this cycle because he is, despite his relatively little media attention, one of the most radical candidates running. His debate performances, in a similar vein, were extremely underrated, and I’m surprised the media hasn’t promoted him as the “next big thing” in the Democrat primary after Kamala Harris’s near-total collapse earlier this month. In fact, in the previous two debates, he seemed to agree with Harris and similar candidates on Identity Politics issues, and also agreed with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on economics, for the most part — in fact, he seemed to argue in both fields more competently and more illustratively than either Harris, Warren or Sanders. Additionally, he’ll also probably secure a spot in the next two debates, meaning Castro is the candidate to watch if you consider yourself a discerning political sleuth. His Hispanic heritage, high IQ (relatively), far-Left politics and personal charisma all but insure he’ll stay in the race for a long time, and maybe even win early primary states with high Latino populations like California and Nevada, after which his campaign should pick up steam. If not, he could potentially be selected as a vice-president for Warren or Sanders should one of them become the nominee. Should he become the nominee himself, it would actually be a great development for Trump, because while Castro’s Latino ancestry and far-Left politics may be of benefit to him during the primary, they’ll be the chief attack points for Trump during the general election.
With Steyer, we reach a candidate whomst we haven’t encountered in earlier debates. That’s because Steyer, a billionaire who made his post-Trump fame by being one of those #Resistance moms on Twitter, used his massive wealth and resources (i.e. email lists) to buy himself a spot on the next debate. Since we haven’t seen him in action yet, there’s not much I can say about him, other than that his chances would probably be good in the general election because — as previously covered — a boring, random White male candidate would probably be the hardest candidate archetype for Trump to beat. It’s possible that Steyer would fizz out after the next debate, but I think his shear wealth and name recognition will propel him forward, and maybe even lead him towards the nomination. In the debates, he’ll probably be a good foil for more populist candidates like Warren, Sanders and Castro, but also he’ll probably take the moderate “beat Trump at all costs, no matter who the nominee is” energy that candidates like John Delaney and Tim Ryan brought to earlier debates, would probably take the hyper concern with environmental regulation that Jay Inslee previously brought. Should he proceed along that path, and find a way to anticipate, and rhetorically combat, populist attacks from his Left, he should have a good chance of becoming the nominee. Of course, being a billionaire whose only real policy proposal is #ImpeachBlormpf, Trump can easily portray him as an out of touch elitist should he win the nomination.