A single letter speaks volumes about American politics today. It's the letter "I," and it accompanies two of the most prominent names on the presidential scene: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. The letter serves as a shoutout to the moderate middle that neither deserves to represent his respective party in the 2020 presidential election. Neither Trump (I for impeached) nor Sanders, Independent from Vermont, is capable of uniting this fractured country and instead promise to deepen our national divide.
Trump's scarlet letter will deservedly follow him for the rest of history. His impeachment by the House, and the abuses that prompted it, should have rattled enough moderates of both parties to join forces in blocking his return to the White House in 2021. Because the Republican leadership won't uphold the basic tenets of the Constitution and hold Trump to account, that job now falls to the voters.
Amid all the bluster and bogus claims of victory from the far right, moderates should take note: Last week, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney broke ranks with his party and voted for Trump's removal from office. He represents a big sector of Republicans who do not like Trump and would be willing to vote for a moderate Democrat if it'll get Trump out of the White House. Democrats: Do not scare them off.
Also worth noting was Trump's former Navy secretary, Richard Spencer, a staunch conservative who says he has never voted Democratic in his life. And yet Spencer came out in support of former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's Democratic presidential bid.
Spencer has been on the inside of Trump's White House. He knows exactly the dangers posed by a Trump reelection. Spencer would abandon his party to save his country.
The "I" next to Sanders should prompt Democrats to ask why he proposes to represent them. He's not a Democrat, no matter what his New Hampshire primary victory suggests. Why should Democrats, including those voting in the March 10 Missouri primary, embrace a candidate who doesn't embrace them back?
Sanders offers a radical, unacceptably expensive agenda. A Sanders post-primary candidacy would frighten off moderate Republicans who are looking for any reason not to support Trump. His Democratic socialism sounds too many alarm bells. His candidacy would send moderate Republicans running to Trump.
"The fate of the world depends on the Democrats getting their (expletive) together and winning in November," James Carville, President Bill Clinton's former political adviser, told the online site Vox. "We have to beat Trump. And so far, I don't like what I see." Carville says he's "scared to death" of 2020 and the Democratic Party's prospects.
Democrats are waging war against a Republican Party that has thrown the rule book — and the Constitution — out the window. This is a fight for the soul of the country. The only mission must be Trump's defeat. History will never forgive Democrats if they again blow this opportunity.
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