Continuing from our series on Breaking the Political Binary, if we want to stop finding ourselves forced to choose between horrible candidates, we need to think realistically about the consequences of the worst candidate losing.
Presidential candidates release plans to impress the constituents they need to win their party’s nomination. Senator Elizabeth Warren, by many accounts, is the Democratic Frontrunner and she is a master of plans, really bad plans. If she’s the nominee, you can expect a pitch to Republican voters to include listing all those horrible plans and imagining that they’ll all happen if Senator Warren wins. But will they?
The answer is almost certainly not. Presidents can only get so much done and for a President to really make lasting changes, he or she has to get legislation passed as opposed to just taking executive action.
Let’s take Barack Obama as an example. Barack Obama had many things he wanted to do and Republicans told us that they’d all happen if he won the election in 2008:
- Cap and Trade legislation.
- “Card Check” to replace secret ballot elections for Unions, making it easier for unions to intimidate workers into joining.
- Amnesty for illegal immigrants.
- Socialized medicine.
- Major gun control and bans on various types of weapons.
- A repeal of George W. Bush’s tax cuts on Americans earning $250,000 per year.
Obama had a large majority in the House, and won 59 seats in the Senate, which became 60 when Senator Arlen Specter joined the Democratic Party. With such numbers, Obama was set to pass his entire ambitious agenda and it would be the end of our country.
Yet most of it didn’t happen. No cap and trade, no card check, no formal amnesty deal, no gun control or weapons bans. Obama did pass the Affordable Care Act, which didn’t make healthcare more affordable and has allowed the government to bully religious employers. Obama had to put off his efforts to repeal the Bush tax cuts due to a poor economy, and in the end only succeeded in repealing them for people earning more than $1 million per year.
Obama did do damage. Both of his Supreme Court picks were bad, if you care about the Constitution. Obama did a lot of governing by executive order. However, most of his “legacy” has been undone by President Trump. Many of Obama’s policies were held up for years in court and never fully implemented.
In my opinion, Obama was a bad president on policy, but he was not apocalyptic. Elizabeth Warren would also not cause an apocalypse. The same goes for the rest of the Democratic field, and there is no chance of any of them having Obama’s congressional majority in the Senate.
If we are truly one election away from losing our Republic forever, as alarmists in the GOP allege in order to get reluctant conservatives in line behind Trump, we’ve already lost our Republic.
Of course, most of these alarmists don’t believe their own rhetoric. If Glenn Beck really believed Trump losing the election would mean the end of the country as we know it, he would make plans to shutter his operations at the end of 2020 if Trump loses and go into hiding. If Trump loses in 2020, Glenn Beck, the NRA, and the rest of the alarmists will continue to draw their paychecks, sell their merchandise, and make a living off of grassroots conservatives. It’s a game. They are playing us for fools and selling snake oil.
While a Democratic win is unlikely to end the Republic, that doesn’t mean there’s no serious concerns about our country’s future. However, addressing them is beyond the scope of people whose political vision is limited to selling the idea that an apocalypse is coming every four years. We’ll talk about them in the final post of the series.