Solving the Vonnegut Conundrum

The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election Gets Another Contender.

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Minneapolis, Minnesota. June 2018. About 10,000 people gathered downtown and marched through the streets to protest against immigrant children being taken from their families. The protesters called for ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to be abolished. (photo: fibonacci blue)

“You should be deeply suspicious of anyone who looks out over a group of people and says, ‘You know who would be really great to lead and govern over all these people? Me.’” — Kurt Vonnegut

Solving the Vonnegut Conundrum

Vonnegut had a point; the people who seek power are rarely the best possible candidates for it.

Writer Charles Bukowski, who lamented that ‘The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.’, had a good point, too. Bertrand Russell, agreed.

What would Vonnegut make of the Trump administration? It’s rather doubtful he’d be a fan. So what, in light of this, would he make of the current crop of contenders running against Trump in the 2020 U.S. presidential race?

Are they not so much egomaniacal, or hungry for power, as they are determined to do something to make the world a better place as they see it?

Vonnegut Democrats

Among Democrats, a driving need to challenge Trump, and to be seen to challenge Trump is strong.

A presidential run, and especially in a campaign shaping up to be the most expensive in history, becomes exponentially more expensive the moment a run is formally, or even informally announced.

Even so, with each passing day, another contender is emerging from the Democratic rank and file, announcing their intent to run against Trump in 2020.

What other forces will shape the election? What does the latest crop of candidates suggest about an election already upon us?

Starpower

The unrestricted and unlimited power of the media-entertainment complex will be out in full force, with celebrities placing much more than bets on their favorite contenders.

Events, galas, interviews, press time, screen time, retweets; celebrities will come out early and often in an attempt to get their candidates elected, and sell a few books/albums/movies from the back of the bandwagon.

Politics are so hot right now.

Hollywood’s Political Muscle

Oprah Winfrey to interview Beto O’Rourke as signs point toward possible 2020 presidential campaign: Democratic activists have begun to lay campaign groundwork for O’Rourke if he decides to throw his hat in the ring.

Author, motivational speaker and American spiritual guru Marianne Williamson is on tour in an exploratory run for a possible Presidential candidacy in 2020.

She’s not the only one.

2020: Madame President

Women in leadership isn’t exactly a new concept. From the all-powerful God-Queens of ancient Egypt to the stalwart stateswoman Margaret Thatcher, women have ruled nations since the beginning of human history.

But in the U.S. in 2018, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is the first, second and only woman to hold the position of Speaker of the House, third in the line of U.S. presidential succession.

Which is as close as any woman has ever come to the office of President of the United States.

All that could change in 2020.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren attends a Pride Parade in Boston, MA. in June of 2018. (photo: ElizabethForMA)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, long a favorite among Democrats and rumored to be considering a run, has announced her candidacy early and often. Elizabeth Warren announces 2020 run against Trump: ‘I’m in this fight’.

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U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard attends a congressional session in July 2018. (photo: Lindamozuku)

Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard has formally announced her candidacy. Tulsi Gabbard says she will run for president in 2020.

Reports are circulating that Senator Kamala Harris is planning to launch her bid for the 2020 presidential race around MLK day.

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Senator Kamala Harris attends an event in 2018. (photo: office of Senator Kamala Harris)

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is also considering a run, citing a moral duty to fight the division caused by the Trump administration.

Year of the Progressive

Can progressives be progressive enough to get young voters to the polls in record numbers?

Julian Castro, the former Housing Chief under the Obama administration, announced his 2020 presidential run, citing the current ‘crisis of leadership’ in the White House as his major motivation.

Popular Senator Cory Booker may be considering a run.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Bernie Sanders are also being floated as potential candidates, though, unfortunately for them, being white males may not help their chances much in the primary.

Sinking Trump’s Battleship

Trump may be facing more than Democratic challengers in the 2020 race.

It will really be interesting to see in the upcoming months if any legitimate Republican candidates emerge to challenge Trump in the primary.

Challenging a sitting President is difficult, politically risky and unlikely to succeed. Even publicly criticizing a sitting president in your own party is a likely to elicit major backlash, as Mitt Romney found last week to his cost.

A Republican Trump challenger would also be facing the formidable money machine of the Trump campaign, which will limit the field considerably.

Former Senator Jeff Flake might consider it, former governor of Ohio and failed 2016 candidate John Kasich will almost certainly run.

2020: A Political Odyssey

Only one thing is sure: As the 2020 presidential field widens, the narrows, then widens again, the U.S. and the world will be watching closely on the edge of our seats.

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)

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