I love this phrase, Free and fair elections are a hallmark of democracy. What the hell is a hallmark anyway? When I hear the word hallmark, I think of two things. One, the most expensive pieces of folded over, colored cardboard in the world, and two, if you make a hallmark, you’re standing around after school with a brush and a bucket of water.
Be that as it may, elections with plenty of free choices is suposed to be out thing. But then I remembered something that I think most people have long ago forgotten. Most of you know that I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I can remember useless shit by the closet full. And just now I remembered a headline I saw some 8 months ago.
The headline on CNN read “South Carolina GOP could forego 2020 presidential primary in support of Trump. The article, dated December 20, 2018 reported that because reports were already swirling around about possible 2020 GOP primary contenders against an already dumpster diving Trump, the South Carolina state GOP was preparing to forego having the presidential primary on the 2020 SC ball out if anybody other than Trump filed the proper paperwork and signatures to get on the ballot.They’d have a standard GOP primary ballot, there just wouldn’t any presidential choices at the top of it.
That report surprised the shit out of me at the time. South Carolina is supposed to be redder than a baboon’s ass, and world class Trump country. After all, didn’t they trade in a perfectly good middle aged lecher in hiking boots for a Democrat because Trump felt that there was only room in Washington for one middle aged lecher, regardless of his footwear? What were they so worried about all the way back then, before they even had any names of possible primary opponents?
*Full Disclosure* There was nothing in the CNN report to indicate that either Trump or the White House had any involvement in South Carolina’s considerations, this was a hare brained scheme that they had apparently dreamed up all on their own. But it does beg the question, with the primaries more than a year off, and with no announced opposition, why was South Carolina already so worried that an opponent, any opponent, could siphon off 15-25% of SC primary voters away from Trump? To the extent that they were willing to look like an authoritarian state in depriving their citizens any choice in presidential candidates?
This bears closer watching, and not just in South Carolina. Things have only gotten worse for Trump, not better, and figure to continue on that trajectory. There is plenty of time for candidates like Weld, Walsh, and even possibly Sanford to gather the required signatures on petitions to get on state ballots, and turn them in. South Carolina is supposed to be Trump country, and they’re already working on a bail out plan. What about not so red states, more traditionally conservative states like New Hampshire, or Massachusetts, where a traditional Republican like William Weld could make a serious fight out of it, if not pull off a stunning upset? Say, what about California? Trump is about as popular as ebola out there, what if he lost a squeaker there, or only narrowly pulled it out?
Look, I know that South Carolina is just trying to help. Trump is like the character Prince John in Robin Hood, Men in Tights, who famously said, “What kind of news? I hope it isn’t BAD! You know I can’t TAKE bad news!” But it is rather surprising that 8 months ago, more than a year before the primary, South Carolina was already considering preemptive action to keep from ruining His lowness’ day. Be interesting to see if any other GOP state parties consider following suit. And it gives me a brand new #1 fantasy of the week. I SO want to see Trump take to Twitter on the morning after to loudly complain that millions of illegal immigrants tried to steal the South Carolina primary from him!