The Politics of the Drowning Man

David L. Horne, PH.D. | 10/1/2020, midnight

It is a known fact that even those who know how to swim can still drown in the right (or wrong) current. Those who either do not have, or have not practiced, adequate swimming strokes tend to panic easily when the waves smack them in the face and they begin swallowing water. There are lots of people who claim they can swim until that water slaps them. Then panic ensues, whether one has an audience on the shore watching or one is in the water alone. That panic is the culprit and it inevitably causes one to flail in desperate attempts at staying afloat, one’s image be damned.

Number 45 has consistently claimed to be the greatest political swimmer ever and yet, currently, he appears to be a drowning man in U.S. political waters. Surely, the polls can be wrong—as they were in 2016—but they have now been pretty consistent for at least the past two months before the national election. A landslide for the Democratic Party nominee appears to be imminent. Mr. Biden seems to be free-styling across the watered lane.

Flailing against the probability of taking on a fatal gulp of water, Mr. Trump has his minions out trying anything and everything they can to keep him afloat. In that regard, old trusty Kanye West has managed to get himself onto several state ballots now to help siphon off the votes of a few Gen Xers that otherwise might go to the Biden-Harris candidates. His main political consultant---in a move that is supposed to be illegal—is Mr. Trump’s personal adviser, Jared Kushner. But by the time that process is litigated, the election will be over, so any impropriety has thus far been ignored, though Mr. West has been ousted from more state ballots than he has successively attained.

So far, Kanye is on the ballot in 12 states, including Idaho, Minnesota, Tennessee, Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Vermont, Mississippi, Louisiana, Utah and Kentucky. It is perfectly impossible for Kanye to win, in any iteration of the outcome of the election, since with the combined electoral college number of those 12 states, even if he unexpectedly won them all, he would not even be in the ballpark of the 270 electoral votes needed.

But as mentioned in a previous OUR WEEKLY column, the aim is not to win, but to prevent the other side from winning, as did Jill Stein in 2016. Her Independent Party candidature garnered over 100,000 votes that quite probably would have gone to Hillary Clinton otherwise according to a host of political analysts. Mrs. Clinton lost by less than 78,000 votes combined in the three states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania (Stein got over 131, 954 in the three states). In a recent interview published in FORBES Magazine, Kanye essentially admitted that his was a quixotic attempt to “steal” enough votes from Joe Biden to make a difference in the outcome.

Besides engaging in other skullduggery, the Republicans have egged on and supported Kanye West’s campaign to accomplish the Jill Stein “steal” for 2020.

Meanwhile, on another front, the Attorney General is still making out as if he’s Mr. Trump’s personal attorney rather than the attorney for the people of the United States. The infamous Gen. Michael Flynn case that Mr. Trump—through the Attorney General-- tried to have quashed months ago by having the government withdraw its case against General Flynn, is not working. That means Mr.Trump cannot always offer legal leniency and protection to those who help him through nefarious means. Judge Emmett Sullivan, the federal district judge in whose court the case still stands, is so far holding the winning hand in the affair. The full federal appeals court for the Washington, D.C. circuit recently agreed with Judge Sullivan that the government could not just drop the case, and Judge Sullivan retains the authority to sentence General Flynn to prison or not.

Let’s see whether the current gets too strong for Mr. Trump to resist, and he is thenceforth swept away, or he finds a way of slapping the water enough to somehow make it back to shore. I’m betting on the water.

Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.

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