[ad_1]

Two years ago last Saturday, hybrid-totalitarian, war criminal and multiple murderer Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine.

Republicans in South Carolina marked the anniversary by voting for life-long conman and aspiring authoritarian thug Donald Trump, who envies Putin, looks up to him as a role model, and shills for him. (In other words, the South Carolina Republican presidential primary was also last Saturday.)

Putin seeks to harm and weaken democracies and economies in Europe and around the world, chiefly of course by harming and weakening the U.S. 

By demonstrating their enthusiasm for Trump, Republican voters in South Carolina last week, like Nevada Republican voters earlier this month, their counterparts in Iowa and New Hampshire before that, and in Michigan Tuesday, are indicating they either don’t know Trump is Putin’s puppet, have forgotten it, or are fine with it.

Nevada Republicans, including Gov. Joe Lombardo and U.S. Senate candidate Sam Brown, like so many Republicans holding or seeking elected office in the state and the nation, have demonstrated unconditional subordination and fealty to Trump. 

They would have the public believe they are “leaders.” 

But by obsequiously falling in line – or at the end of strings, as it were – with Putin’s puppet, they are puppets themselves.

It’s puppets all the way down.

It remains to be seen how many voters care. Not just about the puppetry. But about any of it.

The 5 stages of campaign grief: 2024 edition

This upcoming Tuesday, March 5, is Super, when 15 states and American Samoa hold primaries. Biden will win all his and Trump will win all his. 

That could come as a bit of a surprise to many casual and especially independent voters in Nevada and the other five or so states that will decide the most consequential presidential election of any of our lifetimes. Polling indicates most of them haven’t bothered to pay much attention to the 2024 presidential campaign yet.

When those voters do start paying a little attention to the campaign, many if not most of them are going to be super bummed, and thinking something along the lines of “Ohfergawdsake it really is going to be a Trump-Biden rematch. How can this be?”

They will have been in denial.

As the ugly truth becomes more clear in more noggins, many of those voters, who have lives after all and have been checked out of politics, will react with anger and perhaps swear, angrily, to refuse to vote for either Biden or Trump.

Then casual and independent voters in Nevada and other battleground states will likely flirt with a form of bargaining, and hold out hope that if enough people are sickened by the choice, someone somewhere will do something that will cause Trump and/or Biden to drop out, and someone else will be the candidate – something along those lines. 

(Disclosure: I was inhabiting this stage as recently as five months ago, which was still probably later than was seemly. Some fixtures in the national punditry-industrial complex continue to cling to the forlorn hope that somehow someone somewhere can do something by which Biden or Trump would not be their respective party’s nominee, and delegates would choose someone else at the national convention. Those writers, too, will move on, poor souls.)

At some point, most likely after this summer’s national conventions if not before, depression may set in for a lot of casual and independent voters over the prospect of a 2020 rerun. (A lot of non-casual, non-independent voters – that is people who have not checked out of politics and who have been closely following the campaign – seem to be in the depression stage now.)

And then ultimately, as voting nears, and albeit in many cases with sadness and remorse, political junkies and political teetotalers alike will enter the acceptance stage, and acknowledge the brutal reality: Yes, it’s going to be Biden and Trump. Deal.

To be sure, some voters, having not fully abandoned the anger stage, might react to that by simply turning away and not voting. 

But disgust can also be a powerful motivator. And a prominent characteristic of the Trump brand is popular and widespread disgust with the brand’s namesake. Many of those casual and independent voters in Nevada and other battleground states, having determined that voting for Trump is definitely not an option, will accept that voting against him is.

How many? Again, it remains to be seen.

But I’m always the optimist.

Or maybe I’m just still in stage 1.

Portions of this column originally were originally published in the Daily Current newsletter, which is free, and which you can subscribe to here.

[ad_2]

Source link