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Opinion - Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right

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Clowns to the left of me

Jokers to the right

Here I am

Stuck in the middle with you.

 

These are lyrics from the song “Stuck in the Middle With You,” co-written by Garry Rafferty and Joe Eagan and performed by their band in 1972. The 43 percent of voters who are independent (Gallup poll) would agree the lyrics “stuck in the middle” speak to them and our 2024 presidential election.

On March 12, Joe Biden and Donald Trump locked up their respective political party nomination, starting a 244 day campaign to Nov. 5.

Research reveals the vast majority of registered Democrats are committed to vote for Biden despite his octogenarian age (though former Special Counsel Robert Hur told Congress Joe had “photographic recall”).

Likewise, research notes the MAGA Republicans will vote for Trump, regardless of past legal issues (e.g., $83.3 million E. Jean Carroll sexual abuse finding, New York’s $453.5 million Trump Organization litigation, 2005-2021 Trump Organization criminal tax fraud - $1.6 million fine, etc.) and pending cases (i.e., 2020 federal election interference, Georgia’s RICO election interference, stolen national defense classified documents and 2016 porn star hush-money election interference and 34 counts of falsifying business records).

Research is also replete that due to D & R polarization, independents will determine – on Nov. 5 – who will be America’s 47th president.

A number of Democrat and Republican loyalists are turning against their respective party’s designated presidential candidate. Let’s explore that issue.

Joe Biden

Back in the summer of 2022, Politico reported that RootsAction – a left-wing activist group -- who supported Biden’s 2020 presidential election, tried to persuade Joe not to run in 2024. Se leve.

There’s sufficient rumbling that some Blacks, Latinos and young people are suspicious of voting for Biden like they did in 2020. However, 15 different and mostly Gen Z (ages 18-27) and young millennials recently endorsed Biden and joined the Students for Biden-Harris coalition citing Joe’s achievements supersede his age.

Gallup’s annual governance poll reveals 63 percent of voters want a third party choice. American Bridge, Third Way, MoveOn and Save our Republic PAC – all left-of-center groups -- are worried the centrist group No Labels and political activists’ Robert F. Kennedy, Cornel West and Jill Stein will take votes away from Biden.

Third-party presidential candidates are Biden’s biggest re-election threat.

Donald Trump

Turmoil in Trump’s world is more troubling than in the Biden camp. Business Insider reports 40 of Trump’s 44 former cabinet members (91%) are not endorsing his 2024 candidacy. Wikipedia’s “List of Republicans who oppose the Donald Trump presidential campaign” features 128 individuals from GOP officials to judicial, governors, Congress, etc.

Trump’s former attorney general Bill Barr testified before Congress that Trump is “a troubled man” who must face justice. Former vice president Mike Pence announced on Fox News (March 15) his ex-boss has strayed too far from conservative philosophy. Both are not endorsing Trump’s campaign.

A GOP group who call themselves Republican Voters Against Trump have launched a $50 million ad blitz campaign featuring first-person video testimonials of more than 100 former Trump voters.

The Guardian notes Fox News on-air personalities’ relationship with Trump started eroding with the Jan. 6 insurrection presidential coup attempt and ensuing $1.6 billion lawsuit by Dominion against Fox News Network. Knowing the owner and chair of Fox Corp is Rupert Murdoch, it’s not surprising that The Wall Street Journal, which he also owns, is no longer kissing Trump’s ring.

On Jan. 25, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board publicly criticized Trump for meddling into congressional talks on border security and his blatant threat to permanently bar Republicans from the MAGA camp who supported Nikki Haley’s campaign, calling his actions “a high act of self-sabotage” and “it would be a good reason to vote for someone else” (The Hill, Jan. 26).

The Wall Street Journal and Trump romance has been eroding for years as witnessed by the editorial board’s leading op-ed on Nov. 9, 2022 titled “Trump is the Republican party’s biggest loser.”

Biden and Trump

Turnover of employees is a standard business measure of stability or chaos. Donald Trump had a 35 percent first-year turnover of senior executives while Joe Biden only had an eight percent first-year turnover (Axios, Jan. 20, 2022). On Trump’s last day of office, 60 of the 65 senior executives (92%) had left his administration. Currently, Biden’s turnover rate is 71 percent (Brookings, Jan. 20).

Between now and Nov. 5 continue to do your independent presidential candidate homework versus being a lemming and getting hoodwinked by the respective political party’s disinformation, misinformation and propaganda.

Let’s admit it. We have clowns to the left, jokers to the right and here I am -- like 43 percent of voters -- stuck in the middle with you.

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