Some fools think of happiness
Some fools fool themselves, I guess
They’re not foolin’ me
—Boudleaux Bryant, “Love Hurts”
Now that Donald Trump has announced his candidacy for a return to the White House, the Republican mainstream, under the assumption that Trump is the only Republican who can lose a general election, are hinting largely at two opponents with a shot at beating him in the primaries—Ron DeSantis and Glenn Youngkin.
A prevailing prediction by economists is that we are about to sink into a nasty economic recession, and the voters, as they so often do, will blame the political party in the White House at the time, as unemployment begins to shoot up into the stratosphere. Also encouraging the Republicans are the low polling numbers of Joe Biden.
But the Republican mainstream, seeing disaster whenever Trump is associated with an election (he even got out-voted in his own race for the White House by Hillary Clinton, who had nearly 3 million more votes, although the electoral college gimmick saved him), will attempt to find a champion with whom to oppose Trump.
Two that stand out are DeSantis and Youngkin for different reasons. Many Republican king makers see the recent Florida governor’s election win margin signifying that DeSantis would blow away opponents in a primary election, including Trump. Others say DeSantis would be a disaster for Republicans.
Besides, say conventional Republicans, DeSantis won his gubernatorial race in a red state. What makes Youngkin more appealing to Republicans is that he won his gubernatorial race in a blue state. After all, Republican voters only make up 29 percent of the electorate, so Republicans do not win national elections with only Republican votes. Youngkin received more votes from Democrats than his Democratic opponent received from Republicans.
Youngkin has what doctors call an excellent bedside manner. He is perpetually smiling, shaking hands, pretending to be on the side of whatever group before which he is speaking. This should trip him up in hypocrisy, but the mainstream media overlook it—seemingly charmed by him. Be certain, should you shake his hand, that you count your fingers after doing so.
Before becoming governor of Virginia, Youngkin was Co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, where he made millions of dollars tax free, as our corrupt financial system allows—$8.5 million in January of 2020, after making $54 million the previous two years. As an insider of crony capitalism, he will be well-funded in his run for the presidency.
The centimillionaire’s wealth is estimated to be about $470 million, making Youngkin one of the nation’s richest politicians. Like most Republicans, he represents the transnational wealthy and their corporations above the American people, which is great for attracting campaign funding.
When Youngkin ran for governor, he charged that children are being taught Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Virginia classrooms. It was a lie, but he won the governorship with that lie, as exit polling showed that people voted for him on the issue of supporting public schools. His first act as governor was to deceptively sign an executive order getting rid of a nonexistent CRT, to fulfill his campaign promise.
Republicans have convinced millions that teachers in our public schools are making white children feel guilty about slavery by teaching CRT. This is, of course, nonsense, but if it is repeated over and over, many voters will believe it, and Youngkin has become a champion of this scam.
Youngkin’s second executive order gave parents the ability to decide whether their children in public schools should or should not wear a mask. This is typical of the MAGA cult, who ignore the advice from public health leaders who say that masks help deter the spread of airborne virus’ during epidemics or pandemics, but only when all are masked.
Like most Republicans, Youngkin, while calling himself an environmentalist, favors Big Energy over the environment.
When asked if he supports a total ban on abortion, Youngkin evades the question by stating that the Virginia legislature is divided, with Republicans in control of the House of Delegates, and Democrats narrowly in control of the State Senate. Reading between the lines one concludes that what’s stopping him from signing a total ban on abortion is that he doesn’t control the entire legislature.
When running for office Youngkin said, about banning abortion, “When I’m governor and I have a majority in the House we can start going on offense. But as a campaign topic, sadly, that in fact won’t win my independent votes that I have to get.” Winning is obviously more important to him than telling the truth.
As with other issues one wonders if he is attempting to fool the voters, since he ran for office supporting abortion in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother. He now supports banning abortion after 15 weeks, before, in many cases, a female knows for certain that she’s pregnant.
During his election campaign, Youngkin accepted an endorsement from Donald Trump to attract MAGA cult voters, while not appearing with Trump in public, which would have harmed his electability with more moderate voters, thereby having it both ways.
This has got Trump angry with Youngkin enough to call him out.
Youngkin has turned to political fundraiser Ray Washburne to introduce him to key donors and political strategists as he prepares for a possible run for president, according to people familiar with this. Washburne helped raise campaign donations for Trump’s initial 2016 run for president, but seemingly has abandoned the MAGA movement to switch to Youngkin, now that Trump is no longer in vogue.
Jack Balkwill has been published from the little read Rectangle, magazine of the English Honor Society, to the (then) millions of readers USA Today and many progressive publications/web sites such as Z Magazine, In These Times, Counterpunch, This Can’t Be Happening, Intrepid Report, and Dissident Voice. He is author of “An Attack on the National Security State,” about peace activists in prison.