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By Jim Hancock

By Jim Hancock

A troubled world

Jim thinks the Democrats need to take drastic action to stop Donald Trump leading the free world in very troubled times.

It is possible that in the next few weeks Russia will conquer Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv. Meanwhile thousands protest in Georgia against attempts to draw that country back into Russia’s sphere of influence.

The West agonises about the awful war in Gaza. Totalitarians in Russia, Syria and elsewhere show no such qualms.

One day China might be the world’s superpower, but for the moment, that remains the position of the United States, the arsenal of democracy opposing autocracies in an unambiguous way.

But for how much longer? Incredibly the seedy Donald Trump emerges every day from the New York courthouse, ranting about the injustice being done to him, to read that in the swing states he is establishing a substantial lead over President Biden.

We have to take seriously the possibility that he might win. Part of the reason is the sad physical and mental decline of Joe Biden and the apparent unpopularity of his Vice President Kamala Harris. In other words, swing voters do not know what will happen if they stick with the Democrats. Will Biden have a serious health episode before polling day plunging the party into chaos to the benefit of Trump? Or Biden wins and (sorry to be blunt) dies a few months into his second term leaving Harris in charge of leading the free world. She might do a good job. Harry Truman took over in 1945 when Roosevelt died. He took the awesome decision to drop the atomic bomb and won in his own right to stand up to the Soviet Union as the Cold War started. Lyndon Johnson was a landmark President for civil rights when he followed the slain Jack Kennedy. But Gerald Ford, succeeding the disgraced Richard Nixon, was kicked out after 2 years of an undistinguished term in office. That’s the gamble in voting Biden in November. He might keep his faculties, stand up to the dictators and profit from the excellent work he has done for the American economy. But the chances are, sadly, that he will suffer serious decline or worse leading to the untried Harris coming into office.

Drastic times require drastic measures. These are drastic times. Donald Trump means it when he says, “America First”. He’s harking back to the isolationist United States of the inter war years. More seriously he quietly admires Putin’s authoritarian way of doing things, with all that that implies for his attitude to Russian expansionism.

There is still time to allow the Democratic Convention in August to choose new candidates for President and Vice President to remove the health issue and allow a clear choice between democracy and Trumpism.

Of course it would be a gamble. It took the Democrats 103 ballots to choose a candidate in 1924! There would be the complication of the Gaza issue that is splitting the party. However, there are a number of competent candidates, Gavin Newson and Gretchen Whitmer, governors respectively of California and Michigan, and Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg to name but three. Who knows, my favourite, Michelle Obama, might answer her nation’s call.

You are free to dismiss this as fantasy politics but at the moment our dangerous world is heading for a Presidential election with a choice that most Americans, leave along us, would not wish to make.

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