The 2020 Presidential Election
It is a well proven fact, several times over, that Russian trolls attempted to use social media to influence American voters to get their asset, Trump, elected. Putin's asset has proven disappointing as Russian sanctions did not go away and Trump has had some harsh words of Russia. The Russian use of social media to persuade voters to either not vote or vote for Trump is difficult to not believe. Evidence is mounting from a variety of sources but Trump had nothing to do with this. Yet, Russia wanted to manipulate American voters but the question remains, how effective were the social media attempts? We will never find out.
The 2020 Election
It's just around the corner, the next American presidential election and already we know a few things about what is yet to come:
- Unless Trump is removed from office by some means, he will run
- Trump may face Republican candidates running against Trump
- Trump will face numerous Democratic candidates with some familiar names , such as, Biden, Sanders, Warren, Beto
- There will be Russian attempts again to manipulate American voters
- Voter turnout will again be record breaking
- The campaign season will be entertaining and divisive just as the 2016 was
As I said, unless something happens to Trump while in office, his ego will force him to run again. I suspect if any Republican candidates run against them, some will be those from the 2016 election. Maybe this time with more success. As for the Democratic opponents, none of them, so far, are really great choices. I suppose Biden would be the "chosen" one, but that choice is just lukewarm. Sanders is just too far to the left for most. The young Kennedy-like Beto from Texas could energize the voters because the contrast from Trump is huge in many ways, but he is an unknown like Obama was. He might be the one to watch as 2020 gets closer. Warren should not waste her time, period. Harris, the former Attorney General of California, could be one viable woman running. God forbid if Clinton chooses to try again, that decision would just hand Trump another term!
As for Russian influence, in 2016, Putin and his trolls, sought to get Trump elected. That was his wish in hopes of Trump removing the sanctions Obama imposed. Trump left them in place and while he remains rather soft on Russia in most cases, Putin probably is disappointed. Putin could care less about if Trump hopes to build another Trump tower, this time in Moscow as he tried in 2012-3. Putin did not care then and does not now. Trump to Putin is like a small fish. Putin will still be in office should Trump not win 2020. So, Russian influence on social media in 2020 may not be as substantial. It may be directed against Trump or in favor of another candidate that appeals to be pro-Russia. The only thing we know is that when you read a FB post or a Twitter feed that seems from the political right or left using derogatory remarks at a candidate- beware. The post could be from Russian trolls or their proxies acting as Americans being paid in rubles in St. Petersburg, Russia. That is what did happen in 2016.
Whether Trump is re-elected or not, America will be divided in many ways. Another Trump term means another four years of his insanity. So far, his economic policies have been only so-so, despite his inflated claims of how good it is going. As America is preoccupied with Trump, America's adversaries are taking advantage of the distraction. Take China and how it now owns the South China Sea. It could, at anytime, deny access to American ships with their anti-ship missiles on the Spratly islands. Granted, Obama did little to stop them either, but Trump has totally ignored them.
Trump has made sure that America and its influence has been reduced across the world and that is not a good thing now or in 2020.