I hope someone doesn’t arrive at this independently, in the way several people (Newton included) invented calculus on their own. But this poor man’s “Newton” just went out and bought a crystal ball, and here’s how the Democrat presidential nomination for 2020 will play out.

Or may play out... Better hedge bets some. (At $9.95 my crystal ball’s probably not the best available.)

OK, let’s peruse the Democratic field, starting with one Joe Biden. This fellow may remain for a while in the top tier, but as time goes on, his past and even comparative present may tilt too much against him, right? Not to mention his ability (or inability) to endure the rigors of campaigning. Plus growingly vocal opposition from his party’s radicals, who never really wanted him at all. Biden’s pirouettes, including on crime and the party’s current abortion litmus test, may never satisfy such people on the far Left of the spectrum.

Opening the way to? Oh, maybe one of those younger, more radical candidates and possibly drawn from what used to be called the distaff element – a Kamala, or perhaps a Liz Warren, etc. Even Amy Klobuchar might play rad enough for some?

But along the way there will be ever more infighting and soul-searching, and yes, a growing tsunami of Democrat doubt re electability. And then? Deep into the campaign struggle, all this internecine strife could well pave the way for one ... Bernie (“Karl Marx”) Sanders!

Who during the last rodeo had no chance whatsoever against Hillary and her well-financed machine. And who from an objective standpoint would be as daft a Democratic choice for presidential nominee as it’s possible to make come 2020.

In France of the 1870s, when a republic replaced a possible monarchy, someone said of the new government and its leader that it “divides us least.” This quote now has relevance to all the current jockeying among Democratic presidential aspirants.

OK: then comes the tussle against Donald Trump. And if Sanders becomes what divides Democrats least, what will occur? Oh, he will get … beaten, right? And I mean beaten! As in McGovern-trounced, demolished, crushed, annihilated! In the long history of presidential contests, this one would constitute among the greatest of Democrat disasters.

Bernie’s electoral college tally? Sure he’d probably take Rhode Island and Warren’s Mass.; but in certain states down South he’d garner maybe twelve votes (excuse the obvious hyperbole)!

He’d have as good a chance at winning, say, Alabama or Mississippi as China has of allowing total democracy in Hong Kong. Or as the Red Sox have of finding another Ted Williams, the Bills another team (and era) of Marv, Jim, Bruce, Thurman.

Of course that would be the end of Bernie as a national candidate (though you’d still hear him pundit away on certain TV stations). Yup, the end of this sententious, prolix candidate aspiring to represent ordinary Americans in the White House. He could then enjoy longer vacations at his spread by Lake Champlain (no Newark, NJ for this egalitarian). He could lick wounds, and much as Hillary did in late 2016 and beyond, keep groaning: “If only...”

I.e., if only the darned U.S. had been enlightened enough to elect a self-righteous socialist in a landslide! If only more had ignored financial (and tax) realities behind the Bern’s fine rhetoric and swallowed it all whole.

If only...

In his twilight years that would become a repetitive mantra. Why he and Hillary might even become buddies on her pilgrimages to Vermont or his to wherever she might find herself that week.

But in fact they would probably go it alone, each quoted here and there as elder statespeople, ruing the fact that not enough Americans had heeded the truth and light; but still assuring people that one day their version of an enlightened utopia would indeed come to pass – everywhere in the U.S., everywhere on earth!

But historically again, Hillary would merely become chump change in the realm of presidential contests; while Bernie would always be known as ... Bernie McGovern! (And then some …)

B.B. Singer has taught at several area colleges including Niagara University.

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