Anticipating 2024

Recently I criticized Florida Governor Ron Desantis for characterizing the Ukraine War as a “territorial dipsute.” His statement trivialized a significant issue. While it may have helped him with some Republican voters, he came across as a lightweight. Presidents have to deal with major foreign policy issues in greater depth.

Now the Governor has signed an after six weeks ban on abortions. There is no reason to believe DeSantis isn’t solidly pro-life, but this may hurt him in a general election. On the other hand, it may help him to get the nomination.

Evangelicals and others with strong religious beliefs tend to be pro-life. They made up a good part of Trump’s winning 2016 coalition. However, since the 2022 election, Trump has been intimating the abortion issue cost the Republicans and explains their poorer-than-expected showing. This position is self-serving, as the only other explanation for the failures is the loyalty of most losing candidates to Trump himself.

Whatever Trump’s motive, this is causing a breach between the Ex-president and the pro-life movement. DeSantis looks more attractive to this vital group for the nomination. He needs to erode the Trump base, and this signing could lop off a big chunk. It may hurt him in the general election, but first, you must get the nomination.  

The focus on abortion, while AI and its medical implications are in the news, got me thinking about how these two issues interconnect in ways nobody is talking about.

Earlier, I wrote how the best compromise on abortion is a ban after 15 weeks. Testing and even surgery on the fetus can follow shortly after that time. We have ultrasounds of the little person, with some of us saying that’s my grandkid. Most developed nations have coalesced around 14-16 weeks, possibly for these reasons.

I alluded to testing in the future, leading to abortions we haven’t thought about. While we haven’t found the single “Gay Gene,” something programs people that way before birth. Whatever the code or combination, eventually, we will find it.

 China’s one-child policy combined with abortion on demand is a cautionary tale about parental preference. Most couples are limiting their families to 1-2 children. Would many parents elect not to have one or their only child be gay, trans, or abnormal? The severe female shortage in China should give us pause.

With rapid AI advances, this future problem is right around the corner. Testing for DNA and everything else at the earliest moment possible will lead to better medical outcomes, and we’ll know everything the tests disclose. Many online sites will read and interpret the tests for you, and even if your doctor declines to disclose information, you have the right to the data. 

On top of this, I learned a new word, ectogenesis. It has to do with artificial wombs. Our first grandchild had to spend time in an incubator, but we have just received a photo of him biking in France. Science did well by him then, but now we will have something to make incubators like iron lungs before ventilators. This AI-driven improvement will change our concept of fetal survivability.

It’s clear to me the whole abortion controversy needs serious updating, or we will wake up like China to a destabilizing population composition. One might think the LBGTQ+ community and others would already be bringing this to the fore, but nothing so far. With the right to abort right up to birth, as pushed by the pro-choice movement, there is nothing to stop choice abortions. Do they think nobody will abort rather than have their only child, gay or trans?

The possible reversal of positions between significant chunks of each party’s base highlights how difficult gauge how the abortion issue will play with voters. People do vote against their interests. Blacks have been doing it for decades, but I wouldn’t count on it.

The coming presidential election is going to be one for the history books. The Democrats are stuck with an octogenarian President, which the majority don’t want to run. The Republican front-runner right now is the probably unelectable Donald Trump. The latest polls show he leads DeSantis with over 50% of Republicans vs. under 25% for Desantis. 

While many in the media have already conceded the Republican nomination to Trump (maybe wishful thinking), I think the former president has reached his apogee and has nowhere to go but down. Everyone that might rally around Trump already has. As I’ve pointed out, manhattan D.A. Bragg’s weak case has made Trump a martyr to Republicans.

A court tossing this case might happen anytime. Other more substantial indictments are still possible. Trump fatigue could set in. His religious base may move away. Parties exist to win elections, and Trump looks like a loser. 

Trump, the media, and the Democrats have thrown everything they can against Florida Governor DeSantis before he has even entered the race. Only in the past week has PACs favorable to him run ads. The gap will shrink. Trump has nowhere to go but down, and DeSantis will benefit. The momentum will shift in his favor. As he gains the desire to be with a winner will reinforce his surge as donors starve other candidates shrinking the field.

DeSantis has a unique ability to show how Trump and Biden are the same. Both assure social security recipients will get at least a 20% cut in the benefits in less than 10 yrs. Both favored the ultra-low interest rates and massive spending that gave us the worst inflation in 40 yrs. Dr. Fauci served Trump and Biden as a chief medical advisor on covid. 

Even Trump tells us DeSantis is willing to take steps to reform social security rather than recipients getting a big haircut. The Governor can contrast Florida’s solid financial and economic condition to the debt the other two piled up. Florida did the opposite of what Dr. Fauci pushed and thrived. DeSantis said he would’ve fired Fauci rather than follow him. Biden, Trump, and Fauci in an ad is a great visual. Showing where Trump and Biden are the same on big things is a winner.

A one-on-one contest between Trump and Desanis will turn on who Republicans think can win in the general election. Even with the abortion and foreign policy confusion, I believe a DeSantis-Biden contest is likely. Since his narrow ’16 victory, Trump has only lost. In any case, the ’24 election gets more interesting by the day. 

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