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The HOP MKE

"The HOP MKE" streetcar in Milwaukee cost $124 million to build two miles of tracks.

It’s hard to believe, but the presidential election season of 2020 is now in sight. President Donald Trump shouldn’t face any serious challenges on the Republican side. However, the Democratic side is wide open.

Milwaukee has been selected as the site of the 2020 Democratic National Convention from July 13-16, 2020, at the new Fiserv Forum. Democrats of all types will descend upon our largest city to cement their selection for a presidential nominee.

Selecting Milwaukee as the site of the convention was an obvious overture to voters in the upper Midwest. Hillary Clinton chose to ignore Wisconsin, and much of the working-class vote in flyover country, and it was part of the reason she lost. The Democrats hope holding their convention in a swing state like Wisconsin will boost their chances for the White House.

Milwaukee will show off its $124 million 2-mile streetcar system called “The Hop” to liberals across the nation; $60 million per mile for early 20th century transportation? That’s another story unto itself.

A variety of Milwaukee sources put daily ridership at around 2,000-2,500 passengers a day. They can’t ride The Hop to the Fiserv Forum — it doesn’t go past that location. Can’t go to Miller Park for a Brewers game, head to Summerfest grounds, or to the great Milwaukee Public Museum, but they can ride for a few blocks downtown.

Funds are from different buckets, but I can’t remember ever driving past the Zoo or Marquette interchanges without a bunch of orange barrels noting constant expensive renovations. Milwaukee spent $124 million on a streetcar?

With so many presidential candidates throwing their hat in the ring, Milwaukee probably will need a few hundred extra hotel beds for candidates alone. The latest formal entry was from Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, who challenged Nancy Pelosi for leadership in the House, only to be resoundingly rebuked.

We’re up to about 20 candidates, with a few more undoubtedly to announce soon. Candidates are busy visiting Iowa far in advance of next February’s Iowa Caucuses that typically kick off the formal campaign season. They’re also crisscrossing the nation in search of support.

It’s not unusual at this juncture to have a field this large. We had a similar number of Republican candidates start campaigns for 2016. A whole slew of Democrats believe they are the chosen individual to take out President Donald Trump. It comes down to who can show they hate Trump the most. There also will be slings and arrows cast at their primary opponents.

Last week’s National Action Network event brought more attention to the candidates, and on Sunday, Rolling Stone ranked the candidates as they see it now. Rolling Stone is a good source for the pulse of the left, timed with a similar story from the April 4 Chicago Tribune.

Rolling Stone ranked Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Democratic Socialist who’s not a member of the Democratic Party, at No. 1. His far-left signature proposals of single-payer health care, tuition-free college, and other freebies sit well with millennials, but as always, aren’t rooted in financial reality.

The No. 2 ranking went to Sen. Kamala Harris, who supports the Green New Deal. She opined in a Feb. 24 interview, the plan “was not about a cost.” Sorry, Sen. Harris, it is about a cost. The Washington Free Beacon reported Feb. 27 that Sen. Harris wants to decriminalize prostitution, but “she failed to mention that she had opposed it her entire career.” Doesn’t sound very empowering to women.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is ranked No. 3, running on her “wealth tax” plan, an untenable and unworkable penalty for success. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who lost a bid for the senate to Ted Cruz, comes in at No. 4, hoping his checkered past won’t dissuade voters.

Democrats themselves seem to be torpedoing thoughts of another run by former Vice President Joe Biden. A string of new accusers has come forth about Biden’s inappropriate conduct regarding his “affection” for people in public, often hugging or touching women just a little too long, creating awkward moments. Many characterize Biden’s actions as “creepy.”

Most posturing now appears to be trying to out-left other candidates, and garner support from the very progressive wing of the party, now its ideological majority. There will be ebbs and flows as candidates are vetted and either rise or fall with voters. More candidates are sure to enter.

We’ll then see candidates begin to drop out as they fail to garner enough enthusiasm or financial support. You can grab some popcorn, watch all the theatrics unfold, then wisely cast your vote to keep President Trump working for all Americans.

Scott Frostman lives in Baraboo and has roots throughout Wisconsin. He believes anyone can make a difference and can be reached at scfrostman@gmail.com.

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