A Thought Experiment: Biden’s National Unity Government with a Republican Vice President


  • If Trump or DeSantis are elected President in 2024, they will end history’s longest running experiment in multicultural democracy.
  • The most important priority for the Democrats must be to ensure that America continues as a democracy. All our other political imperatives must be deprioritized to that goal.
  • The best way to ensure a Democratic Presidential victory is by creating a National Unity Government with a Republican as Vice President.

If the Democrats loose the 2024 Presidential election, all the political issues that are important to me and the political-left will not see the legislative light of day for the duration of my lifetime. 

Unfortunately, the political forces which have caused former democracies, like Venezuela, Hungary, and Turkey, to be replaced by illiberal autocracies or fascist governments are now at work in America. 

On November 5, 2024 Americans will decide if our 2.5 century experiment as a federal presidential constitutional republic (our form of government) will cease to exist.

The Republican Presidential Candidates for Autocracy in America

Donald Trump has said that if he retakes the White House, he will retaliate against Federal employees and Federal agencies which either investigated him or thwarted his will, including the Department of Justice, CIA, FBI, Department of Defense, State Department, CDC, and the list goes on and on. Any federal employee who is insufficiently loyal will be fired and replaced by supplicant employees who have been or are being vetted by Steve Bannon.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is also campaigning to be the Republican candidate for President, has made it equally clear that he too will replace America’s democracy with an autocracy.

If you think that those two prior paragraphs are hyperbole, I encourage you to read my amply annotated blog posting: Fascism is Coming to the U.S.A.


A Thought Experiment:

What Must the Democrats Do to Maximize the Probability of Winning?

For the remainder of this “thought experiment,” I am going to assume:

  1. Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis will be the Republican nominee for President and if the latter, Trump will not run as an independent.
  2. If the Republicans win the Presidency in 2024, then America will devolve into an illiberal autocracy or fascist government.
  3. Once in power, the Republicans will decapitate America’s system of checks and balances so as to ensure the new autocrats control of society is unfettered and they remain in power for decades.

Consideration #1: The Democratic Party is truly a big tent of beliefs

The Democratic Party is a broad coalition ranging from left-leaning Democrats who want to immediately ensure all Americans are equally capable of sharing in the wealth, health, and success of our country to the right-leaning Democrats who are somewhat more inclined to prioritize the “status quo.”

The diversity of this coalition makes it exceedingly difficult to find the “legislative sweet spot.” 

Consideration #2: President Biden is a successful President

President Biden has been exceedingly successful in finding the legislative sweet spot; far more successful than I (or most pundits) could have imagined. Thus he deserves to be the Democrat’s candidate in 2024 and I assume he will run for re-election.

Consideration #3: A Republican win will codify inequity and decimate rationality.

If Trump or DeSantis win in 2024:

  • The Federal government will ignore (or exacerbate) climate change
  • Transgender healthcare will be made illegal
  • Innocent Black Americans will continue to be murdered by the police
  • Immigrants and Jews will be attacked by domestic terrorists
  • Science will be deprecated to an after-thought
  • Rational will be dismissed when politically inconvenient 
  • Unions will be made illegal
  • The free-press will cease to exist
  • Inequity in America will increase
  • The Federal Government will promote religious conformity
  • Abortion will be illegal in America

These changes will remain Federal law for decades.

Consideration #4: Will the votes even matter?

Republicans have demonstrated a willingness to use legal, extra-legal, and violent means to ensure electoral victories. 

In the 2000 Presidential election of Bush v. Gore, the US Supreme Court awarded the state of Florida to Bush without even recounting the votes in a contested Democratic district. 

In 2020 and 2022, loosing Republican candidates tried to disenfranchise voters from majority democratic districts. 

At this time it remains unclear whether a state’s electoral college votes will continue to be awarded to the candidate who wins a majority of the state’s votes as the US Supreme Court has demonstrated an interest in allowing a state legislature to over-ride the votes of its citizens.

Thus the 2024 Presidential candidate who is awarded a state’s Electoral College votes may not be the candidate chosen by the electorate.

Consideration #5: Biden will choose to “campaign quietly”

I suspect that if Trump is the nominee, Biden will choose to sit quietly on the political sidelines (“campaigning quietly,”) as he did in the 2020 election, and let Trump’s outlandish, irrational, and unAmerican words convince many Americans in the political middle to vote for Biden. However, as a result of Consideration #4, “campaigning quietly” is less likely to be a successful campaign strategy in 2024 than it was in 2020.

If DeSantis is the nominee, assuredly a Biden strategy to “campaign quietly” will not work as DeSantis is more disciplined and careful about what he says to the public than is Trump.

Consideration #6: No MAGA voters will be convinced to vote for Biden

Our political tribes have hardened and political advertising will not alter the voting proclivities of 90% of the electorate.

For the ~45% of the electorate on the right side of the political spectrum, few if any of these voters will ever be convinced they should switch their vote from Trump to Biden. While there is no benefit to spend any money running traditional political advertisements on this demographic, negative advertising may be able to suppress voter turnout among the Trump/DeSantis supporters.

With respect to the ~45% of the electorate on the left side of the political spectrum, these voters will reliably vote for the Democrat. However, they may need to be convinced that voting is important, or help in registering to vote, or assistance in acquiring a mail-in-ballot, or transportation to the polls, so some campaign advertising must be directed at this demographic. It is also preferable if they are enthusiastic about their candidate as “enthusiasm” correlates with a legislative majority in the House of Representatives.

The only electoral demographic whose opinion has yet to congeal is the ~10% of voters who are in the political middle. These voters are mostly apolitical and ignore politics until the fall of 2024. Biden’s primary campaign strategy and the bulk of his advertising dollars need to be squarely aimed at this demographic.

A New Biden Strategic Plan: A Unity Government

In order to maximize the probability of winning the 2024 Presidential election, President Biden should choose an honorable and prominent Republican as his Vice Presidential running-mate and run as a National Unity Government. The political cost of winning the 2024 Presidential election will be that the Democrats must temporarily moderate and defer some of their political agenda.

I understand that the decision to abandon VP Harris and the resultant need to de-prioritize important moral and past-due political imperatives will inflame supporters of VP Harris and the left-side of the Democratic Party. So I need to elaborate further.

If the Democrats loose the 2024 election, all of the issues which are so important to me and the political left, mentioned in Consideration #3, will rapidly die at the hands of our new authoritarian overlord and they will remain unresolved for at least a few decades. It is therefore imperative that that overriding political priority for the Democrats in 2024 is to ensure a Democrat is put into the White House. After the Democrats win on November 5, 2024, these formerly relegated political priorities should immediately rise to the top of our political priority list and resume being litigated.

For this strategy to work:

  • Vice President Harris must publicly and repeatedly acknowledged the political exigences and selflessly put the interests of the country ahead of her personal interests while enthusiastically campaigning for the National Unity Government ticket.
  • Prominent federal African-American and liberal politicians (e.g. Representatives Clyburn, Jeffries, Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, and Senators Booker, Sanders, Warnock, Warren) must emphatically support the National Unity Government ticket, as a strong voter turnout by both African-American and liberal voters is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a Democratic victory.
  • At least some of the most prominent GOP “never Trumpers” must enthusiastically campaign for the Unity Government.

Democracy truly hangs in the balance. Democrats must be united in the belief that no single political issue or person is more important than ensuring democracy in America continues beyond January 20, 2025.


Hayward Zwerling

27 March 2023


Addendum 3/27/2023

Comment received from my friend BLR

BLR: “That’s dicey when the VP casts the tie breaking vote… “

My response:

  1. Good point but preserving democracy is the highest priority.
  2. Coordination between the President and Vice-President is the essence of a National Unity Government.
  3. Tie-breaker Senate votes are rare, occurring 52 times in the last 5 decades.
  4. The Democrat will likely loose the Senate in 2024 as there will be 33 contested Senate seats and only 10 of those are now held by Republicans. 


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