The New Threat to Democracy: The Shadow Candidate

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The recent debate performance of Senatorial candidate John Fetterman in Pennsylvania was revelatory. The man clearly has serious cognitive issues that would make him unable to serve. Yet President Biden said Fetterman’s wife would make a great Senator.

This remark seemed to imply that party officials understand Fetterman is not able to effectively serve but they are running him anyway, knowing that the wife “would be a great lady in the Senate.”


If that is true, who are the voters really voting for? A figurehead candidate likely controlled by faceless Democrat officials and consultants.

As usual, the brilliant Babylon Bee got the sense of this suggesting that a dark horse candidate would appear and someone would put up a cabbage to run for office.

But Fetterman is not alone and that is what makes this a sinister and dangerous trend. A number of Democrat candidates are running campaigns that mimic Biden’s basement Presidential run. The idea is to avoid public scrutiny and let their allies in the press and social media spin an image.


There is perhaps a no better example than Biden himself. Democrat insiders and Jill Biden have been hiding his cognitive decline for some time, keeping him in very controlled circumstances. But even when they do let him out, he tends to garble things badly, which then needs the “White House” to walk back his statements. You see that statement in the press constantly.  The “White House” has to clarify something the President has said.

But wait, aren’t the White House and the President supposed to be the same thing?  When did they get separated?  The President is supposed to be in charge of the White House. If he is not in charge and needs constantly corrected, who then really is in charge?

Did we vote for a President or for the White House staff?


This setup of a “shadow candidate”, someone we are supposed to vote for, but who will not really be in charge, seems to be growing in acceptance.

In short, voters don’t vote really for a person, they vote for an image, a political hologram, that is then tweaked by technical people behind the scenes.

In Arizona, Katie Hobbs refuses to debate publicly, which basically hides from the public her ability to think on her feet and deal with complex issues. This is vital information voters really need to make an informed choice.

Does it even matter? The press and her own party have given her a pass through this entire election cycle.

A number of other Democratic candidates are using similar tactics. They don’t want to confront the reality of inflation, crime, war, and the assault sexual extremists have launched against our schools and America’s children.  Either they run a hologram candidate, conduct a basement campaign, or refuse to debate. It is all part of the same trend. And that trend is to hide from the public the true nature and ability of the candidate.

Wait for just a second! Is that not a threat to democracy? A stealth candidate, or a candidate with serious cognitive problems who are hidden materially and substantively misleads the public. We may well be voting for someone who is not the real candidate. We sort of get to choose the created image, but we know little or nothing about the forces behind him or her.

It is bait-and-switch political fraud at the highest level.

One of the appealing things about Donald Trump,  Kari Lake, and Blake Masters, is that they come from outside the normal political channels, and for good or ill, you sense they are in charge of what they are saying. Do you sense that Donald Trump or Kari Lake could be controlled by consultants?

We know that Trump pretty well called the shots, and many people thought it was bad for him to do so. Really? He told us what he believed, made some political promises, and then remarkably delivered most of them. That is not bad, it is refreshing. What you saw is what you got, for good or ill, depending on your perspective.

If we are to operate in a representative democracy, a true republic, it would seem that when we vote for a candidate, we should be voting with some knowledge of that person. We should know their viewpoints, their level of experience, what they have done outside of politics, and their physical and mental health.

To be sure, most candidates will try to hide from voters things that are negative, and it is part of the political process for opposition research to reveal more about a given candidate’s background.

And for most of our history the function of the press was to investigate and help the public vet candidates. But the press has fallen down badly, abandoning any pretense of objectivity.

But it is hard to recall seeing outright political fraud being committed by candidates that purposely dodge debates, that campaign only through approved channels, and deliberately hide their serious health issues.

Hopefully, this is a trend that won’t go very far.

The best thing could be for hologram candidates to go down in flames. We don’t want to reward this tactic and encourage more candidacies like John Fetterman and Joe Biden.

The last thing our nation’s critical problems and its messy politics need are for voters to be systematically misled as to who they are really voting for.

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