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Debate Takeaway: Shadow Candidate, Please Stand Up

After last night… TGIF, Fellow Navigator.

In the event that you missed last night’s debate… you didn’t miss much. 

It wasn’t the finest hour for American democracy. I expected it to be bad. But not even I was prepared for 90 minutes of a con man yelling at a corpse. Perhaps the highlight of the evening, if we want to call it that, was when President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump questioned the veracity of each other’s golf handicap.

Yes, that happened. 

If you were hoping for reassurance that America would be in good hands following the November election, forget it. The debate has made it clear that we’re in for a rough ride. 

If either Biden or Trump had a credible plan to address the exploding debt crisis, the Social Security funding shortfall, or the continued erosion of the dollar’s purchasing power thanks to the sandpaper effect of inflation, we certainly didn’t hear about it in the debate.  

But something more ominous came out of that debate…

In the video my Freeport Society friend Louis Navellier and I recorded in December, we said that Biden could end up not being the Democratic Party nominee. 

We believed then – even more so now – that there’s a “Shadow Candidate” waiting in the wings for the right moment to step into the light… and that his appearance could lead to the “Californication” of the country.

After last night’s performance, I think we may soon look prophetic. In fact, last night it took just one hour for Predictit market odds that the Shadow Candidate could soon be named to double!  

Come November, however, we may wish our choices were just a con man and a corpse.  

Still… we Americans are the innovative sort. 

The enterprising among us will find ways to survive and thrive in this Age of Chaos regardless of who’s mismanaging the White House. 

Solutions will come from the private sector… as they usually do. Remember, America wasn’t built from the top down. This is a country of pioneers built from the bottom up, and almost always with little to no help from the government. 

So, don’t put your faith in Joe Biden or Donald Trump… or in any candidate for that matter. Trust in American ingenuity and capitalism. 

Changing the subject, we get a lot of mail around here – which we encourage! Feel free to drop us a line at [email protected]. Most of it isn’t hate mail or death threats… though I do get plenty of those too. I exercise my right to free speech loudly, so harsh replies are inevitable. I accept this. After all, we’re all entitled to our own opinion. 

I’m also proudly independent, willing to call out Democrats and Republicans alike for the general mess they’ve made of things. This makes me something of a political orphan. Thankfully, I’m not alone out there.

I got a note last week from a reader, George, that I’d like to share:

Yes, lots of us here have enjoyed plenty of Californication, yet I do like green ways and teach health and longevity at age 80. I’m a former physics and engineering guy concerned  that air pollution particle counts are often too high for our best health. Yet I can’t afford an EV… even a used Nissan Leaf, which I look for occasionally…

Just a note to inform you that you’ve attracted a diverse following… who don’t fully embrace ALL of your views.

First off, congratulations on still being active in your 80s, George. The day we stop contributing is the day a little piece of us dies. And frankly, our economy desperately needs you Boomers to keep working as long as you’re able. Thank you for doing your part!

Secondly… I love the fact that you disagree and yet keep reading. The ability to hear and understand views we might not necessarily agree with is the heart of a civilized and free society. The day we lose the ability to respectfully disagree is the day we regress into barbarism. 

And living in an echo chamber in which we only hear views we already agree with is a recipe for mental and intellectual atrophy. It’s also what behavioral economists call confirmation bias, and it’s death to a trader. 

Good decisions – in trading or life – come from dispassionately letting the data guide you rather than letting your preordained decisions guide the data you cherry pick to support them.

Regarding electric vehicles, I would point out that the government tried to promote
EVs for decades and it never took. It was the vision, drive, and audacity of the South African entrepreneur Elon Musk that finally made them popular. 

As the price on EVs continues to fall due to free-market competition, you might find that the Nissan Leaf you’ve been eyeing drops into your price range sooner rather than later.  

But speaking of “Californication,” well… we expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of that infecting the country over the next several years. Last night’s debate pegs the odds much higher than anyone thought possible 24 hours ago. 

So I urge you to watch this video with Louis and me. We share who we believe the Shadow Candidate is… and, most importantly, we propose ways to prepare.

Thanks for writing in, George!

To life, liberty, and the pursuit of wealth.