It’s obvious we have an unprecedented amount of indecision about who to choose for the Democratic candidate. This undecided #BlueWho thing really matters, and deserves some thoughtful and no-nonsense scrutiny.
I believe that most of the undecided voters have the same antecedent. If we can’t know whether we have the Senate, too, we can’t gauge which candidate we can safely vote for, in order to unseat the Orange Little Dicktater. We no longer have the luxury of treating out political candidates like rock stars. We have to get over the idea that they have to be perfect, or check all our personal boxes for everything we want. Without hyperbole, I can say our country is at stake. We have to make some hard choices based on future results and not the whim of the moment.
This is how I believe Democrats (and Independents and disgusted Republicans) ought to think about the election and our votes.
First things first: tattoo this on your forehead and be sure to look at it in the mirror everyday:
THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION DOESN’T MATTER AS MUCH AS THE SENATE.
There are things we can accomplish with a Democratic Congress and GOP president, that we can’t accomplish with a GOP Senate and a Democratic president. Like, if Twitler gets re-elected, but we take control of the Senate and Keep the House, how long do you think tRump and pence will remain in the White House with Pelosi and Shumer in charge? So self-soothe by thinking about that.
The Senate should be our number one priority. We’ve all seen what’s happened with Mitch McConnell in charge. For the last decade, he has done nothing but work against the interests of the people in this nation, and instead worked FOR lining his own pockets and keeping himself in power.
If he remains in power, along with his GOP sycophants, we can all forget about any progressive policy. Forget about affordable healthcare. Forget about equaL rights and freedoms. Forget about reversing the climate crisis. Forget about ending the concentration camps on the border. Forget about addressing gun violence and police shootings. Forget about a living wage. Forget about saving the planet.
That’s what’s at stake. That, and a slew of other things that Americans have, somewhat complacently, come to expect as normal and right in our daily lives. And if you’re AGAINST any of those things, I daresay you are in the wrong country. Please feel free to ship yourself elsewhere, and stop trying to make America something that better reflects your Stygian soul.
In my darker moments, I think maybe we need to fail. maybe we need to lose all our freedoms, watch everything go to the brink of utter destruction. Each generation gets farther away from a collective memory that included visceral experience of atrocities and war. Maybe we need a stark reminder, so that finally, everyone will understand, and never let this happen again.
But I don’t want to fall into that open grave, if I don’t have to.
Someone recently said that Democrats fall in love easily. So I’m saying, STOP IT. Take some fucking salt peter and gird your loins. There’s a battle ahead. A battalion of well-armed troops are just over the rise, and we can’t be sitting here knitting kittens when they arrive. This will have to be a marriage of convenience until we can plug the holes in the galleon and set it right on the roiling sea, and fill her sails with wind again. (I tend to mix metaphors when I get riled up. Apologies).
I entreat you all as the midnight hour approaches. We cannot expect to be in love with our candidate. We cannot expect to have one candidate who will represent us 100%. We can’t afford to be one-issue voters. Nor can we risk the repercussions of sitting this one out.
This is not our normal America, and we dare not make decisions based on norms that no longer exist. We are at war, citizens. Not unlike the Civil War, but much more malicious, devastating, and dire. There were no foreign powers interfering in the Civil War. No dictators seeking to undermine and control our government. All three branches of our government were also not corrupted by devastating malign influence, greed, ignorance, selfishness, and zealotry. And at the risk of pointing out the obvious, Lincoln was the polar opposite of tRump.This is the Great Test for our Republic; a test not seen since those days of North against South, brother against brother.
Accordingly, we have to break this all down in a logical, dispassionate way, or we will doom ourselves to ruin.
Now, in regard to choosing a candidate…
Currently, almost all the candidates have a major Achilles Heel or two or three, and these chinks in the armor are very real considerations. To wit:
ANDREW YANG. Barely worth mentioning, this guy. He’s a joke. He behaves as if this is all some interesting video game. A one-issue candidate is just as bad as a one-issue voter. And more than that, he’s way out of his depth. He appeals to those who want a free ride/free money. I’m all for people getting a helping hand, and the monthly stipend idea is intriguing, but it’s simply not a viable platform, when so much is at stake right now. He knows nothing about running a country, and has zero experience in governance and foreign policy and legislation. I think candidates ought to be required to take a civics exam to qualify to run for office. Along with showing their tax returns and medical records, before they can even register as a candidate.
Which takes me to:
TOM STEYER. I like Steyer a lot. I appreciate that he’s bringing more light onto the issue of climate change. And not long ago, i would say that really should be our first priority. But so much has happened recently. Too many other things are just as important. And if we don’t get Twitler out of office, climate change won’t matter, because it won’t be addressed at all. It’s like that safety instruction on airplanes: Put the oxygen mask on yourself, first. You can’t help anyone else if you’re overcome with smoke or decompression. We have to get the plane landed safely and get everyone out before it bursts into flames and kills us all. So, while I appreciate that Mr. Steyer is such an advocate of saving our planet, as am I, I know he got in this race to raise awareness, and not because he really want to be president. And not because he’s actually qualified to be president. His recent expansion from this issue into an actual campaign seems a necessary afterthought to stay in it. I’ll never understand why these people with mountains of cash don’t put it in a place where it can do the most good. And in this outdated caucasian patriarchy we live in, he’s another old white man.
Which leads to:
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG. I know less about him than anyone else. I know he used to be a Republican. I know he’s filthy rich. I know he’s got a questionable history with People of Color and I don’t like some things he’s said. I don’t like the idea that, like Steyer, he believes an election can be bought. But he has also pledged to financially support whomever the Democratic candidate is, and I hope that’s true. But he’s also another old white man.
BERNIE SANDERS. First and foremost, Bernie IS NOT A DEMOCRAT, so he’s at once disingenuous, because he only signs onto that party when he runs for office. And he’s made it clear how much he hates the Democrats and wants to dismantle the entire party. He signed a pledge with the DNC that he’d stay a Democrat if he ran again, but he’s already filed as an Independent for his re-election in the Senate for 2024. So that pledge meant nothing to him.
And have you noticed that he’s trying to take over the Democratic Party and mold it in his image, just like tRump has done with the GOP?
Bernie also has a checkered past, and was never properly vetted by the Democrats or the media in 2016. Bernie didn’t vote until he was 40 years old; the same age at which he finally got his first job. He refused to get a job to support his son, and stole electricity from his neighbor, got booted from a commune because he didn’t work to pull his own weight. His statements on video, including an affinity for Nicaragua and Russia, where he spent his honeymoon, his praise of Fidel Castro, his lackluster performance in getting anything passed in the Senate, his published writings about women and rape fantasies. He ran for statewide office six times, and lost all six times. He voted against a waiting period to buy a gun, and against the Brady Bill. The Mueller report revealed that In 2016, Russia helped Bernie in order to defeat Hillary and help tRump. He either abstained or voted against sanctions against Russia.
Additionally, he inspired the same sort of behaviors in his supporters as tRump supporters. I’ve been on the receiving end of their rabid, myopic, vindictive mindset. In 2016, their petulance when he wasn’t the nominee manifested in most of them either not voting at all, or voting for tRump out of spite. This puerile, self-absorbed, entitled and belligerent sensibility is at once anathema to everything this country is supposed to stand for. To quote an article in Daily Kos, “Bernie is at least partly to blame for electing Trump. He ran a scorched earth campaign against Hillary, contested a primary he had no chance of winning and has indicated that he will do it again. He is not a Democrat. He openly hates the Democratic Party. He is a chaos agent and must be taken out of the running before he can hand Trump another four years.”
Bernie can’t and won’t supply an explanation for how he’d pay for Medicare for All program, claiming it’s too complicated for everyone to understand; His foreign policy just sounds like the other side of a tRump coin, he’s an angry old white guy, which we’re sort of fed up with, as a nation; he’s had a heart attack, and lied about it; he won’t release any details about his medical records. Also, his campaign chair is associated with Dark Money groups
And should Sanders win the nomination, it will devastate the down-ballet for Democrats. With all the baggage, all the insidious machinations of Sanders, why in the world would conscientious Democrats support him?
And he’s not only likely a one-term president, and just another old white man, he’s another ANGRY old white man.
ELIZABETH WARREN. I like her passion, her sincerity, and what she wants to fight for. I like that she seems genuine, compassionate, and “has a plan for that.” I fear that too many voters are afraid of some of her progressive policies. If Warren is the candidate, and is elected, and we also manage to take back the Senate, then she could get a lot done. But the majority of Americans are afraid of drastic changes toward Democratic Socialism; though to be fair, Warren has labeled herself a “Compassionate Capitalist.” Still, most put her in the same category as Bernie.
An old proverb occurs to me, however. Aim at the sun, and hit and eagle. Aim at the eagle, and hit the ground. Warren might come in with bold progressive agenda, but to me, that means there’s a lot of room for compromise. The only dangerous part of that is if we don’t win back the Senate. Then, it won’t matter, because the Senate GOP won’t let her do anything. It will be a repeat of Obama. More Merrick Garland blockades and bills piling up and gathering dust on Mitch McConnell’s desk.
I’m not sure being a woman has anything to do with electability. How can we know that? But if it is a component of electability, then there’s that. I can tell you I am well and truly sick of the inherent sexist and misogyny in this country, and it’s way past time to have a woman in the Oval Office.
Now, there are other problems with progressive candidates. If Bernie (please no) or Warren win the election, their seats in the Senate will be filled by a Republican governor. You think a GOP governor will choose a Democrat? Even though Vermont Governor Phil Scot is up for re-election in 2020, that’s taking a big chance that he won’t still be there to fill Bernie’s seat with Republican. And then, there will be a special election, but the governor will have SIX MONTHS to do it. Which means the Sanders seat will remain vacant for that time.
As for Warren, same goes for Republican Governor or Massachusetts, Charlie Baker. But in MA, the governor has to call a special election and can wait MONTHS to do that, so Warren’s seat would not be filled for that amount of time. This means that if the new president is a Democrat, they won’t be able to get confirmation in the senate on any of their cabinet picks through, nor any other legislation. And we’ll just have a reiteration of the Obama years.
PETE BUTTIGIEG. It’s no small thing that there’s a viable candidate in this race who not only a veteran, and a scholar, but a gay man. I’m a lesbian, and the idea was exciting. But I would never vote merely on orientation, nor on any other single criteria or affinity. And I’m more than a little chagrined that it seems more likely that this nation will elect a gay man, than a woman. Again, indications of a deep-seated sexism. I think sexism runs just as deep and wide as racism and is no less egregious.
I loved Buttigieg at first. He seemed like a highly intelligent, well-spoken young man who just happened to be a good role model for other gay men, and frankly, men in general. But as time goes on, and I watch and listen to him, now he seems to have LOST his authenticity, become rather robotic in his his campaign style. And he’s made some huge mistakes, and also shown that there are things he has no idea how to handle. As a candidate for president, he is also clearly way out of his depth. His growing arrogance isn’t helping matters. Now, Pete just seems like another young white guy with entitlement issues and no experience to back it up; never mind his terrible record with black voters, which we’ll need in the general election. Mostly, I can’t see him getting anything done, because he simply has no experience. If he instead ran for congress first, and served a while there, and then ran for POTUS, I’d take him more seriously.
And, he’s another white man.
In my estimation, we must have someone who can get things done even with a corrupt GOP, should they maintain their control in the Senate. That would be Biden or Klobuchar.
JOE BIDEN. I like Joe. I really do. But he has some history that I’m not fond of. I could overlook that, though, because I think he’s genuine, and a good guy at heart. But after all the swiftboating of Biden by the GOP in relation to the Ukraine debacle, wherein Biden was attacked regarding corruption and his son, Hunter, Joe Biden is tainted and weakened. Add to that his age, his likely ONE-TERM presidency when we will need a good decade to fix everything again, his frequent gaffes and some concerns about his mental acuity, and then the idea of him against tRump on debate stage—two old white men battling it out like some geriatric Waterloo–and those voters who lean right, will keep leaning right. And yes, another old white man.
AMY KLOBUCHAR. She’s the Dark Horse. The Goldilocks candidate. Not too old, not too young. Not too conservative, not too liberal. Notably, also, not a target of tRump–what does he have on her, really? I can’t find a single thing. And that’s important, when we consider she will do a face-off with him as the Dem candidate. Why would we give tRump ammunition by way of a flawed candidate to help him win again?
She has appreciable experience, has won every race she’s been in, even in red states, has an impressive record in the Senate, having passed over 100 bills, which shows an ability to reach across the aisle to get legislation passed.
If she makes it past New Hampshire, she will have to reframe herself as a national candidate though, rather than a midwest candidate, and she desperately needs the support of the black voters. If she has an Achilles heel, that would be it.
It remains to be seen if she can gather the resources, financial and otherwise, to continue in the race. We have to win, we have to get rid of the wannabe dictator in the White House, but beyond that, we also have to have someone who is qualified to do the job. It’s become a stark truth that “outsiders” can do a lot of damage, because they don’t know how things work, haven’t built any alliances, and are often in the race for all the wrong reasons. Accordingly, I lean strongly toward Amy Klobuchar for all the reasons I stated.
Another plus is that the governor of Minnesota is a Democrat, and would appoint a replacement for Klobuchar in the Senate, which means we wouldn’t lose one of those crucial seats. Sometimes I think it’s as simple as picking the Democrat that Twitler hasn’t created a nickname for, yet.
So that’s my take on the candidates and the race.
One other thought, though. I really wish people would stop pushing Kamala as a VP pick. To me, it’s obvious that she would serve this country much better as the Attorney General, so she can prosecute all these criminals, including her predecessor Bill Barr. It’s where her strengths lie, and they ought to be utilized.
Aside from these issues with candidates, there are many things we can do to make the voting process smarter, safer, more equitable, and less hackable. Like ranked-choice voting, paper ballots, to name a few, but those things won’t ever be done without Democrats controlling all three branches of government. In fact, most of the things that thinking, compassionate people care about are in danger of abject annihilation if the Democrats don’t take control. I would never have agreed that was something we ought to aspire to–a sort of monopoly by one party–but that was then, and this is now. We no longer have a two-party system. We have one party, and one fascist regime. This is not normal, and we can’t behave as if it is. The New Normal is a very real threat to our republic and could literally destroy this country from the inside out.
Your vote no longer just matters, it is crucial to the survival of our Republic.