Posted by: minnow | February 15, 2020

Divided We Fall

The Democratic party is actually two different parties that agree the worst of each other is better than the best of the GOP, It’s that simple. So, the two sides are holding hands and mostly playing nice until the nightmare that is the current administration (which includes the president shielding GOP controlled  Senate) can be  dismantled. Still, within these two idealogical distinctions a few differences exist. Thus, the real questions voters need to  answer are: to which Democratic party do I belong? And,  who within that vein can get us where we need to go?

The first vein is found in Biden, Klobuchar, and Buttigieg. Their policies and ideas by todays standards land slightly left of center. All three  hope to appeal to the working “middle class” family. None want to ruffle voter’s feathers, but all want to be seen as tough enough to give 45 the boot. If you’re looking for the pre-45 status quo of slow incremental changes, one of the three is your best bet.

Biden characterizes himself as the second coming of Obama. Unfortunately, his record is too long, and his old school “Uncle Joe” reputation (despite promoting the Violence Against Women Act) wrecks havoc with that particular image. He has been a vocal champion of equal pay for women yet paid the women on his own staff considerably less than the men during his 36 years in Congress, a FACT which should not be swept under the rug. Biden has experience. He’s respected by our European allies and his personal story contributes to his appeal, especial with the working class. He’s a roll your sleeves up and get to work kind of guy which may or may not translate well to the chief executive  role. So far, his campaign started strong, stumbled in Iowa and New Hampshire, but hopes Nevada and South Carolina provide the comeback he needs.

Senator Klobuchar sells herself as the candidate who can get things done, a moniker which seems well earned as a legislator. At the same time, she’s been one of the most vocal nay-sayers during the debates, labeling progressive ideas as “pipe dreams”. She’s serious minded yet rarely talks above anyone’s head. Her brilliant one liners have at times come across as too rehearsed but she’s definitely quick witted. When she launched her campaign a year ago her key issues were–cyber security and election reform, climate change, healthcare and prescription drug reform, education and immigration.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg likes to wax philosophical. At least when he was still seen as a long shot a year ago he sounded much more thoughtful and a lot less political. Buttigieg is smart, charming, youthful, and eloquent. He claims to represent the generation saddled with solving the the problems created by his predecessors, though the solutions he’s proposed to date are neither broad nor bold. While his own generation is more diverse than previous generations, Pete’s support is neither young nor people of color. It’s white and it’s rich, which might explain his top two finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

On the other side of the Democratic divide are two progressive candidates–Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Both have built their campaigns from grassroots donors. Both believe the wealthy should not be able to buy political clout. And, both want government to work for equality and justice for every American.

As a legislator, Sanders has pushed a Democratic Socialist perspective for the past 13 years in the Senate and before that as a Congressman for 16 years. When he ran against Clinton in 2016 he brought many of today’s talking points to the forefront of the political debate. It is no secret the DNC has not appreciated Sanders but for the first time since Martin Luther King Jr. the working class poor have a loud unwavering mouthpiece for change. Sanders calls for a political revolution and he hopes it will begin with the 2020 presidential election. His dedicated grassroots base is vocal, active, and rabid about Bernie.  Though Sanders himself has shown his willingness to support the nominee no matter who it is, some of his supporters have not been so magnanimous.  Personally, I tried to understand the Bernie or bust position with regard to Clinton but I simply don’t get it this time around.

The election of 45 has been more than a nightmare. His presidency threatens our democracy and his publicly visible corruption is a slap in the face to all that once made our nation a beacon of hope. 45 must be stopped. Every single democratic candidate has said as much. BUT, we must pick a candidate who can not only champion principled causes–providing healthcare for all, safeguarding the environment, overhauling the criminal justice system,  and protecting our democracy–we must pick a candidate who can cast a vision for HOW, and bring the country together while doing it. I believe with every fiber of my being that Elizabeth Warren is that person. 

Unlike those looking to pick off the relatively few voters who are finally tired of the RIght’s wrongs, Elizabeth Warren wants to bring new voters into the fold–the 46 percent who sat out in 2016. Unlike the traditional Democrat who takes the working class and non-white voter for granted, Elizabeth Warren listens to their stories and addresses their concerns with proposals for real change. Unlike the middle of the road candidates favored by the DNC who welcome help from wealthy donors along with the donors’ agendas, Elizabeth Warren, like Sanders, relies on a grassroots network and small donations. Unlike the Bernie or busters, Warren isn’t ready to vilify capitalism, she wants to incentivize it–make it work for the people make sure giant corporations and super rich individuals pay their fair share by giving back to a society that contributes to their success. Warren doesn’t want enemies–she wants partners, cohorts in the adventure of making the world a better place for everyone.

America–we need to decide what vision for the country we embrace. Personally, I am with Warren!

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