I wish I had more faith in the American populace in terms of its inherent goodness, adherence to and agreement with traditionally understood moral behavior, and ability to engage in rudimentary critical thinking, but I do not. 2016 really did happen. And I have little optimism that 2016 won’t happen again in 2020.
Here’s what I thought of the Top 6:
Uncle Joe – UJ looked slow, old, and befuddled. He badly fumbled the question about his vote in favor of the Iraq War, a question he had to know was coming. And Kamala Harris eviscerated him. He has all the advantages of a front-runner with deep party ties and financial backing. Or are those disadvantages these days? But if UJ is the Democratic nominee, I think he loses to Trump. I would bet on it.
Bernie Sanders – Bernie has the most interesting ideas of the bunch, Marianne notwithstanding, and many of them actually make sense to me. Alas, he will never shake the “wild-eyed radical” and “(Democratic) Socialist” tags with which he has been smeared. Trust Bubba and Wanda to vote against him resoundingly if he is the Democratic nominee, and enough of the moderates to stay home because of those besetting labels to allow Trump to triumph again. I like him, and I hope he’s not the nominee. He will not be elected.
Cory Booker – a) He’s black. Yeah, I know. Sadly, we’re still deep into a cultural backlash that wants to punish America for eight years of Barack Obama. He’s charismatic, and he’s a fantastic communicator. He’s campaigning on a message of love, unity, and a revival of civic grace. You would think that might be fairly non-controversial. I also love some of his proposed policies, including his ambitious affordable housing plan and his Baby Bonds plan, which would target the yawning abyss of the wealth gap in America by seeding accounts for children from low-income families. I’d vote for him in a heartbeat. But see a) above.
Kamala Harris – She’s also a) black. And she’s also b) a she. Look, I get it if you roll your eyes at those comments. But consider Bubba and Wanda, sitting out there in Resentland, convinced that political correctness and the damn minorities have ruined their lives. Kamala is tough, articulate, experienced, and ready to govern, and she absolutely nuked Joe Biden last night. I’d vote for her in a heartbeat. But consider a) and b) above.
Elizabeth Warren – Warren is a policy wonk, and she’s the smartest and most experienced Dem in the field. I’d vote for her in a heartbeat. But she’s lacking in the charisma department, a ridiculous quality that nevertheless frequently settles elections. I would worry about her electability if she is the Dem nominee.
Mayor Pete – I would vote for Mayor Pete for President. I would vote for Mayor Pete for damn well anything. I’d like him to be my neighbor. I want him to be the head of the PTA. I want him to host his own children’s TV program. I’d love him whatever he does. Mayor Pete reminds me of Jimmy Carter. For me, that’s a positive comparison, but that also shows how weird I am, I suppose. He’s smart. He’s articulate. Like Jimmy, Mayor Pete admits to making mistakes. He did that last night. Like Jimmy, Mayor Pete seems to have a historical understanding of Christianity before 1980. Like Jimmy, Mayor Pete seems to profoundly understand the notion of “compassion” and that, historically, compassion has been viewed as a positive attribute. He’s a truth teller and a non-spinner of facts and a non-liar in a universe of serial liars. I really, really hope Mayor Pete is the next President of the United States. He is, of course, gay, which takes Bubba and Wanda and 30% of the rest of America right out of the possibility of voting for him. He checks all the traditional morality boxes but that one. And frankly, I’d love for the 2020 presidential election to come down to such a stark choice: a truly good, truly moral gay man vs. the abomination of Donald Trump; heterosexual serial adulterer and pussy grabber, and Christian hero.
I like most of these candidates. All of them are flawed from an electability standpoint. A lot can happen in the next year and four months. But my prediction right now: The Little Fuhrer. Sieg Heil, y'all.