Alternative Insight

The Presidential Race

Political pundits debate which Democratic candidate can beat Donald Trump in the 2020 election and make the selection mostly dependent on that factor. Should it? Is it plausible that a majority of well-educated and astute American voters will cast their ballots for a self-centered, ego tripping, undisciplined, contradictory, and manic depressive Donald Trump? A plethora of breathing persons can defeat the revealed “pompous emperor with no qualities.” It may not be on their lips, but it is in citizens’ hearts, “Ugh, get him out.” Democrats should focus on the best person to govern the United States and not on the best person to prevent Trump from misgoverning the nation. One citizen’s analysis of the Democratic field of presidential hopefuls.

Joe Biden, former vice president of the United States, has detractors that question his ability, but they cannot question his experience and credentials for Executive office. Due to his ultra-lengthy public service, unlike most of the other candidates, he had achievements and lapses, managed healthy compromises and unhealthy compromises and been mostly moved by the political dictates of the Party he ably served. The most appropriate answer to his critics is that he has served long and well, made his contributions and mistakes and learned from his experiences. Other candidates have sparse records and, therefore, leave nothing to be criticized. Biden’s problem is that he is a member of a political past that cannot gain footing in the present and has no concept of how to operate in the future, all of which are easily solved. President Joseph Biden will carry the presidential title and share its duties. Electing Joe Biden will mean returning Barack Obama lookalikes and his most trustworthy assistants back into office, operating in the foreground, and guiding all in the background. President Trump has given Joe an entry for stating that, unlike Donald, who acts independently of his cabinet and non-advisors, the Joe Biden presidency will rely heavily on a group of well-informed advisors and cabinet officials for making vital decisions. The American people can be comfortable by knowing its nation is in good hands in all states.

Bernie Sanders, U.S. senator from Vermont, has a defined following that does not change in adulation or numbers. Unfortunately, progressive Bernie and his numbers have not progressed, and he has become a broken record, playing the same music over and over again. Bernie made his contribution to U.S. politics by galvanizing youth and making radical social policies more acceptable to discussion. He is unable to add to his original charm, carry his messages further, and extend his constituency, all of which make him a dubious choice for the exalted position. Likeability is Bernie’s principal asset, which is evidently not a required asset; the last elected president scored “zero” in that category.

Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from Massachusetts, has characteristics of an esteemed person – clever, honest, visionary, non-threatening, dedicated to helping the oppressed and less fortunate, willingness to express her true self regardless of the political consequences, but they do not add up to those of a desired candidate. Her persona leaves the impression that after entering the White House with her well-formulated ideas, she will sit in the Oval Office and ask herself, “What do I do now?” Her programs have traction with progressive Democrats, but do they have support from a majority of the electorate? Senator Warren will be a winner if she modifies her policies to objectives rather than concrete policies – Medicare will be for all when the mindset, economics, and time allows its inevitability and will not be forced into the system without completely understanding its consequences.

Kamala Harris, U.S. senator from California, has intelligence, grit, command, and ideas, all of which has enabled her to rise from a lesser known to a possible candidacy. Senator Harris’s failures are that she has insufficient legislative experience and is a bit of a fake. Her fraudulent attitude comes from consistent attempts to portray herself as a marginalized member of the African American community, (“I am the only Black person on this stage.”). Her mother is from India and her father is Jamaican. Rather than growing up in a deprived community, she grew up in a privileged household whose father was a Stanford University economics professor and mother was a breast-cancer scientist. Misrepresenting the desegregation-busing program as an effort to enable children from Black communities to receive better education when the program actually attempted to transform “separate but equal” to “together and equal,” Senator Harris insulted the Black community by insinuating that she and others owed their success to being bussed to White communities where they could learn more effectively. Harris did not fully grow up in the United States, After her mother’s divorce, a 12-year-old Kamala Harris moved to Montreal, Canada, where her mother did research at Jewish General Hospital and taught at McGill University. She graduated from a high school in Westmount, Quebec and majored in political science and economics at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Senator Harris’ tearful attack on VP Biden for not supporting Federal busing, which she claims helped her and famous others (who actually were not bussed) to ultimate success, is the low point of this campaign. Recommend that Senator Harris withdraw, gain experience, leave her district attorney years behind, and become a credible person before running for president – a credible Senator Harris will have a good chance to win a presidential nomination.

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has shown himself to be the best speaking candidate, and a person of warmth and sympathy. Regardless of his meritorious characteristics, Mayor Pete fails on one platform – his ardent support for Israel. No candidate can be credible who ardently supports a nation that steals land from the Palestinians, oppresses them, and is purposely causing their destruction.

Jay Inslee, governor of Washington State, has been best described as “substance without style.” Substance cannot be artificially formed; style can be artificially shaped. Governor Inslee has a tough, if not impossible road, but if he gives proper attention to his lack of charisma, he will be a formidable candidate, if not for president, then for vice president. His public appearances have indicated he can be a worthwhile chief executive.

Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur and author from New York, stands out as the smartest and most alert face in the crowd. His recognition that Medicare is a solution to a health problem and should not be tied to employer operations or confusing citizen choices, and his foresight into the effects of the field of artificial intelligence on the working population display insights others do not have. Lack of name recognition and political experience are handicaps and not easily overcome. Yang can still go far and he will emerge as someone to play a role in the new politics.

Cory Booker, Senator from New Jersey, is the coolest cat of all the candidates. He seems to be having a good time and the audience seems to enjoy him. His gregarious nature has distracted from his being a serious candidate. He acts as if he would settle for vice president.

Julián Castro, a former U.S. secretary of housing and urban development and San Antonio mayor, is the most serious looking of the candidates. He has a subdued manner and does not convey a forceful attitude. He stands behind the debate and will remain there.

Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. senator from New York, is the most political animal. She has changed her policies in accord with her electorate, having gone from one of the least liberal Democratic representatives to one of the most liberal Democratic senators. On each of her divergent paths, she has acquired adversaries and, despite some support, she cannot overcome the equally strong opposition. Senator Gillibrand has had some breakout moments in the debates but cannot sustain them; the resistance to her candidacy is too great.

Amy Klobuchar, U.S. senator from Minnesota, deserves more attention, but has not found any way to get it. Being heir to the progressive traditions left by earlier and well-respected Minnesotans –- Mondale, McCarthy, Wellstone, Humphrey -- Senator Klobuchar should be in the first tier of the candidates. Compare her 12 years of Senate service, which featured attachment to many bills, with the two years of  Ms. Harris’ federal government service and we learn that qualifications are not the most important characteristic for obtaining office. Revelations of her mistreatment of staff have harmed her candidacy and probably fatally,

Beto O'Rourke, former U.S. representative from Texas, thought he could translate his rapid rise from underachiever to significant achiever in Texas politics, which included his near victory over Ted Cruz in the Texas senate race, to national appeal. Beta flew high over Texas and crash landed, due to several ego-tripping gaffes when he left the Lone Star state and entered the national scene. It is unlikely he can rise further in this campaign.

Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. representative from Hawaii, has more to her than shown, all due to several negatives that her lackluster campaign has not been alert to overcome – lack of name recognition, behaving as a flake with conspiracy theories, not being able to convey the true Tulsi, not being able to unload unnecessary baggage, and being subjected to malicious and spurious accusations. Falsely described by the unknowing as the GOP’s best democratic candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, despite her mildly liberal voting record, may be the more radical and progressive of all the candidates. A Bernie Sanders clone, the candidate she actively supported in the last presidential campaign, Tulsi Gabbard is also the most ardent critic of US foreign and military policy. Her wise belief that to combat your adversaries you must more intimately know them has been unfairly attacked. Her early attachment to her father’s anti-gay policies, which she eschewed a decade ago, is still unfairly used against her. Faulty campaign rhetoric that extols her military duty and patriotism and has no meaning to a democratic audience in a primary campaign have wasted money and harmed her appearance. Tulsi Gabbard has a good combination – conventional in behavior and non-conventional in thought. She has experience and credentials; only needs a new campaign direction and makeover to expose her worth. May be too late but worth a try.

To the merit of the Democratic Party, every one of its 20+ candidates expressed themselves as intelligent, thoughtful, warm, and empathetic human beings. Considering the qualities most desirable for a presidential office – experience, getting things done, proven track record, and appeal to citizen masses, Amy Klobuchar and Jay Inslee lead the field. Due to lack of name recognition, obtaining the nomination will be difficult for both of them. An “I will run and let a younger brain trust complement my serving,” Joseph Biden, has the potential to  bring the Democratic Party into the 21st century, restore American dignity, and unite the divided nation.
it is fitting that Barack Obama returns and buries the short-lived American Caesar.

august 3, 2019