Steve Martaindale

Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series

Pick a Dem, any Dem

Pelicans fighting for scraps

Pelicans fighting for scraps discarded by fisherman. Here’s hoping the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential won’t resemble this. (c) 2019 by Steve Martaindale

Let’s run through them alphabetically.

I’m not real crazy about Joe Biden becoming the next president even though his eight years in the right seat while President Barack Obama piloted the nation are important. Plus, he works well with people, Congress and other world leaders. But there are the Anita Hill testimony and other issues. Many consider his centrist leanings a positive, but I’m hoping we can build on the overwhelming progressive results of 2018 to restore and expand policies protecting people, rights and the planet. Lastly, I desire to take a break from old, white males in the White House and he’s all three. However, I will whole-heartedly support Joe Biden if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Donald Trump or Mike Pence.

Cory Booker is hard not to like. He’s incredibly well-educated and an accomplished orator, a welcomed relief from our current situation. He’s a young, black male, but his relationship with the pharmaceutical industry is worrisome what with the huge job needed to fix healthcare. However, I will whole-heartedly support Cory Booker if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

Pete Buttigieg, like Booker, is a Rhodes scholar, plus he served active duty as a Navy reservist in Afghanistan. He’s young, but some think he’s too young. If elected, he’ll celebrate his 39th birthday the day before his inauguration, almost four years younger than Teddy Roosevelt. Being a gay man gives him a chance to address more directly some of our nation’s issues. Would it hurt him in the general election? Maybe, but let’s be honest, just about anyone who would vote against him solely because he’s gay is probably a hate-filled version of die-hard Republican anyway. His greatest shortcoming, in my estimation, is his limited experience. However, I will whole-heartedly support Pete Buttigieg if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

Julian Castro supplements his mayoral experience with his time in Obama’s Cabinet as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. I do like his early emphasis on healthcare and immigration reform. A young Latino, he may have crested early in the public eye as he’s been out of office now for a couple of years. However, I will whole-heartedly support Julian Castro if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

John Delaney is a white male who can only be considered “young” by presidential standards, but I must respect his dedication to his campaign. As a congressman from Maryland, he announced his intentions to run for president in July 2017 and opted to not run for re-election to the House in 2018 in order to concentrate on the 2020 election. His biggest problem may be that most voters still have not heard of him. However, I will whole-heartedly support John Delaney if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

Remember what I said about not wanting to elect another old, white male? Tulsi Gabbard is the first in our alphabetical list to satisfy all three, if you’re willing to grant that being born in American Samoa to a father of Samoan and European descent is non-white enough. OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but she is also the first Hindu in Congress, if one really values diversity. She’s currently a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, with which she served in both Iraq and Kuwait. Her policies, though, are more problematic, particularly her early opposition to recognizing same-sex marriage, a position she has recently reversed. However, I will whole-heartedly support Tulsi Gabbard if she is the Democratic nominee, especially if she’s running against Trump or Pence.

Kirsten Gillibrand is an inspiring candidate, having taken a lead in the #MeToo movement and standing strong against the current administration. (See her “Brave Wins” announcement video, for example.) Now a liberal New York senator, she will have to explain conservative votes while a member of the House. However, I will whole-heartedly support Kirsten Gillibrand if she is the Democratic nominee, especially if she’s running against Trump or Pence.

It seems Kamala Harris has done an outstanding job laying the groundwork for a White House bid. This youngish, black woman is an amazing force when questioning people in the Senate. Smart, articulate and tough as nails, one source suggested the worst thing about her was that she’s from California, which is tough for many conservatives to swallow. I’ll refer you to my earlier comment about Pete Buttigieg. Some have said her prosecutorial record isn’t liberal enough. However, I will whole-heartedly support Kamala Harris if she is the Democratic nominee, especially if she’s running against Trump or Pence.

John Hickenlooper is our next old, white male candidate. He promotes himself as a moderate – excuse me, an “extreme moderate” – which seems to have been what Colorado needed. I’m not looking for another old guy to do the same old things. However, I will whole-heartedly support John Hickenlooper if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

This cannot be, in my view, a one-issue campaign, but Jay Inslee is putting his heart and soul into what many think is the nation’s, indeed the world’s, biggest issue. Yep, he’s all-in on fighting climate change. Of course, he’s also another old, white male. However, I will whole-heartedly support Jay Inslee if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

Amy Klobuchar, in addition to effectively needling the current president, is a champion of healthcare reform. She’s another woman who has shone during congressional hearings. The most stinging negative has been that she drives her staff hard, sometimes to the point of it being demoralizing. However, I will whole-heartedly support Amy Klobuchar if she is the Democratic nominee, especially if she’s running against Trump or Pence.

Next is Wayne Messam, the first candidate I really know nothing about. He’s 44, the son of Jamaican immigrants and mayor of Miramar, Florida. He also played football for Florida State, something he may be better off not mentioning to a lot of people. However, I will whole-heartedly support Wayne Messam if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

Similarly, we follow with Seth Moulton, a congressman from Massachusetts and an Iraq war veteran. He also helped lead a failed effort to deny Nancy Pelosi the House leadership, which may indicate a strong progressive streak but does put his judgment into question. However, I will whole-heartedly support Seth Moulton if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

I was heavily behind Beto O’Rourke when he ran for the Senate last year because Texas badly needs to remove the stain on our national conscience that is Ted Cruz. But believing he is ready for the Senate is not the same as believing he’s ready for the White House, though I am perfectly willing to be proven wrong. However, I will whole-heartedly support Beto O’Rourke if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

Tim Ryan is another who’s never hit on my radar that much. He’s also another who has a past of not fully supporting progressive ideals. However, I will whole-heartedly support Tim Ryan if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

Here’s a tough one. I supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primaries because I was hoping to build on the fragile foundation Barack Obama had been able to assemble. Bernie was ready to push the big-ticket items that would shape our future, such as healthcare for all and returning respectable tax rates to the ultra-wealthy and promoting education. With his loss, though, I felt from the beginning that he should stick to the Senate, actually join the Democratic Party, and mentor the amazing new faces in Congress. Need I mention that he, too, is an old, white male? However, I will whole-heartedly support Bernie Sanders if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

Eric Swalwell, another young congressman, has gone about making a name for himself, especially in taking opposition to the current president, but I have a difficult time taking him too seriously yet. However, I will whole-heartedly support Eric Swalwell if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

Elizabeth Warren’s progressive chops are well-established and her nevertheless-she-persisted moment was classic. While I totally empathize with her Cherokee heritage story, because it parallels my own, she should have handled it better. Also, she is an old, white female. However, I will whole-heartedly support Elizabeth Warren if she is the Democratic nominee, especially if she’s running against Trump or Pence.

Marianne Williamson is another old, white female, but one who brings no political experience. She seems to be focusing on the country having a moral and spiritual awakening. However, I will whole-heartedly support Marianne Williamson if she is the Democratic nominee, especially if she’s running against Trump or Pence.

Andrew Yang is another inexperienced candidate (even though I believe he’s the only one on this list who follows me on Twitter). It’s generally acknowledged his overriding mission is to introduce the idea of Universal Basic Income into the nation’s dialogue and thought processes. I’ve read a bit about UBI the last couple of years and it might make sense considering the changes technology will press upon the work force and economy unless one or more crazed world leader bombs us back to an agrarian society. But that alone does not a presidency make. However, I will whole-heartedly support Andrew Yang if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

Update: Michael Bennet tossed his hat into the ring recently, bringing the count to 21. His impassioned takedown of Ted Cruz on the Senate floor early this year brought him a lot of attention, but he has a moderate background that might not fly well in this primary. However, I will whole-heartedly support Michael Bennet if he is the Democratic nominee, especially if he’s running against Trump or Pence.

Summation

Too many Democratic voters are displaying a tendency of insisting on backing only a perfect candidate. They say they will not support this or that candidate because of an earlier vote or action. Folks, such reasoning is why we are fearfully watching the current administration’s attempts to eliminate constitutional protections such as the balances of power.

Truthfully, there are candidates listed above that I think have absolutely no business being president. I trust Democrats to do a better job of filtering them out than Republicans did in 2016. But the fact is, any one of them will be an improvement over what we have now.

A final thought: I repeatedly inserted the vice president’s name in my pledge on purpose. I still fully expect things to play out to a point where Trump resigns in an effort to save himself and Pence steps in. Pence, in my estimation, is at least as evil as his boss but more dangerous because he knows better how to work the system. Also, of the Republicans who have fled because of the president, many will come back to support Pence.

It’s popularly stated, “Vote Blue, no matter who.” We must all adopt that attitude now. We need to hear out these 21 candidates, allow their messages to work into the system, maybe affecting other candidates’ positions. Those who are less electable will fall out as others strengthen. Democrats do not need to attack other Democrats; that’s a Trumpian move. Support your favorites and highlight why you do so. Let the system work.

Then …

Wholeheartedly support the Democratic nominee, even if he or she is not your favorite. Support and vote Blue, trusting time to eventually take care of your concerns. We cannot afford for you to sit this one out. We cannot afford you casting a “protest” third-party vote. And you will vote Trump or Pence only if you really want to see how this country will collapse under a dictatorial leadership.

4 responses to “Pick a Dem, any Dem

  1. Mary Perdue Gowins May 7, 2019 at 7:01 am

    “And you will vote Trump or Pence only if you really want to see how this country will collapse under a dictatorial leadership.” Truer words were never written!
    The people in the running for the Democrats are so far above the present pair is astronomical,VOTE BLUE!

    Like

  2. Michelle Domangue May 6, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Very well said!

    Like

  3. Judy May 6, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Amen.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  4. Constance F Brown May 6, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Absolutely!

    Like

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