THE 2020 DEMOCRATS:
As exciting as broccoli.
But Each One a healthy choice
ABOUT LAST NIGHT’S Democratic presidential debate, I realized this morning that if dogs had the vote, I absolutely, in no way, under no circumstances, would relish voting for Joe Biden.
For starters, I just don’t like him. Do you? Be honest. His only claim to fame is fame. People know his name. Not because he’s smarter, bolder, braver than anyone else who’s running. He was Barack Obama’s vice president and good buddy. That’s it.
But I’d vote for Joe Biden.
The same reason I eat the kibble that My Humans plop down in front of the kitchen radiator, a warm space, even if the food isn’t so hot.
I eat things I don’t like to stay alive. And I’d vote for Joe Biden to keep democracy alive.
Think of this year’s crop of Democratic candidates as vegetables. They aren’t the first thing most of us would look for on any menu. But they are good for you. And when you’re a grownup, it’s what you do. You eat your broccoli, your carrots, celery and your kibble.
Consider the annoying Food Pyramid, which has been put out in various forms over the years. Most of the structure is stuff you don't look forward to, while right at the tippy-top, which can be seen only with binoculars, is a tiny, juice steak.
While Donald Trump has been feeding his supporters red meat for the last three years, we all expected the Democrats would produce a sumptuous candidate – a rare Franklin D. Roosevelt, a high-protein Jack Kennedy, a refreshing Barack Obama.
*** (See note at the end of story about revisions in the above paragraph.) ***
The Democrats who took to the debate stage last night constituted an all vegetarian crew, and not in great variety.
It’s a letdown. But it’s reality. And we’re going to have to act like responsible grownups and do the right thing. We're going to have to select one of them.
You’re turning up your nose, aren’t you? Phoebe’s being an ageist. You’d think a liberal could do better. But let’s not pretend. We all start off young, then we die and the final years aren’t pretty.
Sure, some people age more slowly and better than others. But face facts. Can Joe stay the course another four years, or will we be actually be voting for his vice president, again someone not the most savory choice, since that will be Joe's decision?
Age aside, Joe Biden is so yesterday. He doesn’t have a clue about the urgency of climate change or how to address the looming loss of jobs in tomorrow’s robot economy, or what to do with an increasingly frightening and technologically repressive China.
Still, I’d vote for Joe Biden in a New York minute. He means well; has lots of experience; and we’d be lucky to have him, considering the nauseous alternative.
Sanders is even older. He’s already 78 and when sworn in, he’ll be 79. Then there’s that heart attack thing last year; no chance of that happening again....
My real problem with Sanders is that I simply cannot imagine him in the White House. It’s that Mad Professor show he puts on. All that shouting and waving his arms around, the crazy white hair. Which is unfair and childish on my part, and I really do know better.
There’s a lot to admire about Sanders. No empty calories. He’s inspired a new generation of voters, and for good reason. The socialist makes a lot of sense. I mean, who doesn’t want to go to the vet or the doctor when necessary and not have to take out a second mortgage?
Of course, I’d vote for Bernie.
Same with Pete Buttigieg. I liked him when he was a fresh face, and he was very funny as a guest on the NPR comedy new quiz show, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell.” But the trouble with today’s news cycle is that it moves so fast that fresh faces also wilt fast.
Plus, there’s the age thing, in the other direction. He may not be ripe enough. On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, he’ll be 39, and that’s only because the day before will be his birthday. Yes, he’s been a mayor, but a mayor of What?
I’d vote for Mayor Pete. He's smart beyond his years, easy on the ears and compares well to his peers.
Elizabeth Warren is more to my taste. I didn’t like her at first, until I did, and then I didn’t so much. And now I’m liking her again, even though she’s 70, getting up there, but not like Joe and Bernie. She has a whole lot of energy. Lots of plans. Learns and teaches at the same time.
I PREFER AMY KLOBUCHAR. I don’t know why, exactly. She got a nice manner, except when she needs to get tough with an opponent. Nice and tough. Good combination; some protein mixed in with the vegetables, I’d say. Nicely aged, too, at 59, with lots of experience under her belt - 13 years as a U.S. senator.
But if go back to our pyramid image, this one rooted on popularity, my favorites are pretty much in inverse order: Joe’s on top at 27 percent, according to Real Clear Politics polling averages; Bernie’s at 19; Liz, 16; the Mayor, 7; and Amy, with just 3. (You’re wondering about the sixth debater, Tom Steyer – vegetable, animal or mineral, he’s too rich for my taste).
The Democrats have cooked up a vegetable stew.
I’d be happy to take your place at the table, if I had the right to vote, thankful to have some wholesome choices. And I hope that I’d do justice to the privilege of acting like a grownup and do what’s good for me and great for the country.
Donald Trump is a disaster.
His second term will be a catastrophe.
So I hope you’ll put any reservations aside and go out to vote.
Vote for Joe. Vote for Bernie. Liz, Pete or Amy.
And your reward?
He or she will be our best chance to save the planet, rescue democracy and live to a long and healthy old age.
(The wording of the paragraph indicated by three asterisks *** has been revised to eliminate a gratuitous reference to Barack Obama's race. CLICK here to read a fuller discussion in a separate post.)