Hmm, haven’t checked in on the 2020 election for a while. Wonder how that’s going?
The big picture looks the same as it did last January. Trump’s approval rating remains dismal, and according to Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com, the Democrats hold a 6.2 percent edge in the generic Congressional ballot, close to the 6.7 percent margin they won by last year. So right now it’s reasonable to believe the Democrats will win the presidency and House of Representatives. But the Senate will likely remain controlled by the Republicans and that embodiment of everything wrong with American politics, Mitch McConnell.
Which is one of many reasons I’m not for Joe Biden. He’s under the delusion that in the event of a second straight national defeat, the Republicans will smack their heads in collective epiphany and cry, “We’ve been wrong all these years, we need to start working with the Democrats!”
I’m also not for Bernie Sanders. Sorry to be ageist, but I think he’s too old for the job.
There are six Democrats I’m considering (although I’ll vote for any of the others, except perhaps Tulsi Gabbard, if they get the nomination) and the New York Times recently asked them the same 18 questions. I keyed in on the three questions I consider most important:
- Do you think it’s possible for the next president to stop climate change?
- Does anyone deserve to have a billion dollars?
- What do you do to relax?
My own answers are (1) it will take more than just the next president to slow climate change, much less stop it, (2) no, and (3) in my case the better question would be “what do you do that’s in any way purposeful?”
In alphabetical order, here are the six Democrats I’m considering and their answers:
Cory Booker: (1) “It’s not going to be one person in one office — it has to be a movement, a renewed commitment in our country and across this planet.” (2) “I’m bothered when people don’t understand that they have an obligation to use their best measure of devotion, of resources, to sacrifice for the common good.” (3) “I’m sort of a bit of a movie and TV addict.”
Pete Buttigieg: (1) “This is a generational project. It’s going to have to be a national project.” (2) “I’m not sure anybody cosmically or morally deserves to have a billion dollars, but I don’t hold it against them.” (3) “Well, Game of Thrones was a pretty big part of how Chasten and I unplug. So we’re going to be needing a new TV addiction.”
Kamala Harris: (1) “There’s no question that the next president has within her capacity to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” (2) “If they earn it and work hard for it, sure.” (3) “I cook. I love to cook. I just chop, chop, chop.”
Jay Inslee: (1) “Victory is the only option against climate change, because without victory there is not survival.” (2) “I don’t know how to call it ‘deserve.’ ‘Deserve’ is in the eye of the beholder.” (3) “I am on my bicycle as much as I can.”
Elizabeth Warren: (1) “I believe that the opportunities for the next president are enormous. We can show worldwide leadership.” (2) “When kids are struggling with a trillion and a half dollars in student debt, then I got a lot of problems with billionaires who are not paying their fair share.” (3) “Bruce and I walk Bailey.”
Andrew Yang: (1) “I don’t believe that the president can put a halt to climate change, given that the United States only accounts for 15 percent of global emissions, but we can take dramatic steps to combat it.” (2) “Do I think there’s something intrinsically wrong, there being billionaires in the world? No, I do not.” (3) “And what’s fun to hang out with them [his kids, presumably] is that they have no clue their father is running for president.”
Inslee comes closest to the answers I’m looking for, but can I support an avid bicyclist after all the times I’ve nearly been run over by one? More to the point, can a low-key, white male, Western governor with no name recognition galvanize the Democratic base, win the nomination, and beat Trump? I want someone who can both campaign and govern. I’m not sure Inslee is up to the first.
The good news is I don’t need to choose yet. The California primary isn’t until March. So I will continue to check in occasionally — and pray the Democrats don’t screw this up.