Ordinarily in these emails I try to avoid paying much attention to national politics. It is covered exhaustively in the national news media. We we really need to pay attention to is what’s going on in local government–because that affects us most directly AND it filters upward in coming years, something Republicans know and the rest of us need to re-learn. However, on this day before Super Tuesday, with our Washington State Presidential Primary ballots in hand I need to make an exception.
I recommend three articles:
Adam Jentleson, “Why Don’t We Know Which Democratic Candidate Can Beat Trump?”
Leonard Pitts, “Vote blue, no matter who?” that appeared in the Spokesman at https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2020/feb/17/leonard-pitts-jr-vote-blue-no-matter-who/ but can be found in multiple publications, I think, by googling the title.
David Freedlander, “An Unsettling New Theory: There Is No Swing Voter”
I believe Donald Trump and his Republican Party are a threat to democracy, a step toward autocratic governance with many of the earmarks of the rise of the Nazis in 1930s Germany. Among the many who share my fear I find two camps: one camp that fervently believes a candidate that can beat Trump in November has to play to the middle (e.g. Biden or Bloomberg or Klobuchar) and another camp that is sure that only someone from further left, (e.g. Sanders or Warren) can inspire voters to the polls who otherwise will sit out.
My conclusion: No one knows–and anyone who says they do know is blowing smoke. Even after the election we won’t know, even though a lot of ink and hot air will be spent trying to analyze the meaning of what happened and claim how things would have been different if only we had nominated ____.
For me the three articles I cite above hammer home some of this unsettling uncertainty. Each is worth reading, but even if you do not chose to click and read I want to leave you today with Jentleson’s conclusion (from the first article cited above), with which I agree:
No one can tell us who can beat Mr. Trump, because no one knows.
All we really know is that the last two Democratic presidents to win were dynamic performers on the stump who inspired people with optimism and were able to assemble a broad coalition.
As a potential member of that coalition, the single smartest act of political analysis one can perform may be to step back from the data, and ask yourself a simple question: How do the candidates make me feel?
Keep to the high ground,