The time is approaching when Progressives will need to start thinking about coalescing towards the one who will carry our banner in 2020. Should it be a Progressive or a centrist? Who can really beat Donald Trump? Warren? Sanders? Biden?
Two things happened in the last few days that gives Democrats no excuse but to vote what they know is best for us all. New York Times' Bret Stephens appeared on Meet The Press with Chuck Todd advising Democrats that they need to nominate someone willing to appease the mythical center.
The central question for Democrats is nominating someone who is electable, who isn't going to scare off those voters who a Democrat desperately needs. People like Mayor Pete and Elizabeth Warren, and so on are saying, you know, "We have to be a change agent," because really this is a primary fight against Joe Biden and sort of the incumbent frontrunner. But the Democrat who's going to win is going to have to communicate to the American people a sense of sanity, balance, that they're not there to change the system but to reform the system. That's going to be the winning ticket.
Did NBC News Contributor Betsy Woodruff know something many didn't? She sat on the same panel and said that many Democrats believe that they could put up an edible arrangement against Trump and still win. Well if the election were held today, she would likely be right. The Quinnipiac poll corroborates her statement.
A poll from Quinnipiac released on Wednesday shows former Vice President Joe Biden leading over Trump by 16 points among registered voters, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) leads by 14 points, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) by 12 points, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) by 11 points, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg leads him by nine points.
Bernie Sanders does not hide who he is. He has been campaigning as a Democratic Socialist explaining all the ills afflicting Americans today and suggesting broad solutions.
Elizabeth Warren suggests that she recognizes the same ills. But she calls herself a capitalist who would mitigate most of its aberrations with her several plans. In effect, she would redefine capitalism to a system that more effectively serves us all.
Joe Biden is running on a third Obama term effectively unchanged. I am not sure President Obama would run on Obama for a third term. After all, he admired Ronald Reagan as a transformational president albeit a transformation that screwed the poor and middle-class.
I bet if President Obama were running, he would be running on Medicare for All. After all, he once had a single-payer heart before he was forced to acquiesce to a less optimum plan because of many who should have been on his side but were wards to the health industrial complex.
Monikers, labels, names, who cares what you call it if we are ultimately talking about transformational change. Americans want transformational change and that is why enough went outside of the box to elect Trump.
Woodruff made another prescient comment.
"And this is part of the difference between the Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders message and the Joe Biden message," said Woodruff. "Biden is arguing that Trump is the problem. Sanders, Warren, some of the other progressive candidates are arguing that Trump is a symptom of a larger problem."
An older friend and I got into a lengthy discussion about Medicare for All. He is a Biden supporter. He has a friend with cancer who said Medicare declined to give her insulin because her sugar level rise was temporary due to chemo. They are both mad about it and implied it would be different from private insurance. And for that, they do not support Medicare for all. After I explained the Medicare for All was not basic Medicare but something more expansive, he said what is to stop the government from cutting rationing it. It is as if he does not realize that is what private insurance does.
After going back and forth for a while we ended with the following exchange.
Me: BTW, I sometimes find our level of indoctrination by the "MASTER" fascinating however effective. We are supposed to believe that an entity whose fiduciary responsibility is to shareholders who we never have to vote for will somehow do better by us than those who are dependent on our vote. The only reason we have the semblance of that being true is that many politicians are solely owned by the corporate estate as we have dummyfied a population into believing that that makes sense. Self-fulfilling prophecy? That's what so many of us are trying like hell to work on.
Him: Ok, I was sure we would not see this the same way. I am just trying to explain why people who have Medicare don't see it as so wonderful. Most of us over 65 are already on Medicare and don't have an option. We don't have a dog in the fight.
Me: I really get that. My discomfort is two-fold. First, the failure of those who don't like Medicare to understand their complicity in what they don't like about it. And sadly, the selfishness of "me, me, me" even as they are indirectly responsible for what many who cannot afford what they are left with. So yes, I get it quite well. "Most of us over 65 are already on Medicare and don't have an option. We don't have a dog in the fight," In other words, we just don't give a damn. But remember, those of us who are younger just may not give a damn in the long run about the older folks given what they left us. It is a double edge sword brother.
Biden has the support of those who have been made to believe that he is the only candidate that can beat Trump because he will get the working-class vote, read white blue-collar Trumpians. That is a pipe dream. But he has support from people like the friend I describe who have been indoctrinated into the belief that the private sector automatically does things better. But even worse, they don't have as he says, "skin in the game." Luckily the most recent poll substantiates the former as a fallacy.
Many of the problems that ail us predate Trump. And Zerlina Maxwell's statement on the race is even more to-the-point than Woodruff's statement above.
"Elizabeth Warren has essentially done the unique job of laying out a vision with specifics," Maxwell said. "So this is how they would compare. Bernie Sanders is excellent at explaining what the problem is. He is excellent at laying out all the different things that are wrong structurally with this country. And then he stops talking. And I am always listening for solutions and specifics. Elizabeth Warren does not stop talking. She says, 'And here is how I am going to fix it. And here is my plan to fix it.' Kamala Harris also has a verbal tick where she says, 'I don't want to hear you talking about what all the problems are. Tell me what you are going to do about it.' And I think that is the difference in this campaign. And Joe Biden just does not have that vision for, 'This is how I am going to fix the problems in the future with my plans.' He's saying we are just going to go back to the way it was before where I guess the problems disappear, dissolve, become invisible? I don't know."
Looking forward it should be difficult to break this down into a two-person race, both being Progressive. The question is, who best represents us that will bring in coattails to get the job done. I think it is clear. What do you think?