August 4, 2019,
Hubris and I watched the candidates expressions and listened carefully to every word of their so-called ‘debates’ Tuesday evening. Then, we turned the TV off before the talking heads could do their interpretations of the content. We discussed the exchanges briefly and then made our decisions. We had no trouble concluding that the winners of the first night of the second mud-slinging series were: Elizabeth Warren with Bernie Sanders a very close second on the liberal side, and Amy Klobuchar, John Hickenlooper and Pete Buttigieg, in that order, from the more conservative side. I want to give Marianne Williamson, the spirituality guru, credit as the first candidate to bring the element of ‘Morality’ into play in this contest. As she and I have been proclaiming for a very long time, our country lost its Moral Compass a long time ago and unless we find and reinstate it soon, little else will really matter. She deserves a place on the future debate stages if for no other reason than to remind the contestants, and the electorate, that our country has a moral basis for its existence and that the elements of faith, hope and charity must replace those of lust, avarice and greed in our present government—or we are lost!
Hubris warned me ahead of time about having overly high expectations for Wednesday’s debates. Maybe he was still mad about my referencing Donald Trump’s character to a horse’s hind-quarters but (no pun intended) he was definitely prescient in his warning. Only Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand stood out for having both substance and emotion in their presentations. Kamal Harris seemed insecure (she had that ‘deer in the headlights’ look) at first but grew slightly stronger as the night wore on for what seemed like 6 hours instead of 3. And Biden, in my opinion, didn’t move the needle. He is the same relatively slow thinking, often tongue twisted, nice guy but soft politician Joe Biden we remember from the Obama years. We shouldn’t expect him to change enough to meet the requirements for the office of president he didn’t meet years ago. If facial beauty was the key criterion for election to the office, Tulsi Gabbard would get my vote in a nano second. She did have positions of substance and military experience but her delivery lacked emotion. Andy Yang finally found his voice but his key platform concept (giving a thousand dollars a month to all Americans above the age of 18 yearly) seems a bit of a reach (for publicity, not reason) to me. If I had to pick my top five winners in that contest, I would, somewhat reluctantly, choose the following: Booker, Gillibrand, Castro, Biden, and Harris. Gabbard would get to continue because she is a joy to look at and does know how to speak and think. All in all, too many of the contestants in Wednesday’s contest lacked the fire in their bellies that will be needed to defeat Donald Trump and lead our country out of the chaos created by his Presidency and the present members of the Republican Party—but any of them would be a better President than Donald Trump.
Unfortunately, I don’t pay any attention to the DNC ‘rules’ for which candidates will be allowed to continue on the DNC’s national stage for this contest. The reason why I don’t pay attention to their rules is that I detest the fact that ‘money’ is the key factor in determining the DNC nomination contest and our government. Not character, platform, ability to reason, ethics, or ability to govern, much less the ability to debate. I had the misfortune to turn the TV on when some fool was slobbering his ‘political wisdom’ all over the stage and I wondered who in the hell let this idiot loose in the Fox theatre just before the debate was to begin. It turned out that he was the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee! His very emotionally delivered message was, “If you are a true believer and want to win, send money!” So, the candidates who have received the most contributions and who have raised the most money usually go forward. If the Democrat Party was truly democratic, the electorate would get to choose which candidates go forward. The electorate shouldn’t have to pay for their preferred candidate to remain in the contest.
Because there is also a ‘position in the national polls’ factor in which candidates qualify for continuing in the debate series, I suppose the DNC considers that element a sufficient ‘electorate opinion’ factor. However, given the fact that the early polls are usually meaningless in relation to the final selection, I don’t give them much credence and the DNC shouldn’t either. The last structural ‘wiggle’ indicating that the DNC nomination contest rules are equivalent to a basket of snakes is that they are constantly changing. If they were fair and truly democratic in the first place they wouldn’t need to be changed as often as a baby’s diapers. Continuing that simile, we need to get money out of politics as fast as a baby’s dirty diapers need changing! That means NOW!
In my opinion, the worst element in all of the debates thus far was not the candidates’ lack of a coordinated platform or their presumed need to demean one another to move ahead. Instead, it was that the most important issues now facing our country were either totally ignored or hardly even discussed by any of the candidates. As I was listening to their blabber, I began to wonder if any of them ever looked out the window, talked to real people or listened to the news—other than FOX news. Question; how many candidates or how often did a candidate talk about the terrible income disparity now tearing our social fabric to pieces, or the level of world, federal, and personal debt now hanging like a giant block of meteoric concrete over the world economic order, or the threats of expanded war, including nuclear war, in Asia and the Middle East? Yes, we need a President who has the brains and guts to see that our government installs a national health care program and a national education policy to fix our over-priced and under-performing health care and education systems as well as a national immigration policy where none exists today, but we critically need a President who is capable of restoring a level economic playing field for all Americans, leading us through the next Great Depression (which I think is coming very soon) and reducing the possibility of nuclear war and ending the current wars in the Middle East. That’s the candidate I’m looking for. I don’t see one to satisfy what I believe are our critical needs at this time. Hubris hasn’t found one either.
Fortunately, Hubris doesn’t seem mad at me anymore. He even suggested we go for our Sunday evening ride. So, I saddled up and with a hearty Hi Ho Hubris, Aawaay! we are off the ranch property and onto the ditch bank along the Rio Grande, hoping to get our brief ride completed before the summer evening monsoon rains kick in.
Copyright August 4, 2019, Louis J. Christen