It’s no secret that there is no way Trump would ever get my vote. He’s emotionally fragile, intellectually bankrupt, and utterly corrupt. He believes that the office of the Presidency is there to serve him rather than the other way around. His trading on public resources to induce foreign powers to meddle in our elections was exactly the kind of thing the Founders were concerned about when they wrote the Constitution. Federalist 68: “Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?”
Also, for good or bad, we have a two party system. If Trump is the Republican nominee, that means the choice is either him or the Democratic nominee. So, if an inanimate carbon rod gets the Democratic nomination, that’s who is getting my vote. Right now, Joe Biden is the Democratic front runner. And he may well come out on top. But I was listening to the latest episode of Dan Carlin’s “Hardcore History.” He’s on part 3 of his series on the rise of Japan in the late 19th century and its subsequent actions in World War II. He describes a scene in December 1941 as the Japanese are taking down a battleship with aircraft. It’s becoming apparent that there’s a new development in warfare. Powerful, expensive ships can be taken down by low cost, easily replaced aircraft. But that’s a bit of an aside. As relevant to the primary, Dan compared the scene to a pack of predators taking down a larger animal bit by bit. As the larger animal takes more damage, it becomes less maneuverable and the pack goes in for the kill. It made me think of the Biden campaign as compared to the pack of other Democratic contenders. Maybe that’s not how it will go — I’m terrible at these sorts of predictions — but that’s the analogy that came to mind.
For my part, I don’t mind Biden, but I like Mayor Pete and Elizabeth Warren. I don’t have strong feelings about Bernie himself, but his online supporters have been fairly off-putting in a way that doesn’t seem nearly so common for supporters of other candidates. In a perfect world, I should be comparing policies, but Presidential campaigns are won or lost on the basis of personalities. The electorate says they care about policy, but when it comes time to vote, they mostly don’t understand the policies and have shaped their understanding of the policies to conform with their personality preferences. I may have better than average understanding of some of these issues, but ultimately, I don’t know enough about the ins and outs of federal laws, rules, and regulations to truly assess the candidates’ plans beyond a pretty superficial level. Nevermind the fact that whatever they propose will have to navigate the legislative process. I’m going to have to trust that the person will do the best they can and will generally make sound decisions.
To me, Buttigieg and Warren have the deepest understanding of the issues. So far as I can tell, they both have the best interests of the country in mind. Last night, Pete gave a speech in Iowa that was very impressive. He’s still a long shot, but it made me think that this election might not be unwinnable for him.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) November 2, 2019
There are thousands of people offering their takes on the Democratic primary, so I’m not sure I’m adding a lot of value to anyone’s day with this. But, writing helps me evaluate my own thinking on the subject, and I don’t feel like I’ve been doing enough writing lately. So, here you go.