Joe Biden still leads, on average, in Iowa. This is perplexing to me. I guess he’s the “safe pick” according to common wisdom. I don’t see it. He’s likable, but I guess that’s it. I suppose the country just wants likable in the wake of terribly unlikable. Likable over good ideas, which neither front runner from either party seems to have. Likable over a real leadership quality, which neither front runner from either party seems to have. Likable over erudition, which neither front runner from either party has, period. Oh, America, you need an education.
Perhaps if we take the exorbitant profits out of long-term learning then within a generation or two we can level up?
Common wisdom is anything but. I talk to people all the time about politics, football, business, the economy, movies, music, climate change, beer-guzzling, guns, fashion, and contrail conspiracy theories, among many other things. The most repeated response – by everyone on every side of every argument ever presented – is that we just need to use more common sense. I always challenge that.
“Whose common sense?” I ask.
Because there’s nothing common about common sense. It’s common sense for one person to think everyone should carry a gun, everywhere, and common sense for another for almost no one to carry a gun anywhere. It’s common sense for one person to accessorize their wardrobe with maximum bling and common sense for another to minimalize. It’s common sense that man is destroying the atmosphere with pollutants and common sense that man can’t possibly do that.
I get the feeling we need some very uncommon sense if we’re going to survive.
But here we are, with Joe Biden in the lead in the Democratic field and Donald Trump still very popular among Republicans. Maybe we ought to automatically exclude the top two vote-getters for a cycle or two until we can sort ourselves out. Lately, we just can’t pick ’em.
I mean, think about it. The second worst presidential candidate of all time beat the first worst presidential candidate of all time by 3 million votes in 2016 so, naturally, we put the first worst candidate of all time in office. Now the one we let in office is already in the conversation as the worst president of all time. Who saw that coming?
My list of favorites for this go around has, as expected, evolved. Harris made that jump after the first debate and seemed an interesting candidate. But the more we learned the less we liked. And then she was gone. Mayor Pete was at the top of my list in July, and still remains in my top 3-5. Warren was #3 and probably still is. Booker jumped ahead of Castro but then both were out. Beto, you remember, came on strong and then fizzled for me. For all of us. He was already #8 on my list by July. Andrew Yang is still my impossible #2.
The biggest evolution in my presidential preference came from a surprising (or not) place. From #6 to #1. Bernie Sanders.
Bernie was the best candidate in a very bad field in 2016. Now he’s the best candidate in a pretty good field, and the best leader for America next. Forget the “safe pick,” let’s start the revolution right now. America needs a more social democracy, sooner rather than later. I’m down with SPC. Our biggest concerns are climate change and economic inequality. We need tougher gun laws. College for all. Legalized marijuana. Racial justice. Equal pay. High tax on extreme wealth. Wall Street reform. The whole enchilada. I’m in.