The State of the Race -- Politics 2020

We've made it through Super Tuesday. My turn to vote comes this upcoming Tuesday. Fortunately, I didn't vote early so I can choose between the remaining candidates. Like many, I've been waiting to see who makes it this far. Several of the candidates I liked have either long ago dropped out or chose to do so before Super Tuesday. Now, unless Elizabeth Warren stays in, the choices are down to two -- Bernie and Joe.

I've been watching responses to the winnowing down of the candidates with interest. What remains is essentially a choice between traditional Democrats (Joe) and insurgent Democrats (Bernie). My sense is that while Elizabeth Warren is progressive, she is rooted in the existing party. So, it will be interesting to see what she does going forward. I don't envy her as she is really in a no-win situation. While Warren wasn't among my top choices, I am saddened that while we started out the Democratic primary run with a really diverse group of candidates we are down to two white men over the age of 75 (Sorry Tulsi Gabbard, but you're not a factor in any of this).

My hope is that voters will take into consideration the situation at hand. What is needed at this moment in time? I will admit that I'm not a revolutionary. Revolutions rarely work out well. Too often they lead to violence. So, I approach the situation with caution. I also approach the situation with a number of concerns in mind. There is first of all the fate of the Supreme Court. There are two older justices that likely will step away in the next few years. Who will choose their replacements? There are our international relationships which have been frayed over the past few years. Who will best restore those relationships? Who is more likely to retain a House majority and possible Senate majority? These are questions that need to be considered, not just who the President is, but how our choices determine many other things.

While my first choice, long ago, was Kamala Harris and then Amy Klobucher, I'm down to Joe and Bernie. As you can see, I'm going to vote for Joe. I've always liked him. He seems genuine and empathetic, two qualities that the current President lacks. Is he older than I'd like, yes, he is. I lay some of the blame on a Democratic electorate that has neglected the farm system. We don't have many governors to draw from. Perhaps in a few years my governor, Gretchen Whitmer, will be a standard-bearer. Stacey Abrams could be the VP candidate come November, or she might run again and this time claim the governorship of Georgia. I've long believed that the key to success starts locally, with city councils and county commissions, as well as state legislatures. But unfortunately, we don't turn out in large numbers for such elections. The other night it was noted that LA was having problems with their voting systems, in large part due to turnout. Since only 20% of voters turned out for the mayoral election, they weren't ready for such a large turnout. Perhaps if more came out for a mayoral election things would have been different.

If you're a Democrat, and your state has yet to vote, I would encourage you to think carefully on this vote. If you vote differently from me, that is your choice. I have to make my choice in a way that reflects my values, my hopes, and my dreams. While it doesn't seem as if a woman or person of color or someone who is gay or lesbian or transgender will be elected President this cycle, I hope one of these possibilities occurs soon.

Finally, if you're a person of faith, I would encourage you to consider how your faith tradition influences your world view? As a follower of Jesus, I must take into consideration his call to love my neighbor (a call that is rooted in Torah). At the same time, I am a realist, and so I have to make the best choice possible with the available choices at hand, knowing what the longterm future holds. I will close with a plug for my book Faith in the Public Square, where I wrestle with many of these issues.


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