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Some Perspective From An Older Progressive Voter on Democratic Presidential Primaries.

3 min read

OK.  Some folks on Daily Kos are getting bent out of shape about their candidate for president catching flack.  And I’m reading and hearing how divisive this all is for Democrats.  Some talking heads are bringing up that Democrats always beat up on their front runners or simply “shoot their wounded.”  I’ve been a political junkie since the late 70’s, and I got my chance to vote in my first presidential election in 1984.  Obviously, I was there during previous debacles such as in 2000 and 2016.  I can remember lots of frothing at the mouth by folks who thought Gore was a major sellout.  And you don’t have to go far to know that Sander supporters — I voted for Bernie in the primary — were still pissed off about Hillary Clinton’s campaign.   Therefore, can I impart what little bit of wisdom I have on this topic?

We have not had ONE VOTE yet in the Democratic primaries, so could we all take a deep breath? 

This ain’t June of 2020.  Consequently, I think we can still have a debate about who Democrats wants as their eventual nominee.  And while supporters of this candidate are going after supporters of that candidate, the actual candidates have been very polite, especially compared to past campaigns.  No one is threatening to run as independent among the Democrats.  Personal attacks have not happened.

Yes, the stakes for our democracy in 2020 are incaculable.  I think most on Daily Kos agree with that.  And it is because the stakes are in high Earth orbit that we all want to find the best candidate to defeat Trump.  But we shouldn’t just want to beat Trump.  We have to defeat Republicans in the Senate and plot a course for our future.  

But I am getting a sense from some that Democrats must somehow put aside our poltical debates and just get an “electable” candidate NOW! 

I know I am not crazy saying that because I just read a diary to stop the circular firing squad.

I’ve seen circular firing squads after many of Democratic losses in the past.  But have we already lost and no one told me?  If that is the case, there is no circular firing squad.  

What we are having instead is a debate about the issues.  And if your candidate has a voting record, he/she is going to have that examined.  Yes, we are all going to get passionate.  And verbal punches are going to thrown around by supporters.  Hell, I’ve done it.

But I have never sat out an election because my favored candidate didn’t get the nomination.  Here is my list of the candidates I have supported that have not gotten the nod:

  • Gary Hart in 1984.
  • Joe Biden in 1988.
  • No one in 1992 was my favorite, and I pulled the lever for Clinton in the primary because there was no one else by then.
  • Bill Bradley in 2000.
  • Howard Dean in 2004.
  • Hillary Clinton in 2008.
  • Bernie Sanders in 2016

Yeah, great political judgment on my part.  But I voted for all the Democratic nominees.  One thing to keep in mind with most of the races is that Democrats relentlessly bitched that “We really do not have many choices!”

We have a mind boggling number of choices in this election!  

But now that we have choices, choices, and more choices, we are to be panicked into picking the most “electable” candidate?  Could we please at least see the candidates in a debate first?  If my candidate burns out, yes, I will be bummed.  But I have been bummed plenty of times.

We have time to debate and choose a Democratic candidate.  

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