Politics are as fickle as human beings. Most are swayed by a moment or a thought that a bandwagon has formed and as it passes by they join. Very little thought goes into making a decision–I should qualify that: less thought than one thinks–for a candidate. Most go with a gut feeling in the end, putting that over rational thought. It was this gut feeling that led a few thousand scattered across 3 states–many included women–who felt, not thought, that in order to rid the swamp they must vote for the outsider. They did not know that the swamp monster had verily fooled them–how on earth does a thinking being choose to elect the swamp monster to get rid of the swamp? The monster will not only rule the swamp, he will revel in continuing to wreak havoc within it–getting rid of it would only insure self annihilation.
The politics of telegenic charm still wins over folks. It contributes to voters forming a gut feeling for a candidate–one that will remain with them more strongly than any sound argument all the way to the voting booth on election day. All of this commentary is merely an opinion, predictive in some aspects, not beholden to polls.
So, gut feeling #1: Democrats will NOT choose another older white man as the head of the ticket, regardless of how centrist most voters are. This leaves us with the quandary of having so called leftist politics of the Sanders-Warren nature, see-saw/wavering/pandering Harris politics, and the calm/thoughtful politics of Pete.
Cadence and rhythm of speech also play to the gut feelings of voters–what any one of them say and how they say it can have a lasting impact, positive or negative. This is why the frankness and straight forward nature of Yang is appealing to some, it most certainly does not generate any negatives–the other side of the balance to weigh in. For Williamson, who wears her heart on her sleeve, the appeal of her frankness in the age of Trump is refreshing and it is only comical to those human beings who live life on the surface, with little or no dedicated interior spiritual query or practice, viewing this as nonsensical and unnecessary; for these folks the face value of existence is all they will ever experience: core family, education, success, marriage, house, work, kids, retirement, death, roughly in that order.
Booker‘s amazing heart I thought would bode well, but after Harris’ dis on Biden seemingly working, he now thinks his approach should be different–which I slightly disagree. I do not think that his cadence and rhythm of speech sound comforting or genuine, I find myself looking more at his facial gestures than listening to what he is saying sometimes. I often feel that I am being yelled at or feel that he is worked up about something. (Warren manages to be worked up about something, you see it in her eyes, in a seemingly calm way and then manages to land thoughtful one liners.)
I did not know how Beto was on the campaign trail until recently–I was certainly rooting for him when he was going against Cruz, I just had not bothered to see him on TV. He comes off as awkward, unprepared, misinformed, but with a good heart. He is way too jumpy while delivering his message and I cannot believe that his advisors have not been able to make him stop that. For that reason alone, complete non starter there. Oh well.
Tulsi came off as angry, whether she was defending herself, or suing for her media account being shut off momentarily. Gillibrand did not seem to have a brand that set her apart enough from the rest of the pack and in a leftist stage, her past votes/supports will come back to haunt her perhaps. Insley was charming, on message but after 2 debates I did not come away convinced that he himself was convinced that he would win the nomination.
Which brings me to an aside of sorts that I have not noticed too much of so far, except from Warren or Buttigieg, and that is sounding or coming across as presidential. True leaders know unequivocally when their time is right. They know who their true adversaries are and are comfortable knowing that they are not bigger than their darkest of selves that they have mastered and dominated. The best leaders have more than a desire to lead but they already know how to get there and what needs to be done–whether it is coming up with policy proposals or taking selfies, or amassing a war chest and securing a path to a nomination, or hiring the best to help them communicate their message. They also know that they are imperfect and dealing with the trials and tribulations of campaigning can be daunting and take its toll as well as knowing when you are wrong. Most specifically, the true leader out of this pack must persevere in the practice of gnothi seauton, knowing thyself. Only then will you be able to best serve your country and all it’s citizens in forging a path forward beyond the nomination and unto taking the darkest of forces awakened by Trump. What can be darker than having a president that has derided women, people with disabilities, members of his own party, sets of human beings, other peoples and world leaders, and assaulted the environment itself. (What is darker perhaps are those human beings that embrace their shadow self and vote for him.)
The candidates so far, partially due to the large field, are too enmeshed in policy specifics but I trust that one or two true leaders will emerge with a message that speaks to one’s gut and makes one say: this is the one. Back to candidate examination.
Klobuchar can make a rise once the field narrows down if she is able to stick around. She is in charge of a path that is successful for democrats in red areas and she is able to deliver this message best in a warm, engaging, honest manner. Castro has an unbending self confidence that is presidential and the time will come for him in the future. (The rest of the pack not mentioned should drop off for the benefit of the party.)
While Bernie may not be telegenic, he is able to communicate an honesty not frequently seen. He has decades fighting for peace and justice and because of this unwavering, indefatigable fight, I will always regard him as one of my heroes. I was his supporter in the last election and I feared that emails would come back to haunt Hillary. They did.
Biden‘s gaffes will seem nothing compared to what comes out of Trumps mouth or tweets. Nevertheless, this coupled with his age can make him seem not up to the task of defeating Trump. I did not used to feel this way. After the debates, I felt he was unprepared, not well versed on current issues, and he was off message, just dying for the 30 seconds to go off. That is not the sign of a true leader, regardless of his love of country. Also, name recognition in polls does not equal to actual votes eventually cast.
My feelings about Harris were kind of cemented on the town hall debates in March. She is the candidate to beat on telegenic charm: the big eyes, the warm smile, her successful ways of making one feel that she is having a one on one while she is actually talking to a nation. Her desire to surreptitiously try to make one like her is an asset, especially when wanting to connect with voters (like in a jury.)
Where it came off as disingenuous was when she was asked during a CNN ton hall about felons having the right to vote–and the answer to this question I think appropriately frames my top 4 candidates(Bernie, Warren, Harris, Pete.) Bernie in his recorded leftist manner said that yes they should. I think that Warren back then agreed. Harris wanted to have a conversation about it. Pete straightforwardly said no and followed by saying that when they have paid their debt to society they definitely should.
My takeaways were that Bernie and Warren were too leftist(Warren now wants to have a conversation about it,) Harris faltered and made it seem that she did not want nor was ready to speak her mind, controversy or not. That is not the sign of a true leader.
Pete, however, with perhaps the least amount of governing experience was able to neither falter nor fail. He showed a fearlessness that only true leaders possess. This was again shown when he was asked about the lack of diversity of his police force. He could not get it done he said. What this showed was accountability and that he was not going to play the blame game–because he could have: he could have talked about the firing of his black police chief, or the hard task of other cities in doing so, and he could have deflected blame in many other ways. He did not.
Warren came off as boring during town hall meetings on CNN. I felt that I was being lectured at and after a couple of minutes I stopped listening. The debate setup benefited her because she had to surmise the key components of her platform and her smart team was able to coach her on it effectively. She has taken tons of selfies. She does not come across as haughty/indignant as Hillary sometimes did. She is kind of folksy. She is smart. On TV she comes across almost as the little grandma that could, that she is not to be messed with, that she will talk to you about the complex permutations of a policy decision. She has a love for this country emblazoned in every campaign step she takes and in every speech she gives. She wants this. And she is ready for it. When Bernie asked her is she was going to run last time around and she declined and he said he then would; this time Bernie should bow out at some point and let her represent them. He will eventually, he just doesn’t want to let his supporters down, it’s kind of like carrying a baby and once it is asleep one quietly tries to place the baby in the crib so there is no crying.
Warren will have to contend with Trump. The thought of it, how dirty he will get. Will “Pocahontas” come back to haunt her as emails did to Hillary? Will her gender and will he stalk her on stage as he did with Hillary? Will he be able to indelibly paint her as a far leftist candidate that will do away with all guns, all wealth, and intrinsically un-american? She will have to get muddy in this cat fight for it is certainly Trump’s election to lose.
END OF PART 1