Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Gee, golly whiz. Democrats can have a candidate from Delaware or Vermont or Massachusetts.

Recent headlines have indicated that the three leaders in the primary race for the Democratic Party nomination for President are Joe  Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. I know it's early and I shouldn't let it bother me. But the map above illustrates why this is troublesome.

According to Wikipedia:

    The Association of American Geographers divides the Northeast into two divisions: "New England", which consists of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut; and the "Middle States", which consists of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Similarly, the Geological Society of America defines the Northeast as these same states but with the addition of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

In other words, the three candidates doing best in the polls represent one region of the United States. And not only that, they don't represent the most populous states in that region such as New York or Pennsylvania.

What's even more problematic is that in the recent polls they're the preferred choice of 60% of Democrats at about 20% each  - Biden, Sanders, and Warren.

Then the headline to right appeared. I have two problems with that headline. First California is not "left-leaning."

Two candidates in the Democratic contest are from California - Kamala Harris and Tom Steyer. Steyer is a billionaire idiot. Bay Area Congressman Eric Swalwell threw his had into the ring, but already has pulled it out. Harris is the only Californian that has a chance based on current polls. But as the only candidate to win statewide elections in California - for Attorney General and for U.S. Senator, she has far too much executive experience for people who think Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would make a good President - the President, an executive, not a legislator.

All of which raises an interesting question about that headline. What "left-leaning" California??? Historically, our Legislature, Governors, and courts have behaved in a "progressive" fashion trying to provide such things as an education and health care for the children in our communities. As noted here we are making a significant effort at some cost to deal with Climate Change. And we don't pretend not to know that post-Mexican-American-War California is an occupied portion of Mexico.

Still, I suppose Biden's problem in California is his attitudes are well to the right of our last Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (read When a Good Public Education Becomes a Constitutional Right).  And like Trump he doesn't drink, at all, not even California wines.

If you look at the map at the top you might note that Biden's Delaware only cast 53% of its vote for Clinton in 2016. Delaware is not "right-leaning" but its population's political outlook is most certainly far less progressive than California's.

The fact is Joe Biden was born in Pennsylvania, adjacent to Delaware. He spent 10 years there as a kid, then moved to Delaware where he has lived for the past 66 years. That certainly indicates a pretty narrow living experience if you look at the map above.

While Bernie Sanders has lived the last 51 of his 77 years in Vermont, at least he lived in New York where he was born and Chicago where he went to college. And, of course, he lived in a Stalinist kibbutz in Israel (no, not just one of the many communist ones, but a Stalinist one).

Warren, of course, was born in Oklahoma City and lived in Oklahoma through high school. Over her 70 years she also has lived in Texas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and, of course, Washington, D.C. At least she has lived west of the Mississippi River in Republican states.

But the real question here is can't Democrats find some candidates who don't represent tiny states in the Northeast? And how about finding some candidates who have, within their states, through leadership established policies they've advocated. Good grief. Vermont has not implemented significant policies advocated by Bernie like tuition-free college. What has Bernie accomplished in his 77 years? And Warren. She's got vast detailed policy proposals. Are they based on some policies implemented due to her political successes over her 70 years? And Biden is 76. It's known as Obamacare, not Bidencare.

In the meantime, as the Amazon forests burn and Greenland's glaciers disappear, this headline appeared last weekend Democratic National Committee votes against allowing 2020 candidates to participate in Climate Change debate.

As a Californian ...well... this is a little hard to take...

...because what it means is that our politicians are used to dealing with much more complex situations. California is geographically huge, with the highest and lowest places in the Continental 48 States, an extensive coastline with complex oceanic habitats, etc.  We have the largest population with about 40 million people, 39% of whom are Hispanic, 37% Non-Hispanic White, 15% Non-Hispanic Asian, 5% Non-Hispanic Black, 4% Other; we have more Hispanics than any other state, more Asians than any other state, and we have more Hispanics that the total population of any other state and more Non-Hispanic Whites than the total population of any other state; our Non-Hispanic Asian population and our Non-Hispanic Black population each far exceed to total populations of Delaware and Vermont.

So not being impressed with the 70+ years of experience of the three candidates is where I have to be. In fact 37-year-old Pete Buttigieg has more government executive experience than those three, along with military experience (yeah, the President heads the military not equal pay policy making),  and offers more coherent informed answers to questions.

Andrew Yang, 44, a private sector executive who lacks government experience, offers some good insight into the future the others do not and stated bluntly to Politico senior staff writer Michael Kruse “We are basically fucked,unless we un-fuck ourselves, systematically and collectively.” If you're interested in someone talking about what will matter over the period of 2021 to 2029 (two Presidential terms)  read The Surprising Surge of Andrew Yang.

Yang has, of course, proposed a universal basic income of $1,000 a month to balance 21st Century job displacement due to automation and technology. Bernie Sanders criticized that saying a jobs guaranteed program would be better. ""There are an enormous amount of work that has to be done all the way from child care to health care to education to rebuilding our infrastructure to combating climate change to dealing with our growing elderly population," Sanders explained.

Yang tweeted back:

Bernie ignores the facts that money in our hands would 1) create hundreds of thousands of local jobs and 2) recognize and reward the nurturing work being done in our homes and communities every day. He also assumes that everyone wants to work for the government which isn’t true.
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) August 27, 2019

Those of us who administered funds from The Comprehensive Employment and Training Act  (CETA) of 1973 which designed to train chronically unemployed and under-employed workers and provide them with jobs in the public service know that it doesn't really address long-term problems and is marginal even in terms of short-term impacts. People need to learn to work in the private sector. Sanders' idea is to reinvent the square wheel.

Yang's basic income idea is currently being tested in Stockton, California, as explained in What would a universal basic income mean for America? Stockton thinks it has the answer. It's an idea being implemented at the urging and direction of 29-year-old Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. Skeptics abound, but not 44-year-old Yang nor 37-year-old Buttigieg.

It's going to take a new kind of thinking if we want to give our children and grandchildren a chance in an economy dominated by artificial intelligence (AI) functioning in a world struggling with the turmoil of Climate Change.

Democrats need to start looking at candidates who can offer that new kind of thinking. They aren't going to be 70-year-old+ politicians from the tiniest states of the Northeast. Take another look at that map. It's a big country full of younger people out there.

Biden, Sanders or Warren? This is who the majority of Democrats currently want to lead them into the future of the 21st Century??? Or are they allowing their hatred of Donald Trump to completely overpower any rational judgement?

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