Are We Too Dumb for Democracy?

Every spring more than 20,000 high schools have a prom, and tradition calls for each choosing a prom queen and king. These royals don’t do much of anything, aside riding around the stadium in a big car while the queen clutches a dozen roses. They certainly don’t get to declare war, make policy or even change the school colors.

Every four years, America elects a president. It might be four years between the anxiousness of election night, but the campaigning is endless and the popularity polls can make a person dizzy.

In 2020, a veteran politician of more than fifty years defeated a one-term populist whose main goal was to change government and disrupt what he and his cronies call the “administrative state.” Just like Teddy Roosevelt, the populist loved the power, fame and financial rewards of being the leader of the free world. We all know the players. Joe Biden turned 81 on November 11, 2023 and will most likely run against former president Donald Trump in November of 2024. Both sides are saying the other side’s guy is too old, and some even say the populist is batshit crazy but we will have an election, nonetheless.

Trump has dreams of repeating something that has only been achieved once before, winning a second term after taking one off. Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of the United States also holds that crown. According to his own statements, if elected to a second term Donald Trump will demand an enormous crown for his large, narcissistic head. He plans a vindictive second term with an administration filled with loyal sycophants who will deconstruct democracy as we know it.

Now, reliable research and polling clearly shows younger voters have fallen for the cause célèbre that is Trump and will indeed vote for him. At this point, we don’t even know who the Donald’s Vice President will be. Could he name his New York son, Don Jr.? That aside, I’m pretty sure that should Trump get into power again he will never leave.

The position of vice president is a training ground for the top job. Fifteen veeps have gone on to become president and, very importantly, eight succeeded to the office upon the death of a president. So, the health of a president is as important as the confidence in the vice president. People are hyper critical of current Vice President Kamala Harris, but a long look at history will show you that most USA Vice Presidents did very little while in office.

FDR changed VPs like some people change shoes, and it was always for political reasons. We have become a bit too afraid of appearing weak by replacing people, but perhaps we should take a lesson from business where changing a player is often the best way to propel growth. A board of directors will hail a shake up at the top, especially when a more positive future clearly comes into view. 

The tough love here is simple and blunt. Kamala Harris is not ready to be president, and short of the worst thing happening to Joe she will never reach that office. She was a tough prosecutor and brilliant in her questioning during Senate hearings, but she’s apolitical and a dud in office.

I used to think we were making progress, but we are so tribal and myopic we literally cannot see the forest from the trees. While the forests are burning, there are still those who think climate change is a hoax. We have people running for president who are making anti-medicine, anti-vaccines and anti-CDC positions a part of their platforms. It’s a damn popularity contest of numbness. People want to be president because of the fame and power, not because they have an altruistic desire to help our country.

You either play this game the way it is or you need to get out of the way. Tell the people the truth, but also listen to what they are saying back at you. Trump is too fucking crazy, Biden is too old, Kennedy is too stupid, Haley is a reasonable thinker but just another politician, plus she’s NOT WHITE and a WOMAN. I’m not saying that to be myopic, racist or misogynistic. I am simply explaining how middle America thinks and feels — with the feeling part being more important than poll results.

DeSantis is a little, whiny “trumper” without a personality. The other Indian American on the stage is a lunatic billionaire who is one step away from sounding like Elon Musk. Chris Christie wouldn’t be a bad president, but he too would have to deal with the far-right of his party who would challenge him at every turn. With Mike Johnson as the Speaker of the House, we might as well have Jerry Falwell in charge of laws. The next president must be a leader, not a demigod.

Joe Biden can beat Trump, but the country needs to see what the future might look like to get out of this close-minded, mean and manipulative state. The Democratic party has a strong bench, with folks like J. B. Pritzker of Illinois, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gavin Newsom of California and several other strong state leaders and politicians. It’s time to trot one of them out and let the American people get to know them.

Pritzker, Whitmore, Newsome

The Democratic party doesn’t need to kick the old man to the curb, but they need to start to plan for the future. If you want to win an election and beat the pyromaniac Trump and his anti-democratic far-right, you cannot worry about the blowback from the far-left. Should you lose, the loonies on the left will be the first to blame you and the party for not acting sooner. While they are worrying about trans bathrooms, and whether Palestinians share any blame in the horrific crisis in Israel, Trump could sneak in the backdoor and begin arresting us.

I would like to see a Democratic ticket that can win. Americans are tired of trials and tricks. If Trump is guilty, put him in jail. If Hunter Biden broke the law, punish him. But if you sit back and do nothing, America will lose.

A prom king with fluffy hair was just chosen to lead Argentina. Javier Milei, a populist-trump-like former TV pundit beat a man who was the 100% wrong candidate. The man who lost was the guy running the economy of a country with 150% inflation. Milei will not ever moderate, and in two years or less you will hear the talking heads on Fox News crowing about the caravans of people crossing our southern border from, wait for it, Argentina. The peso will drop in value, inflation will get worse, and people will flee the country because they failed to field a better candidate.   

If we placed all the people running for president in America whether they be Republicans, Independents or whacko third-party libertarians they are not our best people. If you used an objective scale, it would be clear that NONE OF THEM ARE GOOD ENOUGH. Sure, Biden is old, and if the party is afraid of his age, it’s time they place a powerful, dynamic and winning person in the second slot. If they do nothing, Trump could very well win again.


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  1. I’m with Joe, and if it becomes necessary, I think democracy will fare far better under Kamala Harris as a place holder than it will under Trump for even a day. I live in an area where young Democrats are stepping up and into jobs controlled by “the machine” for decades. I enjoy meeting them, and I have been impressed with those I’ve seen break through into office. They’re hardworking, dedicated, and anxious to make my community a better place in which to live. They knock on doors — in person. They give you their cell phone number. They mean to be of service. But here comes the but. BUT, some of them have to learn how to work with the older generation in the same way the older generation is expected to welcome them. You cannot be a one-issue voter — or candidate. You cannot give up if you don’t get what you want the first time around (thinking here of student loan relief.) It’s important for the young and ready to get to it to realize there IS value in political experience, old alliances and knowing where the bodies are buried. When you’re on the same team, it is important to share what you’ve learned. It is equally important to file away lessons learned from those who’ve paved the road for you. The information could come in handy some day. I am looking forward to a bright future for the Democratic party. We, indeed, have a deep bench.

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