If We Want To Get The Current Administration Out Of Office, We Have To Stop Expecting The Democratic Nominees To Be Perfect
Election Day 2020 and the Democratic National convention are more than a year-and-a-half away, and there are already fifty-leven democrats who have announced their run for office. With each new candidate comes a new wave of suspicion, and folks are already casting their ballots on social media. Most of them are going to be snacking on a big ol’ slice of humble pie since they’ll have a hard decision to make in November 2020.
Timelines across the web have been speckled with various thoughts on the current pool of Presidential hopefuls because everyone has suddenly become an investigative political expert. People on social media and in comments sections everywhere have made countless declarations about which candidates they will never vote for. However, they may need to change their tune if they want to get the current administration out of Washington.
So far, there has been a problem with just about every high-profile candidate to enter the race. Kamala Harris’ track record and career moves have come under severe scrutiny. Her ethnicity has come under question (she’s Black), and she’s been accused of pandering. She’s been accused of intentionally locking up Black men and working against the interests of Black people as California’s Attorney General. Cory Booker, who just announced his run, was accused of sexual assault just last year. Then, he suggested that the Black community give White people more “grace” and “sympathy.” Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren is being compared to Hillary Clinton and she came under fire for releasing DNA proof that she has a sprinkling of Native American heritage. Tulsi Gabbard spoke out against gay marriage in the past but has since apologized for her anti-LGBTQ+ comments and actions. It’s all looking pretty rough.
Considering the current crop of candidates, there’s a decent chance that democratic voters hoping to put an immaculate candidate in office are going to be disappointed to one extent or another. Unless Barack Obama himself–or Oprah–run for office, it’s going to be tough to find a democratic candidate with a near-spotless record. I’m noticing that more voters, younger voters, in particular, are demanding more accountability from candidates for their actions. It’s a completely reasonable expectation that our political leaders be upright citizens with good character, a strong sense of right and wrong, and integrity with at least a sprinkle of empathy for others. We should demand that of our politicians at all levels so that we know they can be trusted with the responsibility of governing our country and local communities in a way that helps everyone. It only becomes a problem when we hold potential candidates to such a high standard that they would need to be perfect, which isn’t a mark anyone could possibly hit.
Keeping that in mind, voters may need to take a pragmatic approach to this election cycle. If there is one thing I clearly see, it is that we all better be in formation if we want to avoid an encore of the political circus we’re all watching now. Personally, I’ve already made up my mind that I am voting for whoever gets the Democratic nomination. Period. They don’t have to be my favorite–and I don’t have to like everything about them– but they are getting my vote because I want this current administration out of office. I’m one of a growing number of voters who are staying focused on the bottom line. Yvette Nicole Brown recently released a string of tweets about the fact that she feels people need to vote strategically in the next presidential election. Don Cheadle stated on late-night network TV that he’s going to be a single-issue voter for this next go-round. That issue? Backing any candidate who can beat Donald Trump in the next presidential election.
It is wonderful to be a principled voter. I would like to think I am one under normal circumstances, but these are not normal times. That luxury only extends to the primaries this time, though. That’s as long as you can afford to be picky about the democratic candidate. If you’re not a registered member of a political party–specifically the democratic party, in this instance–then you’re not getting a say in who wins the nomination. You’re left just hoping that your pick makes the cut.
The problem is that only one person can sit at the top of the ticket; only one person can be named the Democratic candidate. It’s too early to know who that could possibly be, but now is the time to put some action into your opinions. The primaries are the time for you to show up for your preferred candidate if you want them on the ballot in November 2020. After that, you’ve really only got two choices, practically speaking. Sure, there are third party candidates, but it’s widely recognized and accepted that the race is really between the democrats and the republicans.
So what happens when November 2020 rolls around and your candidate of choice isn’t on the ballot? Will you stay home and decline to vote, or will you make the best choice that you can with what is offered? That’s not a decision you have to make just yet; I would suggest you have it sorted out by then.