As stated last week, an intrigue facet of American democracy is to let our citizens know ahead of the elections what the views of political hopefuls are. It's more difficult on the local level to learn the candidates' beliefs because many think that they've won their party's nomination, so they don't have to present, propound, and publicize their platforms, if they even have them. Maybe their friends will “carry the day” for them, but unless they advertise their candidacies, they can't reach the wide spectrum of voters in this or any other county in the USA.
In national presidential elections, the above is even more demanding, for in order to win, they must advertise! The United States of America is a gigantic country from sea to shining sea, with many different cultures therein. To reach these many different constituencies, a presidential candidate must reach out to enlist their support. They talk to small town groups wherever they are, attend dinners and flip steaks in Iowa preliminaries to their party caucuses, brave cold snowy weather in New Hampshire's Primary, and, then, head into South Carolina for a second primary. After these and a few other primaries to follow, there will be an outstanding Democratic presidential candidate to carry the party's banner into their convention next summer.
Last week touching on the strengths of the three frontrunners of former V-P Joe Biden, and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (Independent-VT), we editors now turn to the other candidates on the Houston stage of three weeks past. Most of these hopefuls poll from 1-to-10 percent in the contest, so far. We editors prefer former Congressman Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), because he's a proven vote-getter in a solidly Red State-Texas. In last year's U.S. Senate race, he contested the powerful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who had run for president in 2016 against the winning Donald Trump in those primaries. Cruz is a formidable foe, especially among evangelicals. Nevertheless, with Mr. O'Rourke's sincere demeanor and boots on the ground campaign style, driving and speaking in all of Texas 100+ counties, he won over the people's hearts, many of whom would have ordinarily voted Republican in that race. Moreover, Beto can do the same in a nationwide presidential race, maybe even re-creating FDR and Harry Truman's popular Whistle Stop Railroad Campaigns of times past.
Next up, there is Pete Buttigieg (D-Ind.), mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a Mid-Western Rust Belt city which is making a comeback. He recently got the endorsement of 60 of the nation's mayors and seems to have the enthusiasm of the country's gays- a growing group- for good or bad. Of course, Americans are not “politically correct” if they discriminate against any minority, and we editors will buy that, too. Nevertheless, he appears glib and stiff on the debate stage, although with his extensive education, he could easily “trump” Mr. Trump in a debate!
Next up is U.S. Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ), who has won the hearts of many via his positions on eliminating inner city crime and poverty. As the former mayor of Newark, N.J., he is well-spoken and persuasive on urban issues. He stands out for his stout defence of city dwellers who are attempting to create formulas for more peaceful neighborhoods, among other issues.
In talking about urban affairs, though, the Honorable Julio Castro (D-TX), as the former Secretary of Urban Affairs in Mr. Obama's Administration, also takes a main seat. His candidacy, however, appeared to sputter when attacking V-P Joseph Biden on the age issue. Mr. Castro apparently thought that the V-P had forgotten what he'd previously said which he hadn't. A Castro gaff!
In these Democratic debates, it's dangerous to play the “Age Card,” because all three frontrunners- Biden, Warren, and Sanders- are all over 70, as is Republican Trump. Hence, that's not a good strategy for differentiating candidates. In the 1980s, the G.O.P.'s Ronald Reagan was well over 70 when he won the second term as president, and, moreover, he got confused many times when talking to reporters, as well.
Quiet but likeable, Andrew Yang (D-CA), another Democratic candidate, takes his campaign back to the 1930s promises of U.S. Sen. Huey Long (D-LA) of “Every man a King.” Then, Long ran against President Franklin Roosevelt with the platform that every family would get $5,000 per year from Uncle Sam. Updating that economic theory, Mr. Yang, a savvy High Tech entrepreneur/businessman, has upped that amount to $1,000 per month per person (18 year olds and over). Sounds good, as young people could finance their college or technical educations, pay off their student loans, get started in a business with less risk, buy a home, etc. Of course, older Americans could then afford to have “the good life,” without financial worries. The one problem that I foresee is that like Mr. Trump, another businessman, he knows very little about the administration and operations of the vast federal government. (Owing to Mr. Trump's record so far, and that of West Virginia Governor Jim Justices', both lining their pockets with taxpayer dollars spent at their luxury hotels and resorts, I remain leery of untested business persons in public office!)
Lastly are the very persuasive Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) who were both prosecuting attorneys in their respective states. They advocate good, salient points, but their abilities as newcomer U.S. Senators have yet to be tested. Sen. Harris would certainly be the better debater against Mr. Trump, but the question is: “Could she withstand his acid attacks without buckling?” The same question, but moreso to the meeker Sen. Klobuchar! On the other hand, often times the events make the candidate stand out, like former Congressman Beto O'Rouke after the mass shootings in his hometown of El Paso and in the neighboring areas of Odessa and Midland. These tragedies have elevated his presidential campaign by “leaps and bounds.”
The next Democratic Debate will be in mid-October, so all good and fair-minded Americans, not just Democrats, should make it a priority to watch them because they will be arguing both Democratic and Republican politics. We all will face these same issues when stepping into the polling booths within the next several months. An informed voter is a good and patriotic American!
David H. Corcoran, Sr., Publisher-Editor
No. 69: What's what now???
For the past two months, this Sr. Editor has let down you “Trump Watchers!” We've only published about two, but our reason has been like with you perhaps- we're very confused with what he's been doing.
On one day he attacks the Federal Reserve Bank (the Fed) for upping the federal funds/interest rates, then the Fed's chairman, next threatening to expand the wars in the Middle East, retreating to just sending troops to protect Saudi Arabia (where the majority of 9/1/2001 culprits came from), also to fallaciously stating he helped 9/11 victims, then too calling an international meeting with the Afghanistan terrorist leaders at the revered Camp David (that no one seemed to know about), and, the latest, drawing Ukraine into our internal politics by asking them for “smut” on Joe Biden's son, Hunter, who does business there. Frighteningly, all of the above is being announced by Presidential “Tweet,” not by well-reasoned White Papers that other presidents have used for explanations since the Republic's beginning. Oh, my!!! DHC, Sr.