Politics

How Did The Democrats End Up With Such A Weak Candidate?

In the Democratic party the party elders, not the voters, choose the candidates

Photo by Kari Sullivan on Unsplash

Looking at the diversity on the debate stages during the Democratic primaries this election cycle, I was so hopeful that a new, young, popular, energetic candidate would emerge who could easily defeat Trump and go on to lead the nation into the future.

Instead, we got an Old White Dude.

How did this happen? To answer that question, we have to go back into the past and look at how Democratic candidates have historically been chosen. The party has a system whereby candidates are ranked according to seniority. The one with the most seniority is the one who will run for president that election cycle. Everyone else has to wait their turn.

Just remember this when you are in the voting booth during a Democratic presidential primary. Your vote doesn’t really matter. The party elders have already anointed a winner. This system worked perfectly for decades.

Until Obama came along. 2008 was the year that Hillary was supposed to be elected as the first woman president. Her credentials were impeccable. She had experience both in the Senate and the White House when her husband was president. She was prepared. She was smart. And deeply unpopular.

Obama, on the other hand, had much less experience, was practically unknown and he was Black. But he was new. He was young. He was energetic. He excited the voters, especially minority voters and young voters. He was the total package.

If you have ever wondered why Hillary refused to concede the nomination for so long, now you know. She was supposed to be elected in 2008 as the first woman president. She had paid her dues. She had waited her turn. And this young upstart appeared and took it away from her. It wasn’t supposed to happen. So she refused to give up.

I’m guessing that she was also being encouraged to hang in there until the bitter end by the party elders who were hoping that Obama’s candidacy would implode to clear the way for their preferred candidate. Except, as we all know, that never happened. And Obama was elected president.

Obama served his two terms and it was Hillary’s turn again. Biden never entered the race so he could mourn his son? I see the subtle handiwork of the Democratic elders making their wishes known. Biden had run for president twice already, each time his campaign had ended disastrously. He needed to step aside for Hillary. It was her turn to run.

How did a candidate as unpopular with the electorate as Hillary ever get as far as she did? It had nothing to do with the voters. It was Hillary’s turn to run, no matter how many people hated her. It’s sad. She was superbly qualified, but just not personally appealing. The Democratic process of running candidates according to seniority resulted in Trump being elected.

So I had my fingers crossed last year that the party elders had learned their lesson and would ditch the whole seniority thing in favor of actually allowing Democratic voters to truly choose a candidate. And for a while, it appeared that way.

Except I noticed that Biden was running. That made no sense given his past history as a presidential candidate. And no matter how badly he did in the debates and in the races, he hung in there. No one is allowed to waste time, energy and especially money running a race that they can’t win. There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than people realize. Biden was being encouraged to stay in the race.

After Super Tuesday, it dawned on me that there had been a subtle change in party strategy. They were hoping that Biden would draw the Black voters who had come out for Obama, but stayed home when Hillary ran.

It’s no surprise that Black voters weren’t interested in voting for Hillary. She is a rich, entitled, privileged White woman. Biden, on the other hand, even though he is a rich, entitled, privileged White man is associated with Obama as his Vice President. The strategy was to run Biden as the Obama third term.

And cross their fingers that Black voters would conveniently forget Biden’s vote for the 1994 crime bill that resulted in the mass incarceration of Black men.

It worked. Black voters came out to vote for Biden. Biden also appeals to blue collar voters who tend to be Trump voters so there is hope that he can peel away some of those voters. Hillary did not do well with either group. That meant that although she won the popular vote in 2016, it was only by 3 million votes. It could have been a much larger margin if she had been more personally appealing. Like Biden.

On paper, Biden is exactly what Democrats need to win against Trump. Except for his age.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of the country being run by Old White Dudes. Just as we have a minimum age to run for president, we need to have a maximum age. And a mandatory retirement age so that anyone who reaches the maximum age while in office, cannot run for re-election.

So here we are with another Old White Dude, a candidate that no one is particularly excited about. Seriously. Have you seen any signs of enthusiasm for Biden? How about lawn signs? I live in NJ, a blue state, and there are more Trump lawn signs than Biden lawn signs. That doesn’t mean that there are more Trump voters. It just means that Biden voters can’t be bothered to obtain and display lawn signs.

Nationally, young people are disgusted and will probably stay home not realizing that no vote is a vote for Trump.

After the mail in ballots are counted, Biden will probably win by a small margin like Hillary, but it won’t be enough to either win in the Electoral College or stand up to Trump’s court challenges.

Democrats will lose the election because the party elders chose the candidate instead of letting the voters decide who they wanted to defeat Trump and lead the nation into the future.

Top Writer in Politics and Government. I always speak my mind.

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