Thursday, May 02, 2019

The Selling of Joe Biden--What Are Centrists in the Center Of?

I'm continually amazed at our political spectrum and how I see it represented. Americans overwhelmingly favor universal healthcare. We overwhelmingly favor a living wage for working people. We overwhelmingly favor free college for students who can use or need it. We overwhelmingly favor well-supported public schools and reasonable class sizes. Oddly, you wouldn't know that from looking at the news, or the cable networks, or almost anywhere.

Now I'm a Democrat, and I've been one since I first registered to vote. My parents were Democrats. Around our house, the common wisdom was that Democrats were the friends of people who had to work. I'd like to believe that, but it's not easy. I'm a working teacher, and I've seen a whole lot of Democrats that haven't been our friends. Even Barack Obama (dutifully served by Joe Biden), who's gained a saintly glow next to Donald Trump, failed to stand with labor and hired some of the worst education people in the country.

Now I keep reading about Joe Biden, who's the next in line, the inevitable, whose turn it is to run for President. You know, like Hillary. Like Al Gore. Like Robert Dole. Like John McCain and Jeb Bush. Do you see a common theme here? I do.

I remember Joe Biden at the Clarence Thomas hearings, giving short shrift to Anita Hill, who's probably the most credible witness I've ever seen. Now he's apologizing for how she was treated, but not for his treatment of her. Maybe it's escaped his attention that women now have the vote. Maybe he thinks if he nominates a woman for VP, people will forget about that. After all, it happened 28 years ago and I don't remember it at all.

Maybe he thinks Trump won't bring that up.  He's wrong. Maybe he thinks Trump will forget that he dropped out of the Presidential race in 1988 for plagiarizing and fibbing about his academic records. That should really turn out the teacher vote, as should his brother's charter school interests. Maybe he thinks it won't be all over the airwaves. As you can plainly see, I don't remember it at all.

Maybe Biden thinks no one will notice that he held big-money corporarate fundraisers immediately upon announcing, or that he took money from health care interests and opponents of net neutrality. After all, Americans want to continue going into bankruptcy for catastrophic medical emergency. How more American could that be? It doesn't happen anywhere else.

So then I come to this "centrist" label. What exactly is Biden in the center of? Americans overwhelmingly want medical insurance for all. We overwhelmingly want rich people, like Biden's supporters, to pay their fair share and stop buying politicians (like Biden). We want good public schools, not the privatized crap that Betsy DeVos and Joe's brother are trying to palm off on us.

Biden, is somewhere in the center. He's right smack in between Donald Trump's unbridled lunacy and the American people. The thing is, the center ought to be where we, the people, are. The center is where the votes come from. The center is where people stayed home when Hillary ran, and the center is what allowed Donald Trump to become President in our banana republic style Electoral College, the one Jimmy Carter never bothered to replicate when he was running all over the world showing people how to hold free elections.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to lose the center. If it comes to that, I might vote for Joe Biden against Donald Trump. Still, I'm not remotely persuaded enough people will get off their butts to vote for a man who's less inspiring than whatever said butts happen to be sitting on. I'm amazed that Democrats are remotely considering a candidate with so much obvious and undeniable baggage, let alone hyping him as the inevitable frontrunner. Stupid runs deep.

Don't forget to vote in the primary.
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