Public interest vs. personal views

The New York Times has recently published a quiz to help folks determine with which Democratic candidate they are most closely aligned.  The Washington Post had a similar quiz last month.  The papers had different approaches, different questions, but the same goal:  What candidate agrees with my views?  

For those of us who are disgusted and distraught at the enormous harm caused by the Trump presidency, the “which candidate agrees with me” is the wrong approach.  I took both quizzes, and in each case, I would not support (at this point) the candidates(s) with whom I am most in sync.  Make no mistake:  I will support, work for, and donate to whomever the Democratic Party nominates for November.  To quote a similarly-aligned Facebook poster, I’d vote for a broken toaster over Trump.  But I fear the focus of too many of the candidates is for their own proposals for healthcare, for student loans, for taxes, for debt-reduction.  This misses the big picture.

In the immediate post-Trump years, we’re not going to be in a position to address major policy proposals.  We simply won’t be able to meet the significant challenges facing us without addressing the serious damage that Trump and his cronies have visited on our country.  We have to stop the bleeding first.

The main question I’m asking myself as I ponder for whom to vote in our Virginia primary on Super Tuesday is:  What candidate is most likely to defeat Trump in the Electoral College in November?  While my heart is aligned with many of the views of some of the more progressive candidates, my head tells me that will lead only to another four disastrous years.  As a result, I’m not looking for a candidate who necessarily agrees with me, but one who can beat Trump and begin to heal our society.  It’s noteworthy that none are addressed in the NYTimes or WaPo quizzes.  

What am I looking for?  

First and foremost:  Who can beat Trump in both the popular vote and the Electoral College?  I think that candidate will be the one who is best equipped to put together a qualified team to address the significant harms caused by Trump:   
  • The decline of the  United States on the world stage;
  • The assault on truth and facts, the assault on legitimate news media;
  • The nastiness directed toward those who may have political differences;
  • The polarization of our society and our legislative institutions; and
  • The utter lack of leadership, integrity and morality. 
Yes, I have issues about which I feel strongly (healthcare and income inequality, for example).  But as much as I’d like to see universal coverage and policies to address income inequality, in my opinion it’s far more important to address the Trump harms in the short term.  I don’t think we can do it all.  There’s simply too much to fix before moving on.  

We cannot afford another four years of Trump.

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