Mark Twain

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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Democratic Debates

I generally keep to the premise that my blog should be politics free.  Politics like religion has a tendency to polarize people.  When these topics are discussed, it often leads to "I am right and You are wrong" black and white kind of thinking.  So I have opted to keep my personal opinions about religion between me and God - where they should be, and maintain a mostly a-polictical stance by registering as an Independent and stepping out of the loop of political discussions in all settings.

Oh, make no mistake, I have very strong opinions about both - but until recently I felt my own peace-of-mind was more important than trying to sway others to my way of thinking on either of these topics.

Now ...  here I am - talking politics with these questions.

Did you watch the first two Democratic Debates this past week?
What did you think?
Is there a candidate that can challenge our current wreck of a president
 and bring our country back to sanity? 

I watched both nights.  I know these are 'early days' in the election process.  But the issues facing us are gravely important.  An attack on our democracy from the inside out is happening every single day.  We must right our course as soon as possible.  Another four years on this self destructive path may damage us permanently.

My goal in watching the debates was two-fold:  Who the heck are all these people AND, most importantly, is there a candidate among them that can confront and stop the re-election of the worst President in our history?

You will notice that I said nothing about their policies.  Sadly, we have moved away from that kind of intelligent discussion.  It isn't about the issues any more for most of us.  It is about selecting a leader who will not be an embarrassment on the world stage, who will recognize our international friends and enemies without Cliff Notes, who can speak with intelligence and in complete understandable sentences, who gives thought and research to issues before Tweeting his mouth off, who will respect our democracy, our constitution, our laws, our institutions, and ALL human beings.  We have none of that now.

That was what I was looking for.  Was there someone like that on the debate stage?

There were several candidates I thought could do the job, had great ideas and could be groomed to demonstrate the qualities I listed!  But there was only one who I believe would remain cool under the sizzling glare and auditory assault of Trump that would shower down on them in the campaign ... only one who might be able to turn the tables and make Trump look even more foolish than he is now.

My pick is not the front runner - Joe Biden.

Joe Biden - is a likable, well known, knowledgeable and a courteous gentleman.  We hunger for those qualities in our leader - after 3 1/2 years of Trump.  However, Trump will walk all over Biden in the campagin.  Our electorate has become more combative and argumentative under Trump and would probably see Biden's positive qualities as weaknesses!  I guarantee Trump would hammer that assessment over and over again into the electorate's psyche until voting day (and after, remember "Crooked Hillary?"  We will ever get passed that!!)  Don't get me wrong.  I would be thrilled to see Biden win a general election but I don't think he could win against Trump.  I also believe that although Biden looks good for his age, we need the energy and focus of a younger leader.  As one debater repeated several times - It is time to pass the torch!  I agree.

My pick is Kamala Harris.

I think Kamala Harris has the steel spine needed to beat Trump.  She is direct, focused, and intelligent.  I watched her question Justice Brett Kavanaugh during the hearings. She is like a laser beam that cannot be distracted or deflected.  During the debates Harris was more likely to speak calmly and deliberately - something Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren can't seem to do when expressing a point of view.  Both of them seem to slip toward the unfortunate stereo types of 'older man bonbastically talking' and 'excitable female.'  Kamala Harris appears to have no 'skeletons in her closet' to trip her up during the campaign. And she is not an 'old white man!'

Does it seem like I am focusing on cosmetic qualities rather than the real substance of a candidates' message?  Yes ... I am.  After 3 1/2 years of a President who is filled with warts and puss-festering talk and actions - we could do with a little polish in our leader.  The quality of anyone's 'message' won't beat Donald Trump.  What will beat this President is someone who can 'give as well as they get,' who can turn Trump's snappy slogans back on him to demonstrate his empty promises, and someone who can remain steady as a rock (and Presidential) while doing it!  So far ... Kamala Harris seems to be that woman.

While I typically don't care about age, race or gender in picking a leader,
wouldn't it be just the MOST delicious situation EVER
 to see Trump taken down by a strong qualified mature Black Woman!

I think she could do it.
I'd like to see her do it!!

What do you think?


Marie Smith said...

As an outsider looking in, I'd be interested In Ms Harris too.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I follow politics closely, too closely some would say and I, too, try to keep it out of my blog but sometimes I break that rule because it's like the elephant in the room. Everyone is thinking about it and not talking about it.

After watching the debates Kamala Harris came out to be my favorite. Going into it I was leaning towards Biden. There are several others I'd like to see as cabinet members. Who ever the Democrats pick I want him/her to be a strong candidate who can beat Trump. I think our very democracy depends on bringing an ethical, moral person back into the the White House who respects the rule of law. I'm scared there will be too much foreign hanky-prank and we'll get four more years of destruction.

Michelle said...

I didn't watch the debates – too much home drama to add more – but have to say I LOVE THIS POST!!! I have been very impressed by Kamala Harris and would vote for her in a heartbeat. The other candidate who has impressed me every single time he has opened his mouth or made a keystroke is Pete Buttigieg. I don't think Trump could ever get under his skin, either, and as a combat veteran, can by his very existence put Candidate Bonespurs to shame and maybe rally the active duty/vetern vote.

Retired Knitter said...

Michelle, I agree. Pete Buttigieg also impressed me. He would be my second choice after a woman. It is time for a woman AND since there seems to be a qualified female available - she would be my first choice. The fact she is a minority is "icing on the cake" for me. I want to see more women AND minorities in government. I want our government to reflect the diversity that is found in our population! That "wave" of colors and genders in government alone might help stamp down some of the extreme right wing craziness - giving normal conservatives time to regroup and find better representation of their point of view. I am a Registered Independent! I like having a "choice" when I vote, and right now many (not all) conservatives have stepped away from providing sane choices to the electorate with regards to their candidates. I love our Republican governor, Larry Hogan. I love Colin Powell, and there are many other names of conservatives I like and admire. So the republicans CAN EASILY do better than Donald Trump!!

Thank you for the positive feedback on this post. I know some of my readers (and friends and family) feel differently about Trump (although I still can't fathom people I considered normal and sane individuals STILL excusing his abhorrent behaviors.). Providing a post here that so explicitly expresses my opinion about that HUGE mistake that is called our President - I know would put some people off. I am sorry for it - but some things just have to be said - over and over and over again. Hence my caution to all at the beginning of the post. I guess I just can't continue to blather on only about inconsequential happening in my personal life - when our public lives are being assaulted so deeply.

Thanks for listening. I'll return to normal again soon, but between now and Election Day I am sure I will explode once or twice or many times again!

Angela said...

I have always stayed out of anything political. I learned early "Politics, religion and sex are not things to comment or argument about it but just live it on your everyday." (Translated it from Portuguese which is my primary language.) When I was growing up people died or disappeared duo to political issues. It became normal for husband not even know in whom the husband was going to vote for and vice-versa. I am thankful for the right to vote! There I have a voice.

Retired Knitter said...

Angela - You are so right. Sometimes we forget here in the US that not everyone in the world can safely discuss things like this openly or have a chance to make a change with their vote. As discouraged as some of the citizenry is here with our current President (I count myself among them) - we do have a chance to change things by voting. That is what these TV debates were all about and this is what having a chance to share points of view outside of voting is all about. But even with that opportunity to safely speak your mind - outside of voting - like in a blog post, it can be hard because, at a minimum, it can stir up intense feelings. I don't do it often. But I am very glad to have the freedom to do so - if I choose.

Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I went in thinking Biden would be my choice but he seems very lackluster and tired and unable to respond intelligently to questions he has not been able to prepare a statement for. But also not prepared to respond to hot topic questions he and his team should have prepared him for. I like two......Harris and Buttigig. Both well spoken and appear knowledgeable. I am interested to hear more about their positions, etc.

Lynne said...

I agreed with EVERYTHING . . . every bit of YOUR post . . .
I seldom enter, rant, voice but I am so tired of us allowing that man to bring us to destruction.
We HAVE TO VOICE and get it together.
Thank you Elaine for this breath of fresh air . . .
I purchased Kamala’s book months ago . . . want me to loan it to You?

Retired Knitter said...

Lynne - she has a book??? Off to check it out.

Retired Knitter said...

Lynne, just got Ms. Harris' book with an Audible credit - I have a few credits I needed to move - but thanks for the offer to loan the title. While on Audible I noticed at Pete Buttigieg has a book as well. He is young - in his 30s - I bet we will see a lot more of him in the future.

I know that some folks think these books by those running for President are just a way of say ... "I want to be President." Yes, they are. And I am so glad that a book is available on people I have little knowledge about - from their point of view. I don't believe in getting all your information from one source (TV). The books, of course, provide only one view point, but as part of the BIG picture and information gathering - they are valuable.

Thanks again.

Leigh said...

No TV here, so I didn't watch the debates. But I've followed the candidates through other sources. Where the Democrats lost me is by the recent abortion laws being promoted first by New York in allowing abortion after labor has begun, then Virginia trying to pass legislation to allow abortion after birth. NONE of the candidates spoke out to temper this. Because it's viewed under a woman's rights over her own body? Sorry, but after it's born, it's no longer her body. This is just too much for me. While I deeply sympathize victims of rape and incest, they know it was rape or incest immediately. They don't figure it out nine months later. This line of thinking is way over my deep end. I can't deal with it. I can't support it. You may not like Trump, but there are other alternatives to the revamped Democrats.

What I want to know, is what happened to MY Democratic Party. The one that stood for love and peace. The one that pushed for important social changes with nonviolent methods as taught to us by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Somewhere along the way the party did a complete 180. Example: now it's okay to bully and assault someone because of a stupid hat? The party of love and peace has become the party of hate and violence. That's not my party. #WalkAway

Retired Knitter said...

Hi Leigh,

Oh how I wish we could focus on the issues only, as you have just done in your response (which I thank you for - glad you felt comfortable enough to contribute an opposing view). As I mentioned in my post or one of my comments - the unfortunate reality is that Trump (no matter what his true stance in on issues and abortion - or anything really) has clothed EVERYTHING he talks about in contradictions, exaggerations, out and out lies and polarizing positions making his opinion the only right one and everyone else is wrong or lying ... and then he adds insults about them to his comments. He has lowered all topics to the level of 5 years olds fighting over a ball in the playground.

Is he wrong about everything issue-wise? No - but his uncivil approach to things makes me turn off everything he says! That is not the sign of a good leader regardless of his true beliefs - which after 3 1/2 years I don't we understand the truth of.)

If we are going to talk issues .... I totally agree with your view of the abortion issue. Personally agree - in that I would never abort any child of mine or support that if one of my family or friends were asking for advice from me. In the area of public agreement and law - I am more gray. I am not willing to impose my personal views on others. Truly, this abortion issue is NEVER going to sit peacefully with everyone.

With regards to peace and love, unfortunately the Democratic Party was never a party of peace or love. No political party is that when trying to reach the voters. You are right about the importance of nonviolent methods being lost - I believe strongly that those methods are under attack even more with Trump in the Presidency. I believe BOTH parties have become more combative. That won't change until we get a President who insists on civility, who truly respects others opinions and who preaches that over and over and over again - until the country hears it and changes course. That will not happen with Trump.

I mentioned that I am an Independent. I do not adore any political party in power. I may have not been happy about the outcome of previous elections but I always gave the person in power a chance. I always felt that I might not agree with their positions, but I support the will of the people in the vote and I believed that the person in power really did think their actions would work for EVERYONE. This time around, because of Trumps totally unacceptable behavior in office, I feel very very differently. I don't believe he is looking out for everyone. His actions say he is not - despite what his mouth may be saying.

I have friends and family who are willing to overlook everything that Trump is to the support his political agenda. I sincerely do not understand the ability. I say, "Conservatives, find someone else I can respect to forward that agenda! THEN I will look seriously at it!" I believe I am not alone in that message.

Thank you again for commenting, Leigh. This is STILL America, and we can still discuss opposing points of view - and we should feel darn lucky we can do that - because there are countries where you are in-prisoned or killed for doing so.

Breathing Life said...

I didn't watch the debates and being a Canadian I cannot vote in your election but I found your blog very interesting and informative. I will follow your picks in the future because they sound hopeful.

Wendy said...

I think on your blog you should be able to put your point of view across on any subject, including politics. We might not all like it but we should feel we have the right to free speech. Of course we can put our differing points of view but we should do so in a non-judgemental and polite way or with questions that challenge your point of view. We can agree to differ.

Having said that I don't usually comment on American politics as I don't understand enough about how the system works. Also we have enough problems with our own political system in the UK at the moment!

Retired Knitter said...

Thanks Wendy and Breathing Life for commenting - even though you are citizens of other countries (Canada and UK - both international friends despite the actions of our President who gets confused on that point. Hoping that our international friends realize that a great BIG number of us US citizens are also unhappy with US leadership and are patient with us until our next elections - which can't come soon enough.)

Yes, Wendy, I should be able to express a point of view on any subject including politics. And previous to this particular President that right never needed to be said. But emotions within our country regarding this particular administration run very very high. Higher than at any other time in our history - except for our civil war. I don't remember EVER seeing people get so extreme in their reactions to a President as they do to this man! It feels like if you express a view point now (in either direction) ... it feels more like you are picking a fight rather than expressing an opinion. I know families that ban political talk during holidays together because it will degrade into a mega argument. THAT is new and scary behavior here.

Yes, I also know the UK is struggling as well at the moment. Our President visiting hasn't helped that either.

Canada, Oh Canada! I am kind of surprise they haven't built a wall of their own to keep us out!!! Hahaha!

Paula said...

Yes, I too watched the debates both nights hoping to find someone who stood out to me. I ended with three someones. I really, really like Elizabeth Warren. I like her policies. I just don't know if we can afford her. My top favorite right now is Mayor Pete. He is calm and educated and I think he can fight back against Trump. I, too, like Kamala Harris. But there was something about the way she 'attacked' Joe Biden that bothered me. Right now the Democrats NEED to support each other. We just need to get him out of our White House and then we can work on fixing the problem. But like I have been saying, I will VOTE BLUE NO MATTER WHO.

Bohemian said...

I think you could be right. I avoid Political and Religious discussions usually for similar reasons you cited... I'm a Moderate Independent so I really don't lean into extremes on either polarized Liberal-Conservative discussions, not enter into them with zealous devotee base of either. I don't think I could stand another re-election of 45... so my personal dilemma is, how many Americans would still support and vote for him despite all of the shitshow if they just didn't like the final Democratic candidate? For me personally it's come down to I'll vote for anyone NOT HIM... sad it's come to that to pick a Leader of our incredible Country... but he will be the ruination of America if we don't.