Sunday, June 30, 2019
For quite a while now, Americans have had a sense that something has been going wrong in their country — but they're not at all sure what it is. In 2008, they took a chance on "Hope and Change." Those voters got cautious incrementalism, and the banks that had tanked the economy got a bailout. In 2016, America wanted change again, and got Tr*mp and his insane reality show of a presidency. Corporate America got its massive tax cut, political polarization sharpened, and that sense of "wrongness" grew more acute.
Joe Biden, widely considered the anointed candidate of the Democratic establishment, looked terrible in the first debate: not just old, but confused and unprepared. Perhaps he'll do better next time, but it's hard to imagine him ever being exciting. Still, it's not too late for some other "moderate" to gain institutional support. On the left, Sanders would be the easiest target for Republican scare tactics, but Republicans will happily call Tulsi Gabbard a socialist should she somehow happen to win the nomination.
Personally, I believe we should reserve our strategic voting for general elections, and cast primary votes based on our beliefs and values. If we don't, our beliefs and values might never matter at all.