By Kent R. Kroeger (May 10, 2019)
There is nothing in former Vice President Joe Biden’s voting record that compels me to ever vote for him: The Iraq War. The Patriot Act. TPP. Regulating banks. Health care reform.
Joe Biden is a walking billboard for why Donald Trump is president today.
And if the general election choice in 2020 is between Joe Biden and President Trump, I will not vote at the presidential level, assuming no attractive third party candidate emerges.
My Democrat wife and our liberal acquaintances are appalled at this declaration.
I don’t care. I’ve survived almost three years of Donald Trump, I can survive five more years, if I must.
My Democratic friends, in the meantime, have become Rachel Maddow-obsessed, Russia conspiracy theorists and have willingly jettisoned their intellectual credibility in the process. They ignore proven facts (the Mueller Report is unequivocal in its exoneration of the Trump campaign with respect to conspiring with the Russians) and instead filter all new information through biased filters that serve only to validate their lizard-brain, partisan predispositions.
Since they fundamentally failed to comprehend the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, its hard to take them seriously on much else.
I am embarrassed by what as become of the Democratic Party since Donald Trump’s election in 2016.
As such, I have given up hope that there is a political party or candidate that will appeal to all of the issues I care most about: health care reform, regulating banks, Palestinian rights, student debt relief, and ending U.S.-led regime change wars)
Lacking this comprehensive political option, I have become — reluctantly — a one issue voter: Tell me how you will reform our broken health care system.
If a candidate offers no concrete proposals on this issue, don’t bother me with their campaign rhetoric:
Legalizing marijuana? Don’t smoke it, and don’t care.
The Iran threat? Hezbollah and the Houthi fighters have no issue with me.
Build a wall on our southern border? Frankly, I probably like the people coming over the border illegally more than I like you.
In contrast, our broken health care system is something we all can recognize.
The American health care system is an embarrassment within the league of advanced economies. Chile and Lebanon have superior health care outcomes compared to the U.S., and they spend a fraction of their national economic output on health care.
That is why the list of presidential candidates I will NEVER consider in 2016 grows longer with every new entrant:
Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Donald Trump, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Jay Inslee, and John Hickenlooper.
Why do they lack meaningful proposals on health care? Because they don’t care enough to make the effort. They are comfortable with the current system and many of them have their campaign’s funded by the special interests dedicated to preserving that system.
And they have zero chance of getting my vote. Zero. As in, there is not even a remote possibility I will pull the lever next to their name, even if Trump is the opposing party’s option.
Trump and Russiagate are irrelevant in my worldview, even as I recognize that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Besides, it was never my responsibility to protect the American democracy from the Russians. That was Barack Obama’s job and he fumbled the ball in the worse possible way.
Stop protecting Obama. He failed at his number one responsibility: protecting the U.S. from foreign aggressors. Plus, his health care reform idea was conceptually impotent and based on a Republican idea from the 1990s. And what has been the result? Health care costs are still rising and Americans continue to be under-served by a hopelessly inefficient health care delivery system.
Subsequently, Obama is irrelevant and I beg Democrats to move on.
Due to a deeply-flawed Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, this country has Donald Trump for a president — a man who has offered no new health care ideas in Obamacare’s place and is therefore unsupportable in my view.
But what is the alternative?
Bernie Sanders is at the top of the list, for apparent reasons, but there are few others: Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard are the only other names that come to mind.
No candidate is perfect, and I’ve long given hope that one exists at the presidential candidate level.
Still, I choose candidates based on a simple set of criteria: (1) Speak the truth as you understand it, (2) treat your opponents as family, (3) don’t pose as something you are not, (4) and don’t judge others lest you are willing to be judged by those same standards.
On those metrics, few politicians score high.
Our political system is broken. Few dispute that fact. But, Democrats, don’t compound the errors of the past by nominating Joe Biden to represent the best interests of the average American. He has never been that candidate and nothing has changed since 2016 to think he has become that candidate.
Joe Biden and Donald Trump are unacceptable to me.
I only hope better alternatives emerge by November 2020.