It’s official. The race is down to three candidates: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and… oh, yes, Tulsi Gabbard.
With Warren’s announcement this morning, the last of the minor candidacies has ended. We won’t see eight people on the stage in the Arizona debate; we’ll see two. Not three, mind; The Party has been doing their best to sideline the Gabbard campaign for months now, and I doubt very much they’ll let her on the stage even if she were to somehow pick up even a dozen or so delegates.
Which, let’s face it, is their prerogative. The D.N.C. isn’t a public organization; it’s private. They can set up their candidate selection in any way they see fit. The fact that they’re named “Democratic” doesn’t magically mean they’re actually democratic — which, again, can be a good thing: If the Republicans had the same SuperDelegates and isolation practice, Trump might not have gotten the nomination in 2016.
A lot of Buttigieg and Klobuchar’s supporters are upset with them for endorsing Biden; they see it as a betrayal. Which it is; they were all supporting someone who presented an alternative to a Party Man, but who wasn’t quite as extreme as Sanders. Biden is the very definition of a Party Man.
So yes, the voters are angry, and they’re going to get angrier.
It’s perfectly understandable, but it’s also their own fault. People have built up unreasonable expectations of their candidates and of the process. There was never any cause to believe this race was going to be different from any of the others that came before.
Except for Bernie Sanders himself, that is. He’s different; the movement he’s built is different. Yes, he’s extreme; yes, he’s radical. He’s also the sole remaining alternative to Politics As Usual… well, viable alternative. You can still register a protest vote by supporting Gabbard; people pay attention to those numbers. And if she should happen to garner enough delegates by the time the convention rolls around in July, she’ll have leverage in the ensuing negotiations.
It’s easy to forget this in the face of polling and pundit’s projections, but you still have the power to choose. So what if they say Biden’s unstoppable; if there’s any truth in it, that truth is because people choose to vote for him. If instead you choose Sanders, then Sanders will win. If you want to register a protest vote — heck, it’s going to be a contested convention anyway; why not vote Gabbard and express your feelings in a way people will notice?
And if you like the way things are going, if you approve of stability and the status quo, and above all if you trust The Party to do your thinking for you, by all means: Choose Uncle Joe. He actually is a decent man, by his lights; he’s kind, caring, generous; he listens to people. OK, so he’s a bit grabby and plagiarism isn’t exactly a sign of integrity, but so what? Since when have presidents ever been incorruptible?
(Yes, I’m biased. I’ve never pretended otherwise. The only difference is, I admit it.)
I kept fishing for a Bloomberg bribe, but he didn’t bite. Maybe that’s why he lost.
If you don’t want to lose out too, you should kick in a few bucks. In exchange, I’ll keep writing. Of course, if you don’t want me to, that’s fine too; it’s your choice.