I spent a day with my parents driving to a birthday party. We talked sports, family, and, of course, politics. They are in their 70s and obsessively watch… wait for it… MSNBC.
They have come to the conclusion they will vote for the person who isn’t Donald Trump. They have opinions on the field of Democrats, but ultimately they will look at the choices and will pick the person who isn’t Donald Trump.
I couldn’t agree more.
As of this moment, Joe Biden looks to be the guy who will be the choice other than Donald Trump. I’m generally okay with this. I’d rather it be Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, or Pete Buttigieg, but Uncle Joe will be fine. Of course it’s stupid early so things could change after some voting is done in Iowa, New Hampshire, and California.
The only real question is simple, “Who has the best chance of beating Trump in 2020?” You may disagree on policy specifics, but that’s wasted time. You may think Warren will make a better President, but if Biden is the nominee it’s wasted time to not vote for him. No one cares about policies. Not really. Not at this point. Most people just want a return to normalcy where they don’t have to worry about whatever vomit comes out of Trump’s mouth that day. Most people don’t want to worry about pissing off our allies and praising dictatorships. Most people are tired of seeing misogyny, racism, bigotry, and inequality dominate the news. They want Trump gone. Biden is leading because, quite frankly, he is a reminder of a time when the general public didn’t worry about national politics all that much.
I imagine for a great deal of the country, they already know who they are going to vote for. A dude in a MAGA hat isn’t going to be persuaded to vote for a Democrat under any circumstances. A woman worried about abortion isn’t going to suddenly feel like this Trump guy is going to fight for her rights. An 18-year-old who has friends and friends of friends who’ve been caught in mass school shootings isn’t voting for the person who can’t even be bothered with legislating background checks.
As soon as we have a Republican nominee (I mean, I guess it will be Trump) and a Democrat nominee (Biden/Warren/Harris/Sanders/Insert your fav here), the election will be decided. No debates will move anyone. I’m guessing the polls won’t change much. I can’t imagine an October surprise that will change anyone’s mind. It will simply come down to turnout. Who has the more motivated base? Who has the infrastructure to get people in swing states to the polls?
Personally, I don’t care which Democrat is on the ballot. Any Democratic nominee would make a better occupant of the White House. Any one of them would be a whole lot better than what we have now. I know it. You probably know it too. Even most Republicans know it, but they would never admit to it.
So while the horserace and campaign ups and downs will make for endless hours of entertainment both inspiring and horrifying, the bottom line is the name on the ballot that isn’t Donald Trump is the one my parents are voting for, I’m voting for, my wife is voting for, my daughter is voting for, and my step-daughter is voting for.
I bet it’s the one you’ll vote for too.