The media is all lit up this morning, on fire about Jill Biden’s support for husband Joe who has widened his lead in the polls to double digits. He’s pounding the “ I can beat Trump drum,” as if how to win the next election is a binary choice. It’s so much more than that.
The trouble is that current polling asks the wrong question, “what is more important? A candidate that can beat Trump, or a candidate whose policies agree with my own?” Asked this way, the answer will always be a candidate that can beat Trump. If I was asked this question, I would answer the same way, but I will nevertheless surely vote for the candidate whose ideas and policies most align with my own. Let’s not forget that in recent head to head polls involving the top Dems vs. Trump, every one of them beats Trump with a significant margin.
The trouble is that the Democratic primary is the Baskin Robins of elections. Too many flavors, all good, all satisfying. Do I try the black raspberry chocolate chip or the sea salt caramel or just play it safe with vanilla? I wish they maybe had vanilla bean, but all they offer is plain vanilla. I know I’ll like that. I’ve had it before, but is it what I crave, same old, same old?
Democracy is like a successful marriage. Decisions are made along the lines of the lowest common denominator that places security over risk. Should we put our money in savings where we get a 2% return, or take a risk in the stock market where we might see a 20% return? What we seek may not be what is best for us, but what we can agree on. What we are seeking in a primary election is not the best candidate or the best policies but to identify our lowest common denominator. We all want so much more, but we are being asked to settle for what we believe we can get. “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.” So goes the refrain of the Rolling Stones song of the same title. Trouble is, Biden is not what I want or what I need.