Not deferential enough: Make us fall in love, Joe

Posted Wednesday, March 11, 2020 in Politics

Not deferential enough: Make us fall in love, Joe

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders -- last two standing in the Democratic primary

by Gina Hamilton

It is a political truth universally acknowledged that in a primary season, Republicans can be counted upon to fall in line, while Democrats need to be convinced to fall in love.

The younger the Democratic voters, the less strategic and politically savvy they are. Younger Democrats already gave their hearts away -- to Bernie Sanders. For the first half of the season, it seemed almost inevitable that a Democratic Socialist would be the Democratic Party's standard bearer, carrying the banners of real universal health care, extending public education to a bachelor's degree, and an economy much less unequal than the current one, with much more public oversight.

Now, it is only March 11, and anything is still possible, but the chances are, Joe Biden will end up being the party's candidate.

Older Democrats will wisely decide that the person who will replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg in the next term has to be a Democrat; they'll already vote for Joe.

But Bernie supporters are still stung by the Machiavellian machinations of the party in 2016. And frankly, they have a point. Bernie Sanders and his supporters was extremely mistreated in the last election cycle, and it was almost instant karma for Hillary Clinton, who studiously ignored the progressive faction for the remainder of the campaign, so sure she was of her inevitability.

She ignored them so completely that she threw the election under the bus. She could have brought back progressives -- on their very knees -- by the mere choice of a progressive vice presidential nominee from the midwest, someone like Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, perhaps.

Joe Biden, if he is the nominee, has to make the party fall in love with him. Democrats don't fall in line; Joe has to bring the candy and flowers and probably the diamond ring, too.

We can't rerun the 2016 election, but we can and must make sure that whoever the eventual nominee is doesn't alienate a large and growing segment of the Democratic base -- young,  progressive voters.

Bernie and Joe get along famously; they can and should be meeting now to come up with whatever contingency plan they need to formulate to make sure that all Democrats feel like they belong in this party. Selecting a female, progressive VP, such as Elizabeth Warren or Stacey Abrams, will go a long way to healing the party breach, which is going on four years old. Another four years of Donald Trump is intolerable, but Democrats have to be courted.

Whatever decision the two of them come up with, they mustn't let party regulars interfere. They are both older guys who need to look to the future of the party, which is going to be younger and more liberal than Biden and probably as liberal as Sanders.

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