You have got to be kidding me, George Takei


He wants Democrats to take a pledge.

No fucking way. Do we want a good, strong candidate who will represent our values and who has been thoroughly vetted for skeletons in their closet? Then rip and rend and tear now, winnow the field, and get the nominee who has the greatest chance of surviving the ripping and rending and tearing that the Republicans will do. Takei’s idea is the stupidest way to dribble our way to defeat. In the absence of criticism, we’ll just get a boring party apparatchik who represents a passionless status quo.

We’ll get this asshole.

Right now the insufferable conservative media is calling Biden the “grown-up” in the sprawling chaos of the Democratic candidates, unaware of the insult they’re dealing to all the others, some of whom actually have substantive experience and policy plans. He’s not the grown-up — he’s the corporate politician who’d continue the Democrat party’s slide into irrelevant centrism. The Democrats would be dead right now if the Republicans hadn’t made an incompetent malignant orange pustule their flag carrier for their party, making the most miserably awful human being their candidate. You don’t respond to a weak opponent by fielding a doddering glad-hander who is barely better than a Republican, you put up your best. Biden ain’t it.

This is our time to rage and let the Democratic party know who will motivate us to go to the polls. Stick the knife into bad candidates before they get the official nomination rather than waiting for the Republicans to do it for us. And jeez, but Biden is on a par with Howard Schulz. Move on, please.

That said, if the party fools were to give us something as lackluster as a Biden/Schulz ticket, I’ll still drag myself reluctantly to the polls in 2020 and mark the ballot for them. The question is, will the more apathetic, Democrat-leaning electorate do likewise? I don’t think so.

Comments

  1. says

    I just said to some friends recently that what I enjoy about having several good Dem candidates is we do get to vet them, we do get to pull out and expose the bad parts, and then we can compare them and see who the least bad is.

  2. Artor says

    I am disappoint. Takei is usually brilliant and wonderful, but he’s completely off base here. It would be nice if Dem candidates didn’t have anything to be trashed over, but some of them are trashy, and everybody needs to know that NOW, not later.

  3. HidariMak says

    I thought that American politics already had a party where nobody said anything bad about their own party members. Isn’t that the current Republicans? That’s hardly the political ideal for the Democrats to be aiming for.

  4. kingoftown says

    This habit many centre left parties have of trying to appeal to the mythical centre ground is why they are failing around the world.

  5. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    This Pledge is not necessary, as is talking negatively about other Democrat candidates. Simply put, each candidate speaks about themselves, ie the policies they advocate, and let the rest speak of themselves.
    After the debacle of 2016, I think we can live by the aphorism
    Can’t say anything nice, then say nothing at all.
    It is far better to champion the candidate one most prefers over disparaging one that is the least. I think it is better to focus on the best qualities of one rather than the worst qualities of another.
    ~ thank you for reading my expression of frustration.

  6. consciousness razor says

    We should also push very hard for progressives in the House, Senate, and state/local offices. It would be almost comforting to think that Trump is the only corrupt asshole who needs to lose his job, but that’s not where we are. Most of the media will present it as a simplistic feud between two personalities who want the presidency, but we can’t forget that there will be a whole lot more going on in the 2020 election.

  7. says

    From Thomas Kaplan:

    [Elizabeth] WARREN, asked by a reporter about Biden and Wall Street, says their disagreement over bankruptcy legislation “is a matter of public record.”

    She puts it bluntly: “Joe Biden was on the side of credit card companies.”

    Warren targeted Biden in her 2014 autobiography for his sponsorship of a bill supported by the financial services industry that tightened rules on consumers seeking bankruptcy protections: “The Senate was evenly split between the two parties, but one of the bill’s lead sponsors was Democratic powerhouse Joe Biden, and right behind him were plenty of other Democrats offering to help,” Warren wrote, the Times reported. “Never mind that the country was sunk in an ugly recession and millions of families were struggling — the banking industry pressed forward and Congress obliged.”

  8. littlelocomotive says

    “That said, if the party fools were to give us something as lackluster as a Biden/Schulz ticket, I’ll still drag myself reluctantly to the polls in 2020 and mark the ballot for them.” So your opening bargaining position is the assurance that, in the end, you will cave. You drive a hard bargain but I think the Democrats can be persuaded to accept it.

  9. brucegee1962 says

    @9 littlelocomotive “So your opening bargaining position is the assurance that, in the end, you will cave. You drive a hard bargain but I think the Democrats can be persuaded to accept it.”

    And what’s your alternative? Magnificently stay at home or vote for the Green Party, and allow Trump another four years?
    We’re stuck with a two-party system, whether we like it or not. Having a temper tantrum won’t change it.
    Fortunately, we happen to have a thing called a primary where we get to have a say in who our nominee will be. Unfortunately, our impact if we don’t live in Iowa or New Hampshire is limited, but we can still contribute. Let’s all get out there and support candidates who will lead this country in the right direction.

  10. littlelocomotive says

    @10 brucegee1962 Way too early to be reassuring the party they have our vote regardless. Make the bastards sweat a while.

  11. consciousness razor says

    littlelocomotive:
    Don’t confuse the primary and general elections. Democratic voters aren’t bargaining with the Democratic party over electoral college votes in the general election. The Democratic party doesn’t offer the option of voting for Trump in November 2020. That’s what the Republicans will put on the table then, not the Democrats. What the Democrats have to offer (to nobody’s surprise) are a lot of Democrats in the primaries.

  12. Zmidponk says

    Takei has a point in that the meat of any campaign should be what your candidate/party will do better and why they would be best, but, if you can dress that with what the other candidate/party will do worse and why they would be bad, it is even more effective. In the case of Trump, and the current Republican party, you have a veritable smorgasbord to select from, and it would be kind of idiotic to refrain from using that.

  13. unclefrogy says

    I suppose you will support anyone to prevent a Rethuglican from becoming president, no matter how many innocent people the alternative will kill.

    why no I think I will be voting for a greedy neo-facist liar in thrall with a corrupt olargark imperialist foreign power instead. who gives a f**k about how democracy works!

    uncle frogy

  14. numerobis says

    I agree with Takei.

    What is each candidate for?

    If how we evaluate them is what each candidate is against, that is when you get a Gore, Kerry or Clinton. All three quite smart, but unable to articulate why we’d vote for them.

    That fails to get people out to vote, which is risky given the large minority who vote for the idiot asshole who lies all the time but at least is clear that they’re in it to eat people’s faces.

  15. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Those who think Trumpfart ended drone strikes, he didn’t. He, by executive order, ended all need to do any reporting to anybody on drone strikes. Presume the worst.

  16. numerobis says

    mnb0: Is that supposed to be a trick question?

    Trotsky wants mass democracy and redistribution of wealth. I’m pretty ok with it. The VP position is not so powerful; we’d be left with the spectacle of Göring being photographed touching spacecraft that with a “no touching” sign on it.

    So yes, I’d vote Trotsky/Göring against Stalin/Hitler, any election where those were the choices.

  17. says

    @littlelocomotive 9
    This is where overt social disposition comes into play. I’m a “holding my nose while voting for D’s” type, and I’m very open and blunt about the moral failings of D’s while they are politicking. (I wasan R parent clone until college, breifly a G, never a D). So if they want me to say good things about them they’ll start taking my issues seriously. Obama was allowed to become complicit with respect to torture during the previous administration. That’s horrifying. Whistle blower abuse. How were the Ds during occupy wall street when the police were acting abusively and outside the law? What will the Ds do if the economy collapses, or morally justified riots targeting their abusers? Drone strike “collateral damage” literally gives people good reasons to hate the USA and desire payback for dead children, family and friends. Our leaders are justified in being seen as physical and moral dangers. As citizens we are complicit.

    The Ds get the benefit of the fact that I speak of Rs with even overt disgust and hatred, and I also outright hate my country, the USA, for many characteristics so it’s not personal. I won’t deny it feels bad and is frustrating while someone is trying to win an election but look on the bright side, they get to learn how to role-model accepting and acting on criticism.

  18. petesh says

    Of course 9 years ago you already became an accomplice of drone killing.

    If you are a citizen of the US, so did you. We collectively elected Obama. We collectively elected Trump. Like it or not, we are all part of this. If you’re not a citizen of the US, same applies, mutatis mutandis; I’m not sure that right now there is a country of which I would be a proud citizen Incidentally, though it’s not relevant to the most important point, I think McCain, Romney and Trump would have killed more people on net than Obama or Clinton. Not in the same way, necessarily, although Trump is mowing down civilians in Yemen at an awful rate.

  19. vucodlak says

    How is this supposed to work? We pick our candidates, but we don’t say why we picked this candidate over another, so that whoever wins doesn’t know what’s actually important to the people who didn’t vote for them in the primary and thus doesn’t know what they need to work on to win them over?

    If anything, this seems like a strategy that will guarantee a repeat of 2016.

  20. says

    @vucodlak
    At what stage if candidate choice are we talking about? There’s more to it but this blog post is an example. Biden’s personal boundary issues are of a kind with abusers and is argument arguably an abuse. His apology wasn’t an apology, you can’t apologize for another person’s feelings, only ones own actions. It’s a bit of social bullshit that society at large still needs to get over and serves to avoid what one is apologizing for.

    I’m going to shame him out if the running if I can, there are better choices and the partyless can still apply social pressure where they can.

  21. DanDare says

    Build a map of the issues and positions that would get you to vote. Compare all candidates to your map. Look for signs of fakery or incincerity or ineptitude.
    Communicate your maps and your findings with one another. Investigate. Argue.convince. learn. Adjust your maps.
    Use that on every level of government. Assume this is your real day job.

  22. says

    It’s not a ‘cave’ to admit I’d vote for literally anyone to get rid of Trump. It would be a ‘cave’ to do what Takei wants. Right now is when we have some measure of choice as to who we pit against Trump. I’m not planning to passively allow the party machine to anoint Joe Biden.

  23. consciousness razor says

    numerobis:

    What is each candidate for?

    If how we evaluate them is what each candidate is against, that is when you get a Gore, Kerry or Clinton.

    Whenever you’re “for” something, that means you’re “against” something else. You’re fooling yourself, if you think this amounts to something more than using language to represent the same ideas differently.
    This shouldn’t be unfamiliar territory for you. Atheists are “not theists” or are “against theism” in a certain sense, but that’s just as much a positive statement as it is a negative one. It informs you about the kind of world atheists think they live in, which of course is not another kind of world.

    Do you really agree with Takei? Why?

    Will you join me in pledging not to speak negatively about any of our candidates? We don’t know who the nominee will be, but they need to be as strong as they can be going into the election against Trump.

    The candidates are as strong as they are, or as weak as they are, no matter what I say about it. They probably do prefer that we shut up about how weak they are. I’ll believe that, but that doesn’t mean I’m making a pledge with Takei.

  24. mountainbob says

    We’ve got a capable bunch of patriots vying to lead the party and our country, and one will bear the standard for the Democratic Party into the 2020 campaign. I’m not committed to any one of them, but commit now to work for, campaign for, and vote for the Democratic candidate, whichever one it is. There must not be any wastage of votes by folks saying, “none of them is pure enough,” or, “this person is too young (old), gay (or bachelor) or whatever. Those who sit this election out are voting for president T. My participation at the polls in November of 2020 is a civic duty.

  25. says

    In 2016 a lot of people “hardened” their positions during primary season by shouting in endless ALLCAPS that they would never ever ever vote for Candidate X because reasons. It turns out that when you spend months shouting “never never never” it influences your ability to get behind the ultimate nominee. This is what I think Takei is trying to address.

  26. hemidactylus says

    I’m with PZ. I think we should rage against the DNC party machine and business as usual. I recall their reaction to Florida trying to buck the primary schedule in 2008 and spamming my email with BS PR after my nastygram. And I saw the silver lining in the 2016 Russian DNC email hacks in how they treated Sanders. So screw being nice to Uncle Joe or anyone else. I hate that they may bank on my loyalty despite back room shenanigans because Hair Furor. That dynamic may play out even worse for us this time around.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douche_and_Turd

  27. says

    In 2016, a lot of people decided to vote for any Democrat, no matter how vile, and as a result we got a pro-war, pro-1%, anti-union corporate puppet with a goal of kicking the can down the road on climate change, whose career — both before and after getting into politics — was largely based on screwing over the Democratic base. The Democratic leadership took note that they could basically abandon any pretense of being on the side of the people they nominally represent yet still get enough votes to win (if properly arranged), and are eager to repeat the trick this time with Joe Biden, who is (in terms of policy) much the same as Hillary Clinton. (In fact, they don’t even care about winning, because actually holding power while not acting on the issues was such a difficult trick under Obama. Ideally, they’d like to maintain exactly the status quo: control of one house of Congress, but otherwise in the minority, so they can pretend to oppose the Republicans while not having to worry about how to avoid any consequences with rich donors.) They’ll probably get away with it, because the last 30 years have demonstrated thoroughly that the Democratic base is approximately as easy to fool and as lacking in sense as the Republican one, and 2016 showed us that the early primaries are settled mostly by name recognition, which their horrifying candidate has in spades. I can’t wait to hear how my hatred of Biden can’t be based on his history or policies, because his rhetoric (which he will make clear will be discarded seconds after the primaries are over) is very very slightly — measurable only with a micrometer — to the left. Last time they told me I hated Hillary Clinton because she was a woman, but they can’t do that with Biden, so I look forward to hearing the excuse this time.

    Buckle yourselves in, everyone, we’re almost certainly either getting 4 years of Trump or 4 years of somebody who would like to be Ronald Reagan.

  28. hemidactylus says

    For clarity that should be “in my learning how they (DNC) treated Sanders.” Without the hack I would have been oblivious. It almost looks as though I was condoning DNC shenanigans against Sanders. I still voted for Clinton and I’m not currently beholden to Sanders in some resentful antiestablishment way. But I hates the DNC, party politics, and the current two party setup. It sickens me.

  29. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    Oh my, George. Why does that sentiment make me suspect his candidate of choice has a lot of baggage. lol

    Is that a light coat of sweat I see forming on the country’s collective brow? Is it blood fever so soon? Are the pangs of the electoral Pon Farr upon us again. Looks like ole George is losing his taste for a good ole fashion kal-if-fee.

    PZ has his dander up for some infighting. Maybe the MCU movie’s idea that “every problem is solved with a fight” has influenced his option on that. Lol I jest.

    Okay I’ll take my puns and leave. *Sticks out tongue.

  30. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    @ 32 I meant to type “opinion” on that. Oops. I should really check my comments before posting them.

  31. hemidactylus says

    In a world where George HW Bush voted for Hillary, George Will quit the GOP and Bill Weld may go after Hair Furor I know the stakes are high, but “Touch Feely” Biden? Really? Bleck. I need an anti-emetic. Stat!

  32. lotharloo says

    Can you imagine what would have happened if the it were Sanders who was a bit “touchy” instead of Biden? There would be no shortage of cries for resignation from candidacy from the corporate branch and the Hillary faction. Nah, but it’s the friend of the establishment and the holy Obama presidency so it’s fine. To be honest, I much prefer the Pete no-policies Buttigieg to Biden, the supposed “man of the people”.

  33. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    It’s just naive nonsense, and I think it’s harmful.

    First: Does anyone really imagine that, if progressives don’t talk about the problems with the candidates, the right-wing won’t? They’re actually quite good at identifying when someone is a corporate shill. Remember the blowup on Tucker Carlson’s show where he got called out for his laughably thin posing of being anti-elite and anti-globalist?

    And if the kinds of things we care about don’t make effective propaganda to be used by the other side, they also don’t matter here. Unless we’re literally saying that the voting base is so irrational and foolish that they can’t be trusted to have the actual information about their candidate and the actual selection of views people have. What a wonderfully elitist, technocratic notion. Me? I’m perfectly capable of hearing an array of perspectives for someone I’m voting for and then coming to my own opinion.

    Second: Does Takei not realize the mileage that conservatives get from liberal hypocrisy?

    I really honestly believe that we would be crushing the alt-right and the Republicans alike much harder if we were consistent about our core values and didn’t waffle on them for political expediency. The difficulty of being a liberal, progressive or leftist is that those values are more complicated and higher-effort than the conservative ones, which are very lizard brain and very performative. It’s easy to perform strength but not so easy to perform mercy. So to really show people that our values are better, are viable and useful, we have to be consistent about them. When someone on our side crosses a line, says something racist or gets handsy, we need to be able to sincere about it.

    I have a friend who fell deep down the alt-right rabbit hole. But he was able to show me a Biden meme that I was able to laugh at about him getting handsy. If I had argued with him on that score, I know for a fact that he would have rightly called out the blatant hypocrisy.

    If a candidate does something that we disagree with, there are times and places to make that clear. Then when people inevitably say “I thought you said you were the party of [X], but your candidate did [Y]”, we can say, “Yes, I already spoke about that, here’s the link”, and show that we have actual convictions and it’s not just partisan maneuvering.

  34. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    @28: It also turns out that, when your nominee messages just terribly on this score and the system clearly is not designed to allow your candidate to actually discuss the issues he needs to discuss, people have crap turnout. Me, I think the solution would be for the DNC to address that problem. What about you?

    I voted Green because I was in California. But I would have voted Hillary in a heartbeat in a swing state. So would Noam Chomsky, and Michael Albert, and tons of other leftists. Indeed, I wouldn’t even have minded that much because it would at least have been a chance to see a woman in the Oval Office, which is actually pretty important. Instead, we as a nation told young girls that the reality star will be President before a qualified woman.

    Do you have any evidence, whatsoever, that the low turnout for Hillary was because of Sanders supporters? It seems much more likely to me that the relatively apolitical people who need to have a strong, inspiring candidate to be willing to take a day off work or remember to add filling out an absentee ballot to their roster of tasks or whatever else were the ones that didn’t vote. Because Hillary wasn’t inspiring.

    Worse, maybe if the DNC wants to take us seriously, if a corporatist candidate wins they should nominate a centrist. Not, you know, Tim Kaine again. The DNC showed that, in the year of the populist, they were unwilling to throw progressives any kind of a bone. Should we swallow that just to beat a fascist? How many times? Once? Twice? Murray Bookchin was pretty compelling when he pointed out that that kind of lack of backbone prevented the left from being effective in hedging the Nazis early on in the 1930s. I don’t want to repeat that mistake.

    Let’s take the idea of unity equally seriously on all sides, shall we? If someone like Warren wins, I would be okay with a more centrist VP to accompany her. I demand the same from Dems if they want to make clear to me that they actually really care about beating Trumpism and not just getting rid of the guy who humiliated their candidate. Can you say that, if someone like Biden or Harris wins, you will insist on a Warren or a Sanders as VP? Or is party unity just something the left wing of the party needs to care about?

  35. says

    In the scenario of Biden/other interchangeable neolib fuckos, if I was a Yank, I’d be learning how to give underground abortions, helping organize protest groups and learning how to run contraceptives rather then doing anything Dem related other then voting; the ROI in social good is liable to be better, as Trump clowns on that, hard.

  36. Howard Brazee says

    I expect there will be lots of people holding their noses while voting for the Democratic nominee. I hope it will be the neo-liberals doing that, but if it is the progressives, so be it.

  37. logicalcat says

    @38 The DNC did throw progressives a bone. They changed the party’s policy and made it the most progressive its ever been. Then progressives irrationally threw a hissyfit because it was not ‘left’ enough and “they are only doing it to get our votes”. Purity politics is the lefts actual enemy, not the establishment. When the RNC tried to appeal to the radical grassroots movement they were trying to appease for their votes (the tea party) they had no intention of giving them the reins. They failed. The tea party took over and became the new establishment. Any republican who didn’t conform to their politics were either primaried out or retired (like Boehner). They made their party more right, and they did it by voting. Not by playing this dumb ass purity politics bullshit. Say what you want about right wingers but when it comes to elections, they are smarter than leftists.

  38. consciousness razor says

    logicalcat:
    Point me to any election where a Democrat would have won, if it weren’t for leftists/progressives failing to vote because of their so-called “purity politics.” Show me when and where it happened — there were large numbers of these people who threw an irrational hissyfit like you described, and this was what lost that particular election.
    Did that happen, at least once? And if so, is there any reason to think it’s common or typical, that it’s a general pattern that right-wingers are “smarter” in this respect?
    Or are you just pulling all of this out of your ass?

  39. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    @39: I disagree. You wrote the following:

    “In 2016 a lot of people “hardened” their positions during primary season by shouting in endless ALLCAPS that they would never ever ever vote for Candidate X because reasons. It turns out that when you spend months shouting “never never never” it influences your ability to get behind the ultimate nominee. This is what I think Takei is trying to address”.

    And I both disagreed that this actually happened to any substantial degree, offering myself as an example as well as folks like Chomsky, and also pointed out that it’s much more important to focus on the DNC and on moderate Dems. I explained ways that leadership can avoid this phenomenon, and suggested that some progressives you seem to think were just being stubborn and stamping their feet were instead burnt out by a party that decided to ignore them fairly well comprehensively.

    @41: The most progressive it’s ever been? Ummm… Obama pushed the ACA out of practically nowhere. Truman fought for actual socialized health care. Even Bill Clinton brought up a huge cultural battle, arriving at Don’t Ask Don’t Tell after a pretty realistic fight, and he actually really cared about the stimulus package that got nixed. Hillary had a tax policy that included cuts alongside extremely minimalistic promises for closing loopholes and adopting the Buffett Rule, discussed massive increases across the board in the war on terror (in contrast to Obama who, aside from the noxious drone policy, actually largely kept us out of major engagements), talked about what was in effect a $10 billion subsidy to American manufacturers, and only barely managed to get her minimum wage position to something that is still inferior to just mandating that minimum wage tracks productivity. Hillary was firmly to the right of Obama and got some solid support from neocons. https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/hillary-and-the-corporate-elite/ and https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/hillary-and-the-war-party/ are good analyses, and far from the only ones, pointing out how utterly shallow her appeals were.

    Yes, there was a lot of good stuff there too: fighting for the overtime rules that Obama had fought for, fighting for autism care, fighting to overturn Citizens United. But even Forbes pointed out how some of her proposals to fight Wall Street and speculation were childishly limited: https://www.forbes.com/sites/berniekent/2015/07/24/review-of-hillary-clintons-capital-gains-tax-proposal/#4ebf534e399d . And let’s not forget her private argument that Dodd Frank was passed for political reasons and may not even have been effective. She wouldn’t even reimplement Glass-Steagall. And the business press knew full well she had nothing like the zeal for regulation of Elizabeth Warren: https://www.americanbanker.com/opinion/hillary-clinton-elizabeth-warren-banking-frenemies .

    So… nonsense. The best I could reasonably say is that the DNC and Hillary’s stated policies went well to the left of Hillary herself but nowhere near the left of the American public or where the Democrats were on many issues decades ago. And that’s if I’m granting the maximum amount of interpretive charity. In reality, at the time it looked and felt far more like a Band-Aid to stop grousing.

    But of course politicians routinely lie, or are unable to achieve their promises. So what reasonable people ask for is a person in the room who actually embodies those ideas. It’s actually important. Gore’s interest in the ecology and the Internet was important in the 1990s. Even Hillary herself was important as an activist First Lady. The DNC had to know what the optics would be of nominating someone incredibly boring alongside someone else who was boring in a year of populism.

  40. says

    @45 I spent a goodly portion of post-convention 2016 trying to talk sense into people who’d “hardened” their positions. While I know that anecdotal evidence is just shy of no evidence at all, I have a large enough data set of other people whose experience matches my own to be confident that this was a very real phenomenon. Note that those who loudly proclaimed they would “vote for [nominee] while holding their noses” were also moving away from a position of actual helpfulness — as measured by, say, volunteering, canvassing, etc.

    My point as noted in @28 was that I suspect Takei’s position has more to do with never saying “never,” especially given that the field is sufficiently crowded that it is a statistical inevitability that most of the candidates’ most fervent supporters will have to vote for someone they hadn’t initially supported.

  41. wolja says

    Your views, and George Takei’s, are somewhat simplistic.

    Your’s due to a variant where waiting for M[rs] right is far more important the than reality that compromise will be required. The likelihood of someone being close to your views being elected to president is probably low and the likelihood of them delivering all they promised near zero. From a distance , with no strong views of Biden, it would appear he would be a far better president than Trump.

    George has the wish that discord be lost. Unlikely and unhealthy as discord helps form views

  42. Onamission5 says

    @wolja:
    But with the first primary caucuses 9 months away, elections still 10 months off and not wrapping up until the middle of June, 2020, there’s no reason for anyone to settle on Biden immediately just because he’s better than Trump. There are still a lot of candidates in the field, all of whom fall into a range of slightly to vastly better than Trump, and it would behoove us to give them equal consideration so we don’t end up making a reactionary choice but rather an informed one. At this early, non-desperate stage, “better than Trump” cannot be the only criteria for candidate selection. We need to be making informed efforts to determine why the candidates should get our votes and what the consequences, for good or ill, could be for throwing support behind any given possibility.

  43. DLC says

    I know what Takei means. He’s saying that we should be civil with each other during what is bound to be a long, messy campaign year. Okay, so it’s good to be able to look closely at candidates and see what their strengths and weaknesses are, and what the other side is going to use against them. But what Takei is missing is the fact that this vetting or inspection process is bound to be antagonistic, simply because many people have candidate preferences very early on in the primary season, and they feel threatened when people start looking over their favorite and telling people what’s wrong with them. Thus, people quickly start getting less and less polite, until everybody has the talons out for everyone else. Most recently this animosity between people who should be on the same side has been exacerbated by interference from Russian social media bots, disinformation campaigns put up by both the Russians and by the other party, and deliberately antagonistic news stories from outfits like Fox. So, calling for civility, while done with the best intentions, ultimately won’t work.

  44. wolja says

    @Onamission5
    Absolutely. Political parties are inherently broken. Factions form and rabidly push the candidate who most fits their view of the world and even more rabidly fight those from other factions.
    Unfortunately due to broken the only way to drive change is through compromise, picking the best of the worst , and building a faction of your own that eventually has power to make decisions.

    As I said I’m looking form outside in but the issues with Alexandria Orcasio-Cortez, and others, riling Nancy Pelosi with loud noise trying to force change publicly means the machine will fight tooth and nail to limit her power. It’s basically a damned if you damned if you don’t scenario. Without the noise your views aren’t heard but with the noise the faction building is slower.

  45. Saad says

    Before the candidate is decided, do what you can to support the person you think would make the best president.

    In November, vote for the Democratic candidate.

    It’s so simple.

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