First, for folks emerging from beneath their mineral slab domicile for the first time in however many months, a friendly reminder: The 2020 Nevada Democratic Presidential Caucus is on Feb. 22. (The Republicans, whose presumptive nominee is the incumbent, are not holding a caucus in the state this year.) A caucus is an electoral process in which voters express support for their favored candidates with a bit of discussion among neighbors of the same party affiliation. For more information, including how to determine your caucus location, visit nvdems.com. It’s a good idea to check it. Your caucus location might not be where you usually vote.
There are several appealing candidates still in the mix—and strong arguments for and against voting for them. After a great deal of hand-wringing and internal debate, the New York Times recently decided that, rather than endorse a single candidate, they would split their endorsement in half and endorse two candidates, which meant that, for all practical purposes, they didn't really endorse anybody. We're not nearly so cowardly.
Still, though, that split endorsement is a demonstration of how difficult it is to chose a single candidate this year. We like the steadfast demeanor and eloquence of Pete Buttigieg. We like the passionate, persistent innovation of Elizabeth Warren. We like that Joe Biden is friends with Barack Obama. Amy Klobuchar is what we wish Republicans were like in 2020, and we can see how she's likely to have some crossover appeal to conservatives who are fed up with Donald Trump's dishonesty. We like that Tom Steyer is spending a ton of money in Nevada.
Every candidate in the pool has an Achilles' heel—an issue of electability or a policy position that gives us pause. Our favored candidate is no different. For one thing, he's an old white guy running for a job that's been held almost, but not quite, exclusively by old white guys. Diversity matters in 2020. And what's more, he's a really old guy. When Trump took office, he was the oldest person ever elected to a first term as U.S. President, at 70. If elected, our favored candidate will be nine years older than that.
That's a real problem. It creates a lot of pressure on his eventual running mate. And we're predicting this now: whoever it is, they will probably be young and most likely a woman.
The electability problem of our favored candidate is that, in the general election, he will be routinely criticized as a socialist. That might be an electability problem, but we don't see it as a policy problem. The Democratic nominee in 1932 was also routinely criticized as a socialist. He won the election, used social programs to save the economy from its worst ever condition, and then saved Democracy itself by leading the country to victory during the worst military conflict the world has ever known. We've got no problem with socialists.
Authenticity is a problematic concept and an impossible thing to gauge, but we appreciate our favored candidate's unflinching honesty and his remarkable consistency. His long career and positions on nearly every issue are guided by an unwavering principle: Helping working families.
We endorse Bernie Sanders for U.S. President. See you at the caucuses.