Are Democrats headed for disaster?

Too many presidential candidates, and too liberal

Eric Wiesenthal worked in state government for 20 years in the Assembly, governor’s office and three departments.

Eric Wiesenthal worked in state government for 20 years in the Assembly, governor’s office and three departments.

Frankly, the prospect of nearly two dozen Democrats vying for the Oval Office scares me.

A few of these men and women have barely begun to serve in Congress, yet they believe they can take on the awesome responsibilities of the presidency.

As a committed Democrat who has walked precincts since I was eight, I’m fairly certain that much of America is not yet ready for Democrats who call themselves “socialists,” or the idea we ought to be soaking the rich at all costs. And these fellow Americans are not just the folks living in the “fly-over” states. Resistance will come from our friends and neighbors in Citrus Heights, Elk Grove and Roseville.

The first key to winning the presidency in 2020 is understanding why so many white, disaffected folks (a number of them college graduates) voted for Donald Trump. Unless these candidates get beyond listening tours and focus groups and understand the rage that reared its head in 2016, none of them will become a genuinely strong contender representing my party.

Americans also need someone with a fresh voice and vision from a different part of the country who has a proven track record of working across the aisle.

I’m a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act (I never call it “Obamacare”). I also believe we ought to dramatically cut student loan debt, declare a national emergency concerning the lack of affordable housing and work to achieve honest tax reform that rewards corporations only after they create good-paying jobs or bring them back to the U.S. If anyone cares to remember, real tax reform happened in 1986, after a bipartisan effort that took several years.

And while we’re on the to-do list, let’s finally have a public works bill targeted for freeways, roads, bridges and public transit that avoids “pork barrel” projects, is transparent and includes a tough accounting requirement.

These “kitchen table” issues resonate with many Americans.

Finally, we need a woman or man who will represent and demonstrate a respect for the Constitution and the separation of powers among the three branches of government, plus a commitment to a more enlightened and muscular foreign policy. Our next president must understand that the White House and all its power is intended to lead through diligent work and listening to wise counsel—and not turn the office into some kind of megalomaniacal megaphone.

Let’s also add basic respect for the news media which, while sometimes flawed, represents one of the cornerstones of our democracy.

When someone with these qualifications emerges as the frontrunner, I’ll be sure to get out there, knock on neighborhood doors, raise money and commit to turning our nation around for everyone’s benefit.