Flea Market Pt. 3: Which Democrat Will Make It?

This morning, I awoke to the news that Corey Booker has decided to end his (ill-fated) campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination. I honestly wasn’t surprised because if any of you have been keeping up, his numbers were dismal. His hopefulness was…encouraging though. Back in December, when asked on either CNN or MSNBC (can’t remember which), why he was staying in when his numbers were so low, he reminded me of a teenager resolutely expressing her plans to marry her boyfriend who had been in and out of juvie 6 times and was prone to disappear for 72-hour chunks of time.

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Anywho, Booker must have had his electoral Demascus Road experience sometime over the weekend and decided that his campaign was indeed a no-go.

So where do we stand? If you read my Flea Market Pt. 1 and Flea Market Pt. 2 posts, you’ll know we started with a mess that became a bigger mess and slowly, but surely, the mess is being cleaned up (if it could ever be).

Big hitters Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders are still in the race (duh). Notorious white man who doesn’t get it but thinks being gay means otherwise Pete Buttigieg is still in it. Then, you have Amy Klobuchar holding on like a woman at a 48-hour Pentacostal revival on her knees with a prayer cloth waiting for Jesus to zap the diabetes out of her. Tulsi Gabbard is somewhere still in there even though Dems were quite nonplussed by her “Present” declaration at the impeachment vote. Andrew Yang is surprisingly doing well and still in the race. Latecoming billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are also running to the extent that I can’t watch Hulu or my trash TV on TLC without seeing a commercial for one or both of them.

I haven’t decided who I’m voting for (or if I’m voting but we’ll talk about that later). But, here’s my take on each of the remaining candidates:

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Joe Biden: Frankly, I think Biden missed his shot. I think there are certain grand things in life where timing is everything. I think Biden would have easily slid into the POTUS chair had he run in 2016. He didn’t use that opportunity though and I think that door has closed. Boomers and Blacks love him but with a new crop of younger voters coming in and ideas such as Medicare for all, reparations, and student loan forgiveness seriously on the table, unless Biden does an abrupt about face, I don’t see it for him. Plus, his history in politics will ALWAYS follow him. Here’s his platform.

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Elizabeth Warren: I’m willing to forgive her for pretending to be Native American. I mean…she wouldn’t be white if she didn’t. A lot of people like her Medicare for all idea. I think it’s a good idea, too. I mean, dying or having to go bankrupt because you need a surgery or expensive medication is ridiculous in a developed country. I also like that she wants to address the maternal mortality rate for Black women that is largely driven by racism in the medical industry. What I think is an issue is that her student loan forgiveness plan doesn’t go far enough. $50k is a pretty penny but from what I’ve gathered is on the low end of what A WHOLE LOT of borrowers owe. However, visit her campaign “Plans” page here to get a peek of everything she wants to do.

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Bernie Sanders: If I had to vote today, he’d likely be my choice. I was reading his platform page and in addition to the forgiveness of all student loan debt, he also wants to forgive medical debt and replace for-profit credit bureaus. I’m still mad at Equifax for promising us $125 for their fuckup and then figuring out they couldn’t pay their bill and deciding to not pay us (oh the irony) so putting them out of business sounds great to me. Several Black people have expressed concerns about certain comments that Sanders have made that sound less than progressive. I, however, never expect to get anything racially progressive from white people; especially not a white man his age. I still think that he’s the best choice of the field at this point. Let’s just hope the DNC doesn’t….nevermind. Here’s his platform page.

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Pete Buttigieg: No.

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Andrew Yang: His page has a plethora of things that he either wants to do or “explore.” For example, one of his big three issues is “human-centered capitalism” which aims to put people before money (ie. instead of the health of the economy being measured by the stock market, it would be measured by how well people are actually doing). But, perhaps, his biggest claim to fame is his desire to give each American (over 18) “universal basic income.” This entails each American getting $1,000/mo free and clear. In theory, this extra $1,000 would allow people to have a little more breathing room each month. Every single person I know who supports Yang cites this $1,000/mo as their reason. Do I think he’ll win? Neaux. But, he may be forcing the eventual winner to step up their game a little. You can find the rest of his platform here.

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Amy Klobuchar: I Googled her website to see her platform. My only option was to sign up as a supporter or visit her store. So…..moving on….

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Tulsi Gabbard: Let me just start out by saying that I don’t think she’s serious. It’s like when you do an internship in a field you’re not really passionate about just to be able to put it on your resume in case you need it one day.  I looked at her website and she  seems to care a lot about war and war-adjacent topics (makes sense since she’s a veteran). What got me was the following line under her healthcare section:

“I will also incentivize good health choices and lifestyles for a healthier, wealthier nation!”

Whew, girl! Have you met 2016, yet? That’s the perfect steak for the people ready to accuse someone of -shaming to latch onto but you know…

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Michael Bloomberg: Yes, I know MB is the source of “Stop and Frisk.” But, Judge Judy is endorsing him so he must be alright, no? I’m just kidding. I have looked at his page though and I’ll have to admit that a Jewish candidate addressing redlining and other past racial injustices is interesting. He’s also addressing Black maternal mortality rates as well. Many people have wondered why he entered so late and suspect him of trying to buy the election. I don’t think that’s the case. Frankly, I feel like the fun part of elections is people who likely won’t win to make issues big enough so that the people who might win are under pressure to take those issues seriously. Click here for more.

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Tom Steyer: All I know is the company that he founded and worked for only has like 3 non-white people on their site and I can’t imagine it was much better when he was there so….

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The cynical conspiracy theorist in me feels like Biden has already been chosen. I don’t know that for a fact but there’s a reason Trump presumed he’d be his political rival.

Anyway, I still think Trump is going to win in 2020.

 

 

Then What? The Bad News For Boycotters

A couple of days ago, it was revealed that one of the owners of Soul Cycle and Equinox was holding a Trump fundraiser. As celebrities and regular degulars alike took to Twitter and Instagram to urge people to give up their memberships, the companies released statements saying that the fundraiser was being thrown with the owner’s own money, that he only owns a piece of the companies, and that the companies do not condone or promote bigotry of any kind.

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Kewl.

As we all know, Chik-Fil-A is another company that we’re supposed to be boycotting because of its owners’ history of donating to charities believed to espouse anti-LGBTQ sentiments. Then, there’s Wayfair, Hobby Lobby, ABC Supply, HSN, etc… The list goes on and on and on and most of it has to do with owners being Trump supporters, Trump merchandise being sold (HSN), or the owners having an ultra-conservative stance on hot button issues.

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It seems like many of these boycotts are actually just performative for social media. I mean, I haven’t eaten at Chik-Fil-A in years but the one closest to where I live, in a highly Democratic area, consistently has two lines that spill into the street. And to be honest, me not eating Chik-Fil-A has more to do with me staying sexy and refusing to sit in a drive-thru for 30 minutes than the owner thinking that there’s something wrong with being gay or abortion.

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I still wear New Balance because I’m not going to worsen my plantar fasciitis and buy Nikes because the owner of New Balance is a Republican.

I think people are missing a few things in their zeal to boycott.

  1. Very few owners of multi-billion dollar companies don’t have a right-leaning stance about something. Remember when the light bulb illuminated during 2007 and Millennials realized that the people with real money were helping to call the shots and actually loved Republican leadership? Okay. Well, yeah….that. Even if they don’t care about abortion or queerness, they are at least fiscally conservative which is another way to say that they are into controlling costs (ie. keeping a low minimum wage) and getting and staying as rich as they can (ie. curiously beneficial tax codes). It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Trump for them. They’d have voted and donated to the guy who plays the trombone on the street corner if he were to become a Republican president.
  2. The racial aspect. White people are in a position to play around with their politics and kind of pick and choose at their leisure what they are and aren’t going to do and who they are and aren’t going to boycott. White people are also able to be shocked and appalled. Black people haven’t had the same ability to be socially daft or unconscious. First of all, we have to presume that all these rich white men are some kind of –ist. Actually, we have to presume that white people, in general, are some kind of –ist. History suggests it. Our survival, since we’ve been in this country, has always depended upon us analyzing the prospect that the white people we come in contact with for any reason could actually hate our asses. When you live with that as part of your default, you tend to not be as reactionary when you find out that the white owner of your favorite pizza joint doesn’t like Black people. What’s new? Chik-Fil-A isn’t open on Sundays. Common sense tells you why. So then, if they are clearly Evangelicals, is it really a shock that they think anything but heterosexuality is a sin? Not really. Just like we ate Sister Williams’ peach cobbler knowing that she also thought being gay was a sin, we’re gonna’ go get that 8-piece nugget meal. Basically, if we boycotted every business run by people who don’t like us, there’d be almost literally nowhere for us to go besides the local Black-owned BBQ and catfish joints and our beauty salons or barbershops.

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3. After the boycott, then what? These people are clearly unapologetic about their political stance. Chick-Fil-A is still poppin’, which is a sign that not even the boycotters are on the same page. And as of yet, I’ve not heard of any actual policy ideas that boycotts are supposed to spark. For example, the bus boycott during the CRM was done to end segregation on the buses. But, from what I can tell, all the boycotters want is for people to stop liking/supporting the Trump campaign or stop being racist/homophobic, etc. That’s not how that works. Boycotts should focus on policy change, not likeability. You think all those Republican millionaires really like Trump? No. You think you not buying a pair of shoes or a biscuit meal is going to change those millionaires internally? Not likely.

Nothing is wrong with boycotting. Hell, I’ve been boycotting Ross since 1997. But, I feel like while you’re boycotting, your eyes need to be on a prize and like it or not, when you finally break and get some waffle fries, Trump will still be president.

Dear Democrats: What The F*ck Are Y’all Doing? Flea Market Part II

The last time I wrote about politics, there were 8-10 Democratic hopefuls. At the time, I called the race a flea market because there were so many people running and a lot of them were randos who came out of nowhere.

Well, it pains me to say that it’s gotten worse. At last count, according to this article, there are 21 hopefuls. I don’t even know what to say.

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Remember the show West Wing? Even though I only started watching it well after it was off the air and on Netflix, I love that show. Same thing for House of Cards and Madame Secretary. Do you know why? Because every political move was written as if it was all planned. Politician A promised politician B a seat on some committee if politician B could convince politicians C-E to vote a certain way. The best part was when party A put up politician C to run for POTUS and talked politicians D-M out of running for POTUS for the benefit of the party.

I loved these shows because I could clearly see the parallels between real life and the drama that was written “for entertainment purposes only.” I was convinced that Hollywood, that had managed to um…”predict” so many other political happenings, had the inside scoop.

But, I swear….this Democratic race has disabused the fuck out of my conclusions.

As I’ve said many times, I’m a Centrist. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Mitt Romney primary Donald Trump. I’d even like to see Kasich give it another try.

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But when I read articles like the one I posted above and this one that talks about Democratic hopeful #47753037 selling bumper stickers so they can get on the debate stage, I become a tad perplexed at whether the Democrats even have a plan for lunch this Thursday, let alone their nominee or the direction of the country.

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Yes, I know that anybody who meets the criteria to be POTUS (and has the donors or cash to sustain a campaign) can throw their hat in the ring. I just wonder if the “top” Dems have stopped to look at what’s happening with the party right now long enough to realize that they’re going to have to use actual strategy this time around instead of just hope that Millennials will be so touched by student loan cancellation and Medicaid for all that they’ll rush to the polls to put whomever the Dems settle on into office.

Because you see, they did that last time and we all saw (and are seeing) what happened.

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Let me back up though.

In my opinion, the Dems have tried to engage in a sort of political foreplay. They got their constituents hyped about Russia, Russia, Russia. They’ve spent (and still spend) inordinate amounts of time pointing out every spelling mistake Trump makes on Twitter. Then, they pretended to take the ADOS Movement’s demand for reparations seriously.

But what happened?

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No penetration. You can forget about an orgasm.

They knew good and damn well that they had no real intentions of pursuing impeachment. Instead of organizing or drafting some type of substantive and REALISTIC policy initiatives, they wasted time pointing and laughing trying to make Trump look like a clueless illiterate buffoon (ie. the 3 months of “covfefe”). And last I heard, many of the hopefuls say that they agree with reparations but (in the words of Iris Murdoch) between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.

Then, they trotted people like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez out as the progressive voice that they know they will never support en masse because they know Millennials love that shit.

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I never thought I’d say this but Republicans seem to have more sense at this point than Democrats.

How?

They are backing one person. Even though many (if not most) of them think he’s the wrong choice for POTUS, they are putting the party above their own personal feelings simply to have the GOP rule the roost another 4 years. They are closing ranks; and although I take issue with many of the things that GOP’ers do and say, I must state that they are doing what’s logical when you want to win.

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I suggest the Dems do the same. I’m no political pundit but I think they need to all…ALLLLLLL…sit down and have a come to Jesus (that’s HAY-SOOS, not your Lord & Savior) meeting and choose 3-5 nominees to put up that they truly think can compete and defeat Trump. Then, those chosen can get busy strategizing and forming a sound set of policies that they can easily support during the debates and beyond.

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But this thing they’re doing now where everybody and their cousin is suddenly running is simply too many cooks ruining a broth that, to be quite honest, wasn’t that good to begin with.

Nevertheless, I’ll end this the same way I ended Part I. I wish all the candidates luck.

 

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