Let's make this the overarching mantra for Democrats until Donald Trump is defeated in the November 2020 presidential election:
No Dem candidate is perfect, but all of them are hugely better than Trump.
Which means, ditch any thought of a purity test for the candidates still in the hunt for the Democratic nomination. I was reminded of this oh-so-important adage when I came across a piece in The Atlantic, "Bloomberg Flunks the Wokeness Test."
Right on subtitle: Stop-and-frisk was awful. But to disqualify the former New York mayor from the presidency on that basis is to risk something more destructive: a second term for Trump. Here's an excerpt.
For some, stop-and-frisk is a deal-breaker. Note how modern—up-to-the minute, even—it seems to disqualify Bloomberg for one mistake on race, even if he would govern better than Trump has in all ways. It’s straight from the woke playbook.
Freezing out the former mayor would also be a kind of atonement for the left’s having let pass Hillary Clinton’s “superpredator” comment in the 1990s. Atonement is the operative word here. To shout down Bloomberg because of that one policy would constitute a strain of anti-racism that has all the characteristics of religion rather than rationality.
By denouncing a candidate as formidable as Bloomberg, people will show one another that they understand the evil of racism and go in grace—even on the pain of an impeached, amoral Trump being reelected.
Though I'm a proud progressive, it bothers me that all too often Democrats obsess over purity, while Republicans obsess over power -- getting and keeping it.
So even though it makes sense to critically assess the policy positions of the Dem presidential candidates, along with their past record, both of those things are hugely less important than Job #!: defeating Trump.
This is why I couldn't care less if billionaires are contributing to someone's campaign, or if, like Bloomberg, they are a billionaire themselves. It's going to take a gigantic boatload of money to beat Trump. Whoever wants to contribute to that effort deserves applause, not criticism.
Purity tests have to take a backseat to political pragmatism. We saw what happened in 2016 when too many misguided voters sat out the election, or voted for Jill Stein, because Hillary Clinton wasn't Bernie Sanders.
What should have been foremost in their minds was Hillary Clinton isn't Donald Trump.
Likewise, all of the Democratic candidates are so much more qualified to be president than Trump, there shouldn't be any doubt in a voter's mind to cast a ballot for any of them this November.
Bernie Sanders...yes, he's rigid, annoying, and not the easiest guy to like. Doesn't matter. He's way better than Trump.
Pete Buttigieg...yes, he didn't handle race relations in South Bend perfectly. Doesn't matter. He's way better than Trump.
Elizabeth Warren...yes, she has waffled some on Medicare for All. Doesn't matter. She's way better than Trump.
Joe Biden...yes, he rambles and can put an audience to sleep. Doesn't matter. He's way better than Trump.
Amy Klobuchar...yes, she is a moderate who wants to improve Obamacare. Doesn't matter. She's way better than Trump.
Michael Bloomberg...yes, he embraced stop-and-frisk. Doesn't matter. He's way better than Trump.
Tom Steyer...yes, he's also a billionaire who is spending his own money freely. Doesn't matter. He's way better than Trump.
So let's thin the Democratic field for good reasons, notably the candidates' ability to defeat Trump, not for a bad reasons such as kicking someone out of contention because they failed a purity test.