There was a time in politics when the politicians you considered voting for were so good, so current, that it was a time of T-shirts, of lawn signs, of, I guess, virtue signaling.
In 1972, Taylor Phelps tore down a huge paper banner, about 4 by 6 feet, that he had stolen from the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood after a Barbra Streisand concert in support of the very excellent George McGovern, and brought it to my parents. He hung it in the kitchen in Pasadena, and he hung it high on the wall for a year or two, certainly well after the election in which McGovern lost 49 states, including this one.
I guess he hung it there because his own mother, liberal but Republican – imagine! – wouldn’t allow him to set it up in his kitchen, even though my mother was the kind of peace advocate who voted for Dr. Spock. (She also, as a Southerner who didn’t care about Jimmy Carter’s sanctimoniousness, voted for Gerald Ford. People were a little more flexible then.)
The fact is, McGovern (and Bobby Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy) was the kind of Democrat who could totally wear a T-shirt and deserve to be touted in the kitchen.
While Joe Biden, the candidate who will almost certainly represent the Democrats in the November 2024 election?
I don’t remember seeing a single Joe Biden T-shirt at all, during the last election or the upcoming one. If you have seen one in the wild or carried one, please send photos.
This means that there is not exactly a wave of enthusiastic support for the re-election of a president who, if not excellent, is acceptable.
People vote, or were said to vote in the past, on the economy, it’s stupid. And the stock market is approaching a record high. Inflation quickly slowed, falling to around 3% from a post-pandemic high of around 9% following the government spending spree. Unemployment fell to 3.7%. Around 200,000 jobs are “created” each month.
Any outgoing president would tout these simple facts. Yes, there is an immigration crisis at the southern border, but that crisis is caused at least as much, and probably more, by the leadership failures of other political presidents in the Americas, by Cuba, by Venezuela and especially by the perfectly horrible presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico.
Any objective American would be happy to share in the gains that such economic successes bring to all of us, and to say so.
But there are no more objective Americans. We live by the talking points of our tribe. And we simply accept the fact that our two political parties – or the only two parties that matter, independent spoilers aside – are bound and determined to nominate two men who are both, among other issues, too old to be sent to the White House . for another four years.
Many – okay, some – more interesting and important politicians would be available for the ballot, aside from the inevitable two.
Sherrod Brown – there is a T-shirt I would wear. Imagine having a president who, thanks to his bachelor’s degree in Russian studies at Yale – where he campaigned for McGovern – could actually understand and handle a threat like Vladimir Putin. He also holds a master’s degree in education and public administration. He is only 71 years old – a perfect presidential age.
Or Gretchen Whitmer – just 52 years old! As governor of Michigan, she focused on infrastructure and health care. She campaigned on a simple theme: “Fix the damn roads!” »
But she doesn’t run.
The two candidates in the running absolutely cannot wear a t-shirt. And yet the other is so terrible, so dangerous for the nation and the world, that Joe Biden is going to win anyway.
Larry Wilson is on the editorial board of the Southern California News Group. email@example.com.
California Daily Newspapers