I've got half a dozen clichés swirling around in my head:
I'm too embarrassed to actually use them, so I'll just list them here and call them up when appropriate.
1. Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole.
2. You're preaching to the choir.
3. They're like crabs trying to crawl their way out of the crab pot, being pulled back down by their fellow crabs.
4. We're just shifting deck chairs on the Titanic.
5. The fist is more powerful than any single finger.
6. You've just hit a home run.
In the past couple of weeks I've been exchanging views on the Democratic Primary with good friends. I always love talking with these people but lately I find our conversations have raised my frustration level considerably.
In the old days, I might have called our exchanges a "healthy debate" appropriate at election time, discussion of the pros and cons of the candidates, filling in bits of information for each other as the Democratic Primary process galumphs laboriously along.
But these are not the old days. They are the new days where virtually all confidence in American democracy has collapsed and it feels as if we're at the precipice of a full-fledged disaster, the real possibility Donald Trump could get re-elected. If that happens, he will get, most likely, to put another right-wing justice or two on the Supreme Court, the same Court that has already destroyed fair elections by allowing corporations to be declared persons, thus giving them the right, via the Citizens' United decision, to pump unlimited funds into campaigns and hire lobbyists to buy even more politicians, all of which will keep power in the hands of the superrich. He will also be able to continue to pardon his gangster friends found guilty of crimes left, right and center, to further pollute coastal waters, destroy national parks, and enable the fossil fuel industries to continue to further global warming. When the biggest global crises are climate change. the danger of nuclear weapons and the capture of the control of data, all of which require international cooperation to solve, Trump continues to take an America-only approach to dealing with the outside world, effectively sabotaging any efforts at finding solutions.
And what are we doing? We're fighting amongst ourselves over whether the country is more likely to go to the polls to vote for a moderate or for a liberal progressive? We have all sorts of talking heads explaining why it's one or the other, and it's obvious as hell nobody really has the answer to that question.
As is often the case, when somebody hits you with an either/or question, the best way to go is to insist on both/and. It's painful to me to have to listen to people argue over whether it's Bernie or Elizabeth Warren who has the best approach to health care, whether Bloomfield should be "allowed" to "buy the election," whether Mayor Pete has sold out by now raking in so much money from big donors. Whether Amy Klobuchar should be eliminated because she treated her staff badly. Before Cory Booker and Kamala Harris and Andrew Yang were eliminated, the same mud was slung at them. Not by the Republicans, who have no credibility anymore, but by fellow Democrats. Everybody is acting like [INSERT CRAB POT CLICHE HERE.]
All of these people, every last one of them, despite all their weaknesses, would head a government infinitely superior to the one currently lying its way into the rape of the land and the destruction of the last bit of faith this country has in government. [INSERT DECK CHAIR CLICHE HERE.]
I know we've got to let the race for the primary play out. We've got to go to South Carolina to find out if Biden is the next guy to be eliminated. We've got to go to Super Tuesday to find out whether it's Bloomberg or Bernie or Elizabeth Warren who is going to be declared primus/prima inter pares.
I came out some time ago in favor of Bernie, but I promised my Elizabeth Warren friends I'd keep listening to their arguments and switch over if I found a really persuasive one. I think I've heard enough arguments by now and want to stick with Bernie. But that's not the point I want to make here.
The point I want to make here is that I think it's already time we stopped [INSERT PREACHING TO THE CHOIR CLICHE HERE] and [INSERT DONUT CLICHE HERE].
The donut is this. Defeat Donald Trump. For the sake of all that's holy, defeat Donald Trump!
How, you ask?
I think Thomas Friedman has the answer, with E. J. Dionne backing him up. I leave it to you to suggest adjustments, but I urge you to consider what they are proposing, a cooperative effort by moderates and progressives, rather than worrying about how to go it alone, and regardless who gets to head it up, to agree on a government we can all get behind.
Band together, folks. Think collectively. [INSERT FIST CLICHE HERE.]
Thank you Thomas Friedman.
Have long appreciated your insights. Really liked From Beirut to Jerusalem.
And I think you've [INSERT HOME RUN CLICHE HERE.]
P.S. If the New York Times won't give you access to the article, what he's saying, basically, is that we ought to run as a band of brothers and sisters, and all agree collectively to make Amy Klobuchar VP, Elizabeth Warren Health and Human Services Secretary, Joe Biden Secretary of State, Cory Booker Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Mayor Pete Secretary of Homeland Security, Kamala Harris Attorney General, Mitt Romney for Commerce Secretary, and AOC Secretary to the United Nations. Plus a few more.