Republicans are willing to accept a candidate who makes lewd comments about women, mocks disabled people, uses childish nicknames, and fought to get five black & Latino men executed (The Central Park 5). But Democrats are less forgiving. Take Senator Al Franken. Even fellow Democratic Senators like Kirsten Gillibrand came down hard on Franken, so hard he was forced to quickly resign. The cancel culture was on display again this past week as the Republican machine circulated audio of Mike Bloomberg talking about the controversial stop-and-frisk policy he instituted while he was mayor of NYC. After the audio surfaced, some Democrats, even ones who were in his corner quickly turned on him.
Bloomberg has apologized for stop-and-frisk, words never uttered in public by Donald Trump for his misdeeds.
Every candidate has flaws. If Democrats are waiting for the perfect nominee, let’s hope they don’t hold their breath.
As former President Barack Obama warned last year, Democrats should worry about candidates forming a circular firing squad. At the Obama Foundation Summit back he said, “This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically woke, and all that stuff — you should get over that quickly.”
Most are too young to remember but George McGovern lost 49 states to Richard Nixon, another polarizing president.
It’s Bloomberg now, it could be any candidate later. We know no matter who the Democratic nominee ends up being, Donald Trump and his allies will try to zero in on one thing (or many things) that they believe can ruin the candidate. For Hillary Clinton, it was her emails. For Elizabeth Warren, it was her past claims relating to Native American ancestry. For Bernie Sanders, Trump has already said: “I think he’s a communist.”
Yes, some qualities will and should disqualify a candidate, but before canceling a candidate, step back and weigh everything. And remember the alternative. Democrats can either throw in the towel or forgive candidates for things that Republicans will no doubt soon weaponize.