I see from a recent poll that more millennials would rather see an asteroid wipe out the planet than either of the candidates get elected. Seems a little extreme. We hope that’s just the younguns’ way of saying what a lot of us are saying about voting holding our noses.

A lot of us can think of people we’d rather see representing our values. For many Republicans, that would be almost anybody. (The millennials in that poll said they would prefer a random choice of any warm body to T or HRC.) For those of the liberal persuasion, that would be Bernie, or Elizabeth Warren. Or the believable and charismatic Michelle O.

It’s easy for Democrats to get overly upset about the shortcomings of the flawed, flesh-and-blood humans representing our values in this election. But rather than expressing our dismay by doing something counter-productive like casting a throwaway vote to send a message, we should be taking some comfort in voting the brand, as we call it these days, the party that has traditionally represented what we want. And in the strong likelihood that the Democratic candidate will be at least influenced by that tradition.

When in doubt, vote the party tradition and proven historic record.

That’s the party that brought us Social Security, Medicare, and other programs most of a century ago without which life would be unrecognizeable.

The party that brought us graduated income tax.

The party of government big enough to help those disadvantaged by the economic system.

The party that traditionally has favored higher taxes on the wealthy

The party that has consistently favored women’s right to choose (vs. the party that would return us to the dark ages pre-Roe v. Wade).

The party that brought us civil rights for African-Americans.

The party that has favored workers’ rights (even if it has fallen down on the job in recent decades).

The party that has consistently fought for gun control (even if ineffectively).

The party that takes climate change seriously (if not seriously enough).

The party that at least tried to bring us reformed health care in the early 90s, and brought us Affordable Care, which, however cumbersome, moved us closer to single payer, the truly rational and fair system used in all the other countries with which we compare ourselves.

I’m probably leaving out something. But that’s a pretty great tradition that you invoke when you pull the Democratic lever, no matter who the candidate, and not one that any declared Democrat is likely to feel free to ignore.

It’s a good record to keep in mind when making that nose-holding choice.


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I find myself (as Commander-in-Chief of this space every two weeks) trying to come up with something useful to say about the gun issue. Ever since reading the statistics showing that countries with low per capita gun ownership have much lower rates of homicides by guns, my take on guns, like that of most people […]