Comments on the Democratic Primary

Published February 20, 2020

By Rob Schofield

I don’t often opine in public on the pros and cons of candidates for political office and I never do so at work, where I help run a project based in a nonpartisan 501c3 nonprofit. 

And I’m not going to publicly endorse anyone now.

What I will say, however about the battle to win the Democratic presidential nomination is this: I understand passion. Hell, I’ve spent my entire adult life working to fight injustice and build a better, fairer and more sustainable world. It’s great to be passionate about a candidate and I have my own thoughts and preferences in that regard.

But I also firmly believe this: Donald Trump threatens the future of democracy – both here and abroad – and, even more importantly, the long-term sustainability of human life on Earth.

There are, quite literally, millions of Americans who could do a better job and there has never been a more essential act for the American people in modern times than removing this prevaricating con man from office.

What’s more, all of the major candidates vying for the Democratic nomination have flaws and all have made major mistakes in their lives. I would love it if we could stitch together a perfect candidate by combining the best qualities of them all.

Unfortunately, we can’t do that, so we will have to nominate an imperfect nominee – someone that’s either too old or too young, too conservative or too liberal and, almost assuredly, well-off and white; someone, in other words, that many necessary anti-Trump voters will find objectionable in some way.

So, that’s why I’m urging my friends and anyone in earshot to please take a chill pill and think twice before launching destructive broadsides at any of the potential nominees and their supporters. I understand that politics isn’t a pillow fight, but dadgummit, it doesn’t help the cause when we allow ourselves to be cornered into warring, name-calling camps of embittered and alienated activists.

The hard truth is that any of the people running – whatever their problems (and there are many) – would be exponentially better than Trump. What’s more, any Democratic president will likely be constrained by a divided Congress, a Trumpified judiciary and all the money the Murdochs and Kochs of the world have to spend. Even if we remove Trump, the fight will just be beginning.

So, I know it’s a crazy and old-fashioned idea, but how about we just hear the various candidates out over the coming weeks and months, let them state their cases and respect them and their supporters as human beings who care and have the same basic objective and then do our best to pick the best one. Then, let’s all unite around that person and get this job done.

I understand it’s great to fervently connect with and support a politician and perfectly acceptable to have real questions about another. I too still pine for President Obama’s unique intelligence, integrity and capacity to inspire broad swaths of the public. Unfortunately, no such candidate has emerged at this point, so we simply must make the best choice we can and avoid the kind of potentially divisive attacks and infighting that the Trump people and their online allies are doing their worst to foment.

The bottom line: At this extraordinary moment in history, caring and thinking people must – as Benjamin Franklin said – “either hang together or hang separately.” I say let’s take a deep breath and hang together.

This post appeared on Schofield’s personal Facebook page.