Winning The Electoral College In 2020, Part 2

Path to 270

The above United States map helps focus one’s attention on the importance of the Electoral College.

The map gives inside information on the Joe Biden campaign strategy for winning the White House in 2020. You won’t likely see it anyplace else. Please keep it top secret. The map was shared with me and several hundred-thousand other insiders. Maybe a million insiders. Because Joe Biden has our email addresses and wants us to send money.

The Upper Midwest

You can see a row of six states in the upper Midwest, from Pennsylvania in the east to Minnesota and Iowa in the west. They’re medium-size states; together they have 80 electoral votes. Donald Trump won five of the six states in 2016. Joe Biden’s campaign has its work cut out, don’t you think? Consider:

  • Pennsylvania, 20 electoral votes
  • Ohio, 18 electoral votes
  • Michigan, 16 electoral votes
  • Wisconsin, 10 electoral votes
  • Minnesota, 10 electoral votes
  • Iowa, 6 electoral votes

The Electoral College totals 538 votes. The winning candidate needs a bare majority, 270 votes.  Joe Biden doesn’t need all six states and their 80 votes to win. But he’s going to have a hard time reaching 270 unless he wins at least four. The most likely four would be Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, totaling 56 electoral votes.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Minnesota. But she lost Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin by fewer than 2 percent of the votes in each state. If she had won those three states, she would have won with 274 electoral votes.

So now you know the most important states in the Biden campaign strategy, and maybe in the Trump strategy as well.

Pack your suitcase or nag

What can you do? If you desperately want Biden to win, the best thing you can do is pack your suitcase, move to one of the four states, and be a tireless volunteer from now until November. Or you can contribute money to the Biden campaign.

Or you can nag your spouse, children, parents, neighbors, and the people at work. Tell them all to vote for Joe Biden. You can do it right where you live.

Make sure they register to vote. Urge them to apply for a mail-in ballot, or at least to vote early. If you don’t like the word “nag,” you may substitute the word “electioneer.”

There’s not one right way to reach 270 votes

Biden has at least a fighting chance to also win Ohio and Iowa. If he wins all six states, it wouldn’t guarantee victory, but he’d be on his way.

Donald Trump also doesn’t need all six states to be reelected. But he won five of them in 2016, and he needed them. He probably needs to win two of the states, at a minimum, Ohio and Iowa. And he’d seriously like to win a few more.

If you desperately want Trump to win, you know where to volunteer. You know whom to nag. Or electioneer.

Now, there’s two more states in the Upper Midwest. You might overlook them because they’re not highlighted on the map. They are Illinois (20 electoral votes) and Indiana (11 electoral votes). They’re colored grey because political observers understand that Illinois will most likely support the Democratic ticket in November, and Indiana will most likely support the Republican ticket.

Do not take Electoral College votes for granted

It does’t mean Illinois and Indiana are not important, as some critics of the Electoral College suppose. Their electoral votes are absolutely crucial for the Biden and Trump campaigns. The assumptions that Illinois will go Democratic and Indiana will go Republican are as close to a sure thing as any assumptions you can make for 2020. But no one can absolutely predict an election! Beware of assumptions. Voters have surprised the experts before, and they will do it again.

Make no mistake: A candidate who takes any state and its voters for granted is a candidate at risk. Hillary Clinton expected to win in Michigan and Wisconsin in 2016, so she focused her efforts on other states. She virtually ignored Michigan and Wisconsin.

Michigan and Wisconsin paid her back by narrowly voting for Donald Trump! The electoral votes of Michigan (16 votes) and Wisconsin (10 votes), along with Pennsylvania (20 votes) tipped the Electoral College to Trump. Clinton squeaked by with a national popular vote majority, but so what? The Electoral College rules.

And you know what? Clinton very nearly lost Minnesota and its 10 votes.

If you seriously want to understand the Electoral College and the 2020 election, you should read the above paragraphs again. They don’t mean that any of the Midwest states hold the key to the 2020 election. The point is: Some states get extra attention because they’re considered battleground states. But every state is important, any state might surprise you, and every state’s electoral votes count.

Do not imagine that I am disclosing Biden campaign secrets  to the Trump organization. Donald Trump also has a map of the U.S., and he knows all the same information about the Electoral College that Joe Biden knows.

And do not imagine that the Midwest states are the end of the 2020 story. They’re only the beginning. ALL the states highlighted on the map are important. The candidates are going to work like hell for all of them. Because if they lose one or two important states, it’s not the end. They can make it up by winning other states.

And some of the states colored grey might surprise you like a jack-in-the-box on election night.

Eventually, we’ll go through the list of all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., and ponder the possibilities for November 2020. It’s all about arithmetic.

#  #  #  #  #  #

I had planned to wrap up some loose ends from Part 1 at this point. Clarify why it’s useless to worry about changing the Electoral College and the winner-take-all electoral vote system right now. But Part 2 is already too long. So we’ll briefly address those loose ends in Part 3. And then move on quickly to review the 2016 Electoral College results as a preview to what’s ahead in 2020. See you in Part 3.

— John Hayden

Winning The Electoral College In 2020, Part 1

Path to 270

NOTE: Many people believe the president should be elected by the national popular vote, instead of by the Electoral College vote. For an interesting discussion of popular vote vs. Electoral College, see the many comments at the bottom of the post.

To rage against the U.S. Electoral College is worse than a distraction. It is useless, it’s a waste of time.

If you want to know the names of the president and vice president who will be sworn in next January, 2021, if you care who the next president will be, you have to WIN A MAJORITY of the Electoral College in the November 2020 presidential election. It’s as simple as that. And as difficult. Just look at the Electoral College map above.

Raging against the Electoral College is worse than a distraction because you can’t get rid of it, and you can’t change it.

Where does the Electoral College come from?

It comes from the U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1.

“Each State shall appoint, in such a Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress . . . The Electors shall meet in their respective States and vote by Ballot for two  Persons . . . And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed . . . to the President of the Senate. . . . The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the president, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed . . .

. . . after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President.”

Straightforward, right?

Each state gets a number of electors equal to its two U.S. Senators plus the number of members the state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. The candidate with the most electoral votes is the next president.

But only if that number is a majority of all the electoral votes. That’s important. Note that the Constitution requires a MAJORITY of the Electoral College. Not a minority.

The above system has been used in every presidential election since the first one in 1788, when a majority chose George Washington without a whole lot of dispute.

The Electoral College is arithmetic, specifically addition! No subtraction, multiplication, long division, geometry or calculus.

So why the consternation about the Electoral College?

Good question. It starts with the fact that the electoral votes of smaller states are proportionately greater than the votes of larger states. That’s because large states and small states all have two U.S. senators as the base point for their number of electors. But that proportional difference is quite small, in the context of 538 total electoral votes for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

A winner-take-all system of awarding the electoral votes makes the proportional difference worse. Much, much worse.

The presidential candidate who wins a state’s popular vote wins ALL that state’s electoral votes. The losing candidate gets NONE of the state’s electoral votes. Even though he or she may have won 45 percent of the state’s popular vote. (The only exceptions are Maine and Nebraska.)

As a result of the winner-take-all system, on top of the proportional advantage of the smaller states, the electoral vote for president does not perfectly reflect the popular vote nationwide. But usually — almost always — one candidate wins both the Electoral College majority and a national popular vote majority or plurality and becomes president.

(NOTE: A candidate must win a MAJORITY in the Electoral College. That’s mandated in the Constitution. Failing an Electoral College majority, the election goes to the House of Representatives. In 1800, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied with 73 votes each. And the House of Representatives deadlocked 35 times before finally electing Jefferson to be second president of the U.S.

A benefit of the winner-take-all allocation of electoral votes is that it makes failure of one candidate to win an Electoral College majority nearly impossible. Therefore, the winner-take-all system protects against the prospect of an election being decided in the House of Representatives.)

In the national popular vote, the winner might NOT have a majority. When there are three or more candidates, minor candidates slice off little pieces of the popular vote, potentially leaving the winner with less than a majority. When a winner has the most votes but it’s less than a majority, he wins with only a MINORITY. That’s called a PLURALITY.

Bottom line: It is possible for one candidate to win the Electoral College and another candidate to win the national popular vote! Usually it’s not a problem. It’s only happened a few times in the whole history of the U.S.

But it happened in 2016!

Donald Trump won a clear majority (304 to 227) in the Electoral College. Hillary Clinton won a plurality of the national popular vote (48.2% to 46.1%) (65,853,514 to 62,984,828 approximately).

Even though not a majority, Clinton had more popular votes than Trump. And Trump had more electoral votes. Many people think Clinton should therefore be president. But sorry, the winner was Trump, the one with the Electoral College majority. It says so in the Constitution, and the Constitution is the law of the land.

A majority, of course, is 50% plus 1. If you’re a mathematician or a perfectionist, you might calculate: 50% – 48.2% = 1.8%.

And you might ask, where are those 1.8% of the popular votes which denied Clinton a majority. I’m not a mathematician, but I doubt that even a mathematician can answer that question for sure.

It might be reasonable to suggest: Maybe that 1.8% of the popular vote is reflected in the Electoral College total?

Trump is a minority president, and Clinton would also be a minority president. Is it possible to speculate that the Electoral College might reflect the will of the whole nation as accurately as the popular vote?

My head spins! Are these mathematical questions, or metaphysical questions?

And that, my friends, is why many people wonder about the Electoral College and the national popular vote.

In the next post, Part 2, we’ll discuss how the winner-take-all system came to be.

And more important, why it’s a waste of time worrying about the Electoral College, because we’re not going to change it. At least not before the November election. Which is only five months away.

Rather than raging against the Electoral College, your time would be better spent trying to WIN the Electoral College majority for the candidate of your choice. That is the point of this series of posts.

See you in Part 2.

— John Hayden

Tampa Bay Times Will Not Print Every Day

man reading a newspaper

Photo by Ekrulila on Pexels.com

Today we mourn the loss of another daily newspaper. After Sunday, April 5, the Tampa Bay Times will cease printing the newspaper every day. Starting Monday, the paper will not print on Monday. Or Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Tampa Bay Times will become a two-day newspaper, printing on Wednesday and Sunday.

It is ironic that the Tampa Bay Times is using the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as the excuse for ceasing to be a daily newspaper. The Covid-19 pandemic is a historic event of Biblical proportions. Covid-19 is the biggest daily news story since World War II.

Previously, big-city newspapers prided themselves on continuing the public service of covering and printing the news every single day through even the most disastrous and dangerous times. Newspapers considered it an almost sacred duty.

As far as I know, London newspapers continued to print every day during the Battle of Britain, when the city was bombed every night. Newspapers did not stop printing every day during the flu pandemic of 1918, which happened to coincide with the final, decisive year of World War I.

(Yes, social media consumers, cities had two or more daily newspapers — sometimes many daily newspapers — in days of yore. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.)

For the record, the Tampa Bay Times is really the St. Petersburg Times. It began calling itself the Tampa Bay Times after the city of Tampa’s last daily died. The newspaper’s office is still in St. Petersburg. I suppose the name change protected Tampa from the humiliation of being the largest U.S. city without a daily newspaper. Well, no longer.

It used to be normal for big cities — even small cities — to have two or more competing daily newspapers. Cities had afternoon newspapers and morning newspapers, and sometimes newspapers that printed all day, edition after edition. You knew things were changing when big cities that previously had two newspapers became one-newspaper cities. In the case of St. Petersburg and Tampa, two of the biggest cities in Florida became two cities with one newspaper for an entire region. The newspaper was renamed for the bay which separates Tampa from St. Petersburg. The one remaining newspaper in recent years was little more than a shadow on many days.

It was unable to print such things as the daily box score of the region’s Major League baseball team. In the past year, the paper often reported discovery of forgotten grave sites as the most important news of the day. It was digging up information that was decades old, and neglecting to print much actual news.

The Tampa Bay Times has devoted full pages to predicting its own demise many times since the Covid-19 pandemic became serious. At a time when the public is in need of the latest news of a major continuing dangerous event affecting every citizen, the Tampa Bay Times is eager to excuse itself from the chore of printing the news. Its executives seem almost proud of their intention to downsize the newspaper, holding the paper up as a sad victim of the news, rather than a reporter of the news.

The former daily newspaper is now begging readers to subscribe to an “online” version. I wonder how long it will continue to print on Wednesdays? How many more employees will be laid off? And how long before it prints a final headline, “FAREWELL.”

Goodbye, Tampa Bay Times. Rest in peace.

— John Hayden

Joe Biden Running On Empty

Are Democrats Cool on Biden?

That was the headline on Monday’s New York Times On Politics newsletter from Lisa Lerer. Does the statement — Democrats cool on Joe Biden — require a question mark? At this point in time? After all those debates?

Joe_Biden_kickoff_rally_May_2019

JOE BIDEN, Creative Commons

Biden’s had plenty of exposure. Maybe too much exposure. Voters reacted with friendly warmth but tepid enthusiasm.

It wasn’t so long ago that Bernie Sanders seemed destined to be the Democratic nominee. However, the idea of a Democratic Socialist was said to discomfit the Democratic Party establishment (if such a thing exists). More likely, the Socialist idea simply spooked old-fashioned Democratic voters on Super Tuesday. Suddenly, the momentum shifted from Bernie to Joe.

Now, all attention is turned to the Coronavirus pandemic, which has been hijacked as a reality TV show starring Donald Trump. It’s a reprise of “The Apprentice” series. After stumbling through the first few episodes, Trump warmed to the new story line. Now the show is so popular it’s on every night. And it’s just been extended through the end of April, at least.

(Note: Definitely not making light of the Coronavirus crisis. It is totally real and serious, worldwide. Simply pointing out how it has also become a nightly television spectacle, with eerie similarity to a reality TV show.)

Too soon to speculate whether the TV version of coronavirus might be extended for a second season in the fall. Would it be riveting enough to preempt NFL football and the November General Election? Highly unlikely, don’t you think?

And the Democratic nomination contest?

Some say it’s over, decided.

Sanders says, let’s debate.

Biden says, let’s move on.

Momentum? Full stop. Momentum is becalmed, not a hint of breeze in the sails.

What little we’ve seen of Joe Biden in recent weeks seems to reinforce the memory left over from the debates.

Joe Biden looks like an old man running on empty.

Or maybe that’s just your humble correspondent, psychologically projecting the way I feel. Which is old and empty.

I have not taken a survey, scientific or otherwise. But among the few folks I’ve talked to, “old and running on empty” seems to be a consensus.

Or to put it another way:

Biden doesn’t talk or look like a man who’s up to running against Trump.

Again, maybe it’s just me. I’m not quite 72, and I don’t feel like running. Running anywhere. Period. (But until the sheriff shows up with handcuffs, I continue to walk outdoors. Several times a day. It’s for my health. Not to mention my sanity.)

The incredible disappearing candidate

To my surprise, some folks assume the Democratic Party will somehow make Joe Biden disappear. They think the Democratic Convention will crown a mystery candidate whose name is not Joe Biden. And not Bernie Sanders, either.

Biden and Sanders will vanish, and quietly. This will happen by magic, somehow, before the last day of the Milwaukee convention in July.

An alternate theory is that the convention itself will vanish, postponed due to coronavirus. Or due to lack of interest in Joe Biden.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled reality TV show.

— John

Florida Coronavirus Social Distancing At The Beach

fl beach jpeg

Update, March 24: I visited the same beach this evening before sunset. The walkway along the wall was more peopled than mid-afternoon, but far less crowded than it used to be at sunset. Only peeps closer than six feet were mostly small family groups. Sunsets are a big attraction here on the Gulf Coast.

Here’s a peaceful little beach, somewhere on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Like other Florida public beaches, it’s closed. But the nearby public restrooms are open for your convenience.

This post is about the quiet life here in Florida, simple as that. March 23, high temperature about 85, clear sky.

This post will be all sunshine. No politics, no economics. Mostly photos, not so many words.

inn on the gulf

Many restaurants are closed, too. Others remain open, but only for carry-out food and drink. Including alcoholic drinks. The food is delicious!

fl deck

Plenty of room for social distancing on the deck at this popular bar. It’s usually quite crowded. Sorry, no sit-down dining, inside or out. Take-out orders only.

FL chairs

Bar chairs lined up in sun and shade.

FL water

Social distancing is observed. It’s a beautiful day.

FL walk

Did we mention social distancing? Easy to do. On land or on water. Perfectly OK to take a walk.

FL bike rack

Social distancing, in the sun or in the shade. On foot or by bike. It’s your choice. Trust me, nearly everything is OK. Even A-OK, as we used to say.

FL picnic tables

Sit wherever you like. You could eat your lunch here. Or dinner. Available at two restaurants within a minute’s walk. Open and happy to serve you. Carry-out only. No extra charge for the Florida view.

fl gas price

It’s a gasoline price crash. Might be supply and demand, but what do I know? Remember, this post is not about economics. Or politics, either. Is gas this inexpensive where you live? Life’s a journey. Life’s a beach. Philosophy is OK, just no politics or economics. Please?

FL flowers

Did we mention the Florida view? Wildflowers are exempt from social distancing. Because, well, they’re wild. You can see them everywhere. Except maybe not at the beach.

And that’s an accurate and objective report on the way it is here in Florida, USA, near the end of March 2020. Life is good.

— John

Bernie Sanders Extends Olive Branch to Joe Biden

photography of tree

Photo by gypsyugal on Pexels.com

Bernie Sanders is losing and he’s done something extraordinary.

Bernie told Joe Biden three days ahead of time exactly what questions he’s going to ask in Sunday’s debate. Open-ended questions, giving Biden plenty of room to frame his answers. But pointed questions on specific subjects. The television audience will be waiting to hear answers.

Kind of simplifies Joe’s debate preparation, doesn’t it? However, Biden and his advisers have some sticky dilemmas to resolve between now and Sunday. If Joe reels off tired platitudes, he’ll sound evasive.

What we have here appears to be a clear divide between the haves and have-nots in America, and between young and old.

Biden needs to answer straight-forward questions with some specificity. Therein lies the dilemma. Does he offer serious compromises on issues like Medicare for all, answers that might give Bernie’s movement reason to cheer? Does he extend specific promises of support to bottom-tier workers struggling to survive? Specific, as in a $15 minimum wage, or forgiveness of college debt?

If Joe offers help to desperate Americans at the bottom, will he offend his establishment supporters? The comfortable and elite, it would appear, could care less about the less fortunate.

If Joe Biden tries too hard to thread the needle, he may not satisfy either side of the Democratic Party.

Joe Biden may or may not have the Democratic nomination almost in the bag. But he’s got a long way to go to put the November General Election in the bag.

Biden’s going to need more than a majority of delegates at a convention. He needs a solid base of support in November.

Bernie Sanders is giving Joe Biden a chance to earn that support.

— John

Democratic Party Divides Along Class Lines

“The Sanders campaign has exposed a class divide within the Democratic Party: His promises of a leg up are most alluring to those who need it, and most confounding to those who do not.

— Jennifer Medina and Sydney Ember, New York Times  

“A leg up” refers to Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage, free college tuition and forgiveness of college debt.

Can the needs of low-paid workers and young people, including health insurance needs, possibly be “confounding” to a majority of Democratic Party voters?

Possibly it’s true. What would that mean for the Democratic Party and the 2020 election?

— John

Voting for Justice and Peace and Bernie Sanders

My first election was 1972. I voted for Peace. The name of the candidate was George McGovern. I’ve never regretted that vote.

Half a century and many elections later, I’m voting for Justice. The name of the candidate is Bernie Sanders. I don’t think I’ll regret that vote, but of course I can’t be sure.

My vote for George McGovern was never in doubt, even though it was clear he would lose by a landslide. How could I not vote for Peace?

I’m older now and I overthink every decision, including the decision to vote for Bernie. I don’t know how the 2020 election will turn out.  But how can I not vote for Justice?

Only once or twice in a lifetime

Usually people vote for a candidate, sometimes we vote for a political party.

How often does the chance come along to vote for a principle? Or a movement? The Civil Rights Movement, or the Peace Movement. Something you believe in.

With a lifetime of elections behind me, when I get a chance to vote for a principle or a movement that I believe in, I’m going for it! This chance might never come around again. Not for me, not for America.

It’s not about a candidate

Bernie_Sanders

We each get one vote only. It’s a right and honor to stand up for what we believe. Doing so, we accept our share of risk and responsibility, not knowing what lies ahead. We do what we believe is right.

I’m voting for Bernie Sanders, but really, I’m voting for what he stands for.

Justice is what he stands for. Social and economic justice. And like McGovern, he stands for Peace.

It’s not complicated. Look at Bernie’s core issues, health care for everyone and taxing the rich. If that’s not Justice, I don’t know what is.

Bernie is also opposed to war. So I’m maintaining consistency from 1972 to 2020. Then I was young in Maryland, now I’m old in Florida.

Today I stood up again, after all these years, and voted for Justice and Peace. My vote is in the mail. It will be among the first to be counted in the Florida Democratic primary March 17.

— John Hayden

Coronavirus Fail

As of yesterday (Friday) evening, a major American hospital in an affluent suburb has no face masks available for its medical personnel.

And no coronavirus test kits, naturally.

The information comes from a frontline medical employee of the highly trained, professional type. A person who treats patients. The suburb and hospital shall go unnamed. Someplace on the East Coast of America.

What is the condition of the U.S. medical system? How bad is the incompetence and dysfunction? We’re not talking about individual frontline employees. They are usually well-educated, conscientious, dedicated.

The incompetence and dysfunction is at a higher, systemic level. Higher than the individual hospital, for sure. Doctors, nurses, hospitals understand what is needed.

But at a higher, industry-wide, systemic level, the necessary planning, coordinating, and administration doesn’t get done. Stockpiles don’t exist or can’t be delivered. Funding isn’t available. Information and communication lag behind reality.

Top-level officials appear uninformed, even befuddled.

— John

 

 

Joe Biden And Normal People

arizona asphalt beautiful blue sky

Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

That huge sigh of relief you heard, followed by cheering for Joe Biden, that came from the establishment. Whew! We’ve been saved from Bernie Sanders and socialism. That was a close call! Thank goodness the danger has passed. We can get back to business as usual.

Well, good for Joe Biden, I like him. But this Democratic primary is not over until it’s over. The contest has narrowed, and it’s about even. I have some questions.

I’m looking at Andrew Yang’s book, “The War On Normal People.” Remember Normal People? The folks Yang was speaking about, the ones Elizabeth Warren was speaking for? The ones Bernie Sanders is still speaking to?

A blurb at the top front cover of Yang’s book:

“Andrew Yang highlights the urgent need to rewrite America’s social contract.” — Alec Ross

Social contract

Like Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been thinking about the social contract, and talking about it.

But I wonder about Joe Biden, with whom the establishment feels so comfortable. What does Joe think about the social contract? Does he think about it at all?

Subtitle at the bottom of Yang’s front cover:

“The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future”

Disappearing jobs

We know Andrew Yang proposes a $1,000-a-month payment to every American.

We know Bernie and Elizabeth propose Medicare for all. And taxing the rich. Fighting powerful corporate interests and corruption. And lots of free education, preschool to college.

What exactly is Joe Biden’s concept of universal healthcare? Is it high-deductible private insurance for everyone who wants to buy it? Or low-coverage insurance and high co-pays for everyone lucky enough to have a job with benefits? I guess that would be close to universal. How much would you pay to get tested for coronavirus?

What about taxation? Education? I’m a little fuzzy about the details of what Joe would do for Yang’s Normal People.

Young and left out

Those younger people, so enthusiastic about Bernie Sanders. So far, they’ve failed to vote in record numbers. Just what you’d expect from young voters. Maybe Joe Biden can win without them.

The disillusioned young people, seemingly left out of the American Dream. Living with their parents, working gigs, not careers, weighed down with debt they may never be able to pay off. They can’t buy a house, or maybe even a car.

Those young folks, voters or nonvoters, are they included in the social contract? Does Joe Biden have something to say to them?

Middle-aged and desperate

What about middle-aged voters in fly-over country? More than a few of them are out-sourced, unnecessary, and all too often, desperate. Maybe Joe Biden can win without them.

For desperate middle-aged Americans, their life expectancy is shrinking. They often struggle with unemployment, poverty, divorce, alcoholism, opioids, smoking, and sometimes suicide. Are they included in the social contract? Does Joe Biden have anything to say to them?

Choices to make before we sleep

I’m torn between fear that a Bernie Sanders-Donald Trump election might tear our country asunder. And on the other hand, fear that a Joe Biden-Donald Trump election might take our county completely away from Normal People, and turn it over to the rich and powerful, forever.

I wonder about Bernie Sanders. Why does Bernie comfort the afflicted in our society, and afflict the comfortable? Why are the comfortable, the wealthy and the powerful scared to death of a Bernie Sanders presidency? What are they afraid of, paying higher taxes?

And I wonder about Joe Biden. Why does Joe give such relief and comfort to the already comfortable, the wealthy and the powerful? And what about the young, the poor, the left-out, the sick? Will they receive any comfort or relief in a Joe Biden presidency?

Is Joe Biden on the side of Mike Bloomberg and the billionaires? Or is he on the side of Andrew Yang and Normal People? Would it be possible to be on both sides at the same time?

Far as I know, Andrew Yang has not endorsed either Joe or Bernie. If he would side with one or the other, it might ease my mind. What do you think?

— John Hayden