Carnes: Dem candidates all over the map |

Carnes: Dem candidates all over the map

A little over three years ago, we watched the slow-motion clown car of the GOP as it meandered its way through a maze of candidates, each more extreme than the last.

The result was a TV game show where all but one was voted off the island and the American people were left with the head clown pretending to lead the nation by winning each news cycle but ignoring all substantive issues that might be detrimental to his clownish ego.

Now there’s a new clown car in town, and although it’s finally down to around the same size as the GOP’s, that’s where the similarities end.

Sure, the candidates are also trying to “out extreme” one another during each debate, but instead of wealthy middle-aged white guys with one African American person and one female thrown in the mix for the sake of appearances, the Dems have three African American candidates, five women, an Asian, a Latino, a vegan, a star child, an openly gay Navy combat veteran, a prominent Jew and only a smattering of wealthy middle-aged white guys.

Whatever this is, it sure as hell ain’t our parents’ presidential candidates.
Besides belonging to the same party, the only thing they seem to have in common is an ability to trash Donald Trump, but each should understand that particular skill requires no more intellectual thought than a 5-year-old choosing ice cream over broccoli.

Either way, most of them seem hell-bent on destroying their chances by disrespecting each other in public and making nonsensical claims and promises that are impossible to keep.

But hey, it worked for Trump.

Andrew Yang is stuck on the free money train, Cory Booker is stuck trying to speak Spanish, Marianne Williamson wants to heal the nation with crystals and Bernie Sanders is stuck on “Medicare for All” while still wanting everyone to get off his lawn.

Elizabeth Warren has issues defending her stance on Medicare for All, but she could simply be strategizing to be Joe Biden’s vice president, while Julian Castro’s only chance is to possibly be Warren’s VP. Sassy Kamala Harris has issues explaining her contradictory stances on reforming the criminal justice system, and Pete Buttigieg is, unfortunately, spending all of his time defending being a gay veteran.

Biden has the needle stuck on his record player, and Amy Klobuchar came across as the most common-sense candidate, which of course means she doesn’t have a prayer, especially as a touchy-feely moderate.

And last, but certainly the candidate doing the very least for the Democratic Party, is Beto O’Rourke, making the single most damning statement a political candidate could possibly say by boasting of his intent to “take away” assault weapons from current owners.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

Most resort to attacking front-runner Biden, debating health care without realistic options and doing their best to stay away from foreign policy, but like those currently in charge, all ignore our skyrocketing debt and the highest trade deficit ever along with the highest budget deficit of all time.

And now that the Saudis have cut their oil production in half due to last weekend’s terrorist attack, we’re about to have much larger problems than which candidate made the most extreme statement or the stupidity of the latest tweet.

And shouting you’re better than Trump will not get you elected, but I accept that whatever the question is, the current child in office is not the answer.

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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