Did anyone watch the first democratic presidential debate(s) last week? I didn’t. It’s not because I’m not interested in politics; I am. And it’s not because I don’t care about who America chooses to take on the incumbent in the 2020 election; I do. I just want to vote for whoever’s going to win.
I have opinions. I swear I do. Some of them are more mainstream, left-of-center-ish stuff; others border on socialist; and a few are even right-of-center (not many, but I think it’s important for everyone to keep themselves honest). But I’m not so worried about voting for someone who checks off all my boxes this time around. I just want to vote for whoever’s going to defeat the orange bozo in office now. That’s why I’m totally cool with just playing frontrunner until next, next November (remember, you still have to vote in 2019, you don’t get a pass this year … every election has consequences).
Are you a sports fan? I am. I’ll be a New York Mets fan until the day I die. In fact, being a Mets fan will probably be my cause of death, but that’s for another column. I grew up in a place where the Mets had to share the stage with a team you may have heard of named the Yankees, who you may know are always good. There was a brief time, however, when I was young, when the Yankees sucked, and the Mets were perennial contenders. It was brief, but nice. Then 1994 rolled around, this douchebag named Derek Jeter showed up, and suddenly everyone was busting out their pinstripes again.
Frontrunner was a dirty word to me. You’d accuse someone of that when the team you loved stunk, but the team they cheered for was kicking ass. Maybe you experienced the same thing when your friend ditched his Peja jersey and suddenly showed up repping Kobe. The same dude is probably all about Steph Curry right now. Fuck that guy, right? Calling someone a frontrunner meant that the person was fickle, disloyal, desperate to be cool—not very flattering.
But maybe it’s not so bad. Look, rooting for the underdog is rewarding … when the underdog pulls off the impossible and wins it all. It’s exhilarating. You feel a part of something truly special. It was you against the world. Most of the time, the underdog is the underdog for a reason. It’ll take a miracle. Or maybe just Russian interference. Ask the underdog in chief, whose managed to play the victim even though he was, against all odds, victorious.
When former Veep Joe Biden got into the race, he jumped to the head of an already crowded field. I like Joe. He was a fun vice president. His debate versus Paul Ryan was epic and spawned a thousand memes. The bromance between Biden and Barack was equally meme-worthy. And if you saw the ceremony when Biden was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, you witnessed a person who cares deeply about public service. Does he put his foot in his mouth? Yes. We all do. Am I making excuses for him? Absolutely not. He should know better. This isn’t his first rodeo. But if he’s on the top of the ticket, I’m certainly going to cast my vote for him. I mean, I already did twice, and he won.
I also like Kamala Harris a lot. In every hearing, she consistently outperforms her colleagues in the Senate. She asks tough questions. She doesn’t let up. I’m fully confident that if she were to reach the highest office in the land, she’d do the country proud. I’d heard she did well in the debates and shot up in the polls as a result. That doesn’t surprise me at all. It also doesn’t surprise me that her surge in popularity goaded a response from the president’s son, who retweeted a now-deleted post questioning whether or not Harris was an American citizen, because birthering is how Trumps roll.
I also like Mayor Pete, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and there’s part of me that still feels the Bern. If they can win, I’ll wear their jerseys, too. Heck, I’ll change my jersey every week depending on who’s being touted as the one who’ll topple the current administration.
Has anyone watched When They See Us on Netflix yet? It’s a moving new series about the Central Park Five, peppered with old clips of Donald Trump calling for the execution of the minority teens who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman. In it, an actress who plays one of the teens’ mothers watches our president ranting and raving about how these kids are disgusting, and the mother’s friend says, “Don’t worry. His 15 minutes are just about up.”
It’s 30 years later, and I’m tired of waiting.