I wonder how quickly the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls will shrink to a manageable number? As in, fewer than five. And, then, just two or three. With one standout among them.

I watched most of the first two Democratic debates. My top picks so far are: Julián Castro, Corey Booker, and Elizabeth Warren from the first night’s debates and Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris from the second night. If I had to pick one candidate today from among those I consider the top five, I would pick Pete Buttigieg, though the remainder of my “top five” group all have potential. I’ve grown less and less confident that Elizabeth Warren could garner enough support to beat 45. And what about Biden and Sanders? Both of them came across as relics during debate night number two. As much as I like Bernie, I think he lets ideology rule over practicality. And I think Biden is a nice guy, but he’s just not nice enough to counter his deficits.

Even though Buttigieg is among the lesser-known candidates (though his stock has soared since the beginning of this year), he is the one whose policy positions most appeal to me. His ideas seem based on deep thought and a thorough understanding of the country’s place in history in this dark shadow of the American dream. He’s obviously extremely intelligent and rational. He’s young and energetic and seems to me far less enamored of holding onto ideas simply because they are Democratic than the other candidates.

I hope the field of Democratic candidates thins very, very quickly so that there’s time to build a huge outpouring of support for a set of solid ideological underpinnings that should (will?) turn the mood of the country around. I think the candidates who said we are in a battle for the soul of America are right. If we lose the battle next year, the war is over and the country will be on an irreversible downward spiral.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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