Now that we’re down to two Democratic candidates, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber, and whatever Tulsi Gabbard’s doing, I think it is safe to characterize this election as the safe-bet election as in which candidate do you perceive as a safe-bet. For many Democrats, that means which candidate is a safe-bet to defeat the Ol’ Pussy Grabber. For Sanders supporters, which candidate is a safe-bet to deliver his platform. For the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s base, which candidate is a safe-bet to continue the New Cruelty unabated and discriminate indiscriminately against everyone who isn’t like them. And for Tulsi Gabbard, which candidate is a safe-bet to be Tulsi Gabbard? Why is she running again? Oh, yeah, the Russian stooge candidate, so which candidate is a safe-bet to take Russian money and mount an independent campaign in an effort to help the Ol’ Pussy Grabber get re-elected and finish off the US.
Right now, we’re all suffering from some kind of psychological distress. As we have written recently, psychological distress is a huge motivator and shaper of behavior. It often causes people to become risk averse and look for the safe-bet. What’s the adage that has been guiding the entire election so far?
People hate taking risks, unless faced with a sure loss.
We are naturally risk averse as a species, unless you are focused exclusively on adolescents and “hold my beer” crowd. The deeper the psychological distress, the greater the risk aversion, and the greater the desire for a sure bet. Absent the sure bet, though, and we’ll take a chance.
The Causes of Psychological Distress
So, let’s play, who’s sure-bet brings out the vote, shall we? Each candidate’s supporters level of psychological distress.
Right now, the coronavirus is providing lots of fodder for psychological distress. For most of the country, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s erratic and ridiculous narcissistic response to it has greatly heightened our psychological distress. How can anyone — and I’m looking at you #MoscowMitch and co. — deny the absolute necessity of widespread public testing and paid sick leave? We aren’t laying the groundwork for expanding the number of hospital beds,either. Really, we’re so fucked right now.
The only people who aren’t as psychologically distressed by the coronavirus and the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s lies and inaction as the rest of us are his followers who actually believe the most prolific liar in all the land. Unfortunately, they’re likely to show up for his rallies. which will become the new hot spots of contagion, and they’ll get to experience the dysfunction of his testing regime and response and our healthcare system first hand and blame the Democrats for their misery.
So the psychological distress caused by the coronavirus is a wash for everyone’s supporters except for the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s. It probably won’t be driving them to the polls, though. It will drive the rest of us to the polls looking for our sure-bet in the face of this once and future epidemics and novel diseases and public health scary events.
Racists, Sexists, and Xenophobes
Anyone feeling psychologically distressed by our changing demographics, the prospect of a white minority, and diminishing importance of rural America is looking for a sure-bet that will guarantee the preservation of white people’s supremacy in our society. You know, minority rule because that’s worked out so well every other place it’s been tried.
Those voters flock to the Ol’ Pussy Grabber because racism, sexism, and xenophobia. Also, there is some evidence that some of those voters head Sanders way, too. But, in a contest between Sanders and the Ol’ Pussy Grabber among the racist sexist xenophobes, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber wins!
Luckily, this pot of voters seems to be no larger than about a third of the electorate.
Racism, Sexism, and Xenophobia
People stressed out because of the blatant racism, sexism, and xenophobia running rampant through our streets, will be voting against the Ol’ Pussy Grabber and for the safe-bet to beat him. That means Biden picks up the majority of those voters. Rightly or wrongly, he is perceived by the majority of Democratic primary voters — the primary voters Sanders has chosen to run among — to have the best chance at beating the Ol’ Pussy Grabber. This phenomenon is becoming more apparent with each passing exit poll.
People stressed out because of the inequities in our society like the diminishing returns on doing the “right” things., you know, like working hard, getting a steady, even a good paying job, going to college, the sort of things that my mother told me that if I did them, I’d be better off than she was — I’m not — and that if my graduating seniors did them, they’d be living well — they aren’t. Those things stopped working when I was in my twenties — that’s the 1980’s for those of you following along at home.
The inequalities in our society have only grown worse under the Ol’ Pussy Grabber. With every massive welfare check that the Repubes writes the 1% under every Repube president since Reagan, our inequalities worsen.
Those voters largely go to Sanders, but some will go to Biden, a few of them will be for the Ol’ Pussy Grabber, and probably none for Tulsi Gabbard. Why is she running again? Because rubles. Sanders because he’s preaching revolution, baby! Biden because he’s talking about making a fairer system aka Obama. The Ol’ Pussy Grabber because drain the swamp, nudge nudge, wink wink, whiz whiz, that his fool-hearty followers buy. And because no one’s voting for Tulsi Gabbard but the Russian trolls.
Anyone who is distressed by the abject dysfunction of our healthcare system has a good chance of liking Sanders Medicare-for-All thingee, but that don’t mean they’ll be voting for him.
The problem for Sanders is that anyone who is not a diehard Sanders supporter, is scratching their ass and thinking, Medicare-for-All makes the most sense, but can it get passed? Will my friends, family, and neighbors vote for it? I dunno, maybe we should be voting for the safe bet. We look at what happened to Clinton and healthcare reform in the ’90’s and what it took to get the ACA passed, rolled out, and supported, and wonder if Medicare-for-All is just a bridge too far.
And, there are those few who will vote for the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s long promised be best plan sight unseen because it won’t ever see the light of day. They’ll go to their early grave insisting that it is going to be here any day now. Pathetic stooges that they are.
What’s the sure bet with healthcare? Incremental change or Medicare-for-All? The smart money is on incremental change, like it or not. That means the Biden (Buttigieg) plan of the ACA + a public option is the more popular among Democratic primary voters.
People who are distressed by the GOP war on women, specifically on choice and birth control, will be voting against the Ol’ Pussy Grabber and for whoever they think can beat him! Otherwise, there isn’t a lot of distance between Sanders and Biden. But, the fear that we’ll end up with a 7-2 conservative SCOTUS split and Roe v. Wade overturned — it may be in the next year regardless — drives people to voting for the safe-bet of beating the Ol’ Pussy Grabber.
In short, we’re all looking for a sure thing, a sure bet. The Repubes want the candidate that will give them their best chance at creating the single-party anti-democratic autocracy of their dreams. Many Americans are wanting the surest route to continued free expression of their racism, sexism, and xenophobia. They’re voting for the Ol’ Pussy Grabber.
Many of us want the kind of change that Sanders advocates, but worry that it won’t defeat the Ol’ Pussy Grabber and the Repube anti-democratic voter suppression machine and the Russian disinformation operation, so it gets split between Sanders and Biden.
But, the existential crisis of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s war on democracy and American values and his extreme incompetence governance, has left most of us desperate to get him out. We are searching for the surest bet at achieving that goal. For many of us, that sure bet is Biden.
The Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s New Cruelty as evidenced by caging migrant children, family separation, the ill treatment of Puerto Rico, cutting the social safety net, attacking women, denying the LGBTQ+ community their gains in equality and acceptance, and the aggressive promoting of racism and xenophobia have given us all an existential crisis. The mounting disappointments of the Mueller report and impeachment have only deepened the crisis.
Right now we are seeing turn out among the most affected Democratic voters: blacks and women. Those are the two groups that are driving the Biden nomination. In an election that is defined by the search for the surest of bets, Sanders is seen by many as too great of a risk. The Ol’ Pussy Grabber as a guaranteed loss. And Tulsi Gabbard is left out in the cold. Biden is the beneficiary of this perception of the race.
The image was found using a Creative Commons search. It appeared on Wikimedia. Originally it was a painting by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge entitled A Friend in Need published in 1903. It is in the public domain in the United States.