Biden, Buttigieg and the Death of Identity Politics

Before we begin and for the sake of transparency on my biases, allow me to provide you a brief review of my background: I have studied political science and am currently wrapping up an undergrad degree in criminal justice. I am a black, bisexual, cisgender male who has been happily married to my white, cis male partner of six years since 2017. My partner and I are both liberal millennials (in case that wasn’t already obvious); however, I would like to make it clear that I do not personally identify as a democrat. Being a liberal though, I do plan to vote for a democrat in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. I’ve chosen to do so as I feel the policies set forth by the Dems have been slightly less disenfranchising than that of the GOP (and let’s face it, we all know that U.S. elections are a two-party system).

Now that my background has been established, let’s dive into the grit of this opinion piece. – Billionaires like Bloomberg will not be getting my vote. I’ve also already ruled out casting my ballot for Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Bernie Sanders in the primaries. In terms of Harris and Booker, while I would love to see another black candidate for president during my lifetime, I firmly believe that the era of identity politics is dead and find myself unmoved by either of their platforms.

Concerning Sanders, unfortunately his recent heart attack has eliminated him as a serious contender. Frankly, myself and many others in the young voting public want to feel confident that our next President can endure the astronomical levels of stress and demand that is sure to accompany the highest office in the land. Regarding Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Marianne Williamson and the eleven others currently running, it is ever-so apparent that they simply do not have the funds nor the name recognition to actually win the democratic nomination. That just leaves Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Pete Buttigieg as the only viable democratic candidates.

On paper, Biden seems like the clear and obvious choice. He has been the front-runner for the Dems pretty much since the day he announced his candidacy (with the exception of slight leads by Buttigieg and Warren), and not without good reason. Biden is tenured, charming, and personable with the added bonus of having a very famous black friend in former President Obama (lest we forget). In short, he is everything white baby boomers have been dreaming of. Unfortunately, through numerous gaffes, Biden has also revealed himself to be slightly offensive and painfully out of touch with party progressives.

Buttigieg possesses the polish Biden lacks, but none of the charisma. Further still, I can find no compelling reason to back Buttigieg other than the fact that he’s a veteran and a fellow member of the LGBT+ community, and as I stated before the era of identity politics is dead. When comparing Buttigieg and Warren’s platforms, it is evident that Warren has a more robust plan to address healthcare, immigration, unequal taxation, and LGBTQ issues (including the public manufacture of PreP). For me the choice is simple. In my opinion it would behoove either Sanders or Buttegieg to consider joining Warren’s ticket rather than moving forward as her adversary, but time will tell.

Regardless of whom the democratic nominee winds up being, it is my estimation that the impeachment inquiry and ensuing trial (if there is one) will only bolster Trump’s popularity and secure him another term. That’s not to say that the inquiry was unnecessary, it is just evident that the media spectacle surrounding the President (from the hot mic ET moment to the affair with Stormy Daniels) has merely galvanized his base.

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