Skip to main content

Sanders v Biden

With Elizabeth Warren stepping out of the Democratic candidate race we are left with two tired old men who will probably now inflict untold damage on each other.  Neither is likely to come out of the race unscathed.   It is a battle between a 'socialist' left and a centrist.  Tired ideas headed up by tired old men. It is hardly inspirational stuff.

American politics seems to be stuck in a time warp and neither the Republicans nor Democrats have ideas robust enough to face the critical challenge of climate change.   Climate change doesn't split neatly into a left-right division.    It really needs youthful leadership with new ideas.  Someone capable of projecting a vision of a new horizon. 

Instead, we will have two potential leaders appealing to their separate camps of followers.  Those follow will entrench in their positions, and the risk is that it will alienate voters needed to win against Trump.  

American politics is stuck in a groove, and it leaves the populist demagoguery of Donal Trump in place. 

Let's be clear.  The two left in the Democratic race,  Joe Biden and Berny Sanders,  are 77 and 78 years old respectively.  

Of course, we should not be ageist about this.  There is no reason why a septuagenarian could not lead a country. 

But where have all the young men and women gone?  Where indeed have all the women gone?  Gone to the ground, everyone?  As Warren has said 'girls will have to wait again.' 

It is dispiriting stuff.  Both candidates are 'try, try, and try again' characters banging on with the same platforms.



Sanders is said to be the 'progressive' candidate.   Biden the 'centrist'.  Both model their policies to combat climate change on the 'Green new deal'.

Sanders calls his plans 'The Green New Deal".  Biden's is the "Clean Energy Revolution"   They would both sign back into the Paris climate accord.   Sanders would spend over $16 trillion over a decade on measures to combat climate change.  Biden would spend just $1.7 trillion.  Now that is a massive difference.  But is it anything more than out-bidding each other? 

Sander's plan would see electricity and transportation fueled by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.  Here in the UK, that was also in the Labour plans at the general election which was modelled on the same "Green New Deal".   It is a huge task. 

Biden's plan is more conservative seeing zero net emissions by 2050.  Which of these is the more realistic?  One is undoubtedly bold.  Both are polar opposites to the Climate change denial of President Donald Trump.

Whichever version is adopted by the Democrats, the party will need to reach out to voters in a politically divided nation.   Will the candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination be able to avoid damaging each others case so much that it becomes difficult to sell to voters in the Presidential election?  Let's hope not.   If we are to prevent a climate catastrophe, we will need the United States at the forefront of tackling it.  

The next presidential election may be the last chance saloon for progressive policies on global warming. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

Mr Duncan-Smith offers a disingenuous and divisive comparison

Some time ago, actually it was a long time ago when I was in my early teens, someone close to me bought a table. It was an early flat pack variety. It came with a top and four legs. He followed the instructions to the letter screwing the legs into the top. But when he had completed it the table wobbled. One leg he explained was shorter than the other three; so he sawed a bit from each of the other legs. The table wobbled. One leg, he explained, was longer than the other three. So, he sawed a bit off. The table wobbled. He went on cutting the legs, but the table continued to wobble. Cut, cut, cut! By this time he had convinced himself there was no alternative to it.  He ended up with a very low table indeed, supported by four very stumpy legs and a bit of cardboard placed under one of them to stop it wobbling on the uneven floor.  Mr Duncan-Smith argues that we need a 1% cap on benefits to be 'fair to average earners'. Average  earners have seen their incomes rise by less tha

His way or none? Why I can't vote for Jeremy

There is an assumption that all would be well with the Labour Party if people hadn't expressed their genuine concern with what they consider the inadequacies of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. If only, it is said, the Parliamentary Labour Party and his Shadow Cabinet had supported him, instead of undermining him, all would have been fine. If they had been quiet and towed the line, then the party would not have been in the mess it is in. So, should they have stayed silent, or speak of their concerns? There comes a point when the cost of staying silent outweighs the cost of speaking out. This is a judgment. Many call it a coup by the PLP. They paint a picture of a right-wing PLP out of touch with the membership.  This is the narrative of the Corbyn camp. But Jeremy Corbyn, over the decades he has been in politics, showed the way.  It was Jeremy Corbyn who opposed almost all Labour leaders and rarely held back from speaking out, or voting time and again against the party line. As