How to decide who to vote for in primaries (including this one)

Here’s my formula for how to decide who to vote for in the primaries. It’s a two-step process:

  1. Choose which party you agree with more.
  2. Vote the person.

That’s it. Do not try to pick a candidate until you’ve picked a party. Don’t get caught up in Rand Paul’s isolationism, Donald Trump’s promise to build a yuge wall, Bernie Sanders’ desire to break up the big banks, or Hillary Clinton’s desire for more gun control. None of that will actually matter when they get into office.

Step one – picking a party – is usually the easy part (Although, apparently there are some people who evidently still insist there isn’t a real difference between the two parties. I have nothing to say to those people. This post isn’t for them. Moving on…).

Personally, I’m a Democrat. I belong to the party which believes in climate science and supports clean energy. The party for gun control. The party for civil rights. The party that doesn’t start stupid wars (at least not lately). The party where it’s ok to believe that human law should be above religious law. The party for a higher minimum wage. The party of fiscal responsibility (by which I mean not exploding the debt and then trying to force a default on that debt). The party which essentially says, we’re all in this together, rather than you’re on your own.

Anyway, that’s my party. Step 1 is done.

The next step is vote the person. This is by far the trickier step.

Is this what Democracy’s death rattle looks like?

As Amy Davidson writes in this week’s New Yorker:

It is hard to picture Sanders (much less Trump) in the Situation Room, but, if Democratic voters were to feel as liberated from the constraints of prudence as their Republican counterparts seem to, anything might happen. We could have a radical from Brooklyn and a real-estate guy from Queens facing off in debates that would sound like nothing so much as an argument on the B41 bus as it barrels down Flatbush Avenue to Kings Plaza.

It is, in my humble opinion, time for a little rebellion in this country. And as all of us who have read our Thomas Jefferson know, in Jefferson’s humble opinion a little rebellion every now and then is a good thing for our particular brand of democracy.