Roger Cohen’s choice of Kamala Harris to defeat Trump in 2020

Do I even have one single idea of my own?

I hardly miss a single day when I don’t read the op ed writers in the Times and the Post. What does that mean? There’s no hope for me? I’ve become pretty much in their hands their creation, losing myself to their ideas. I wonder, do I ever have a thought, an idea of my own? I wonder that especially as more and more I post on my own blogs the writings of others, as the recent op ed of Roger Cohen that I post in part below, another must read for Democrats.

But what I ask is the big deal? Aren’t we all more or less dependent of those who come before us, on those who have done better the things we would like to have done ourselves. In my own case the ideas I have probably without exception come from the writers and scientists I read. No less than the music from the musicians I know and listen to and love.

Anyway these idle thoughts came to me today as I was reading Roger Cohen’s latest op ed piece in the Times, The Who-Can-Beat Trump Test Leads to Kamala Harris. He speaks for me. I agree with pretty much everything he says, most importantly that Kamala is our best hope of defeating Trump in 2020, and that Joe Biden, currently leading the pack, while clearly “a good and honorable man of great personal courage, no longer has the needed energy, mental agility and nimbleness to defeat Trump.”

Senator Kamala Harris of California at a town hall campaign event in February at Royal Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, S.C.
Senator Kamala Harris of California at a town hall campaign event in February at Royal Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, S.C.
CreditCreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

The Who-Can-Beat Trump Test Leads to Kamala Harris
Roger Cohen, NYTimes, August 2, 2019

Nations, like people, may change somewhat, but not in their essential characteristics. The United States is defined by space and hope. It is an optimistic country of can-do strivers. They took the risk of coming to a new land. They are suspicious of government, inclined to self-reliance. Europeans ask where you came from. Americans ask what you can do.

The Declaration of Independence posited a universal idea, that human beings are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Americans, then, embraced an idea, however flawed in execution, when they became a nation. Their government, whatever else it does, exists to safeguard and further that idea, in the United States and beyond.

President Trump, in the name of making American great again, has trampled on America’s essence. He is angry, a stranger to happiness, angrier still for not knowing the source of his rage. He is less interested in liberty than the cash of his autocratic cronies. As for life, he views it as a selective right, to which the white Christian male has priority access, with women, people of color and the rest of humanity trailing along behind for scraps….

The gravest thing Trump has done is to empty this idea of meaning. His has been an assault on honesty, decency, dignity, tolerance and civility. … Any victorious Democratic Party candidate in 2020 has to counter that negative energy with a positive energy that lifts Americans from Trump’s web.

I watched the Democratic Party debates among presidential contenders through a single prism: Who can beat Trump? In the end, nothing else matters because another five and a half years of this will drag Americans into an abyss of moral collapse….

Kamala Harris does that for me. The California senator is a work in progress, with uneven debate performances, and policies, notably health care, that she has zigzagged toward defining. But she’s tough, broadly of the center, has a great American story, is passionate on issues including immigrants, African-Americans and women, and has proved she is not averse to risk. She has a former prosecutor’s toughness and the ability to slice through Trump’s self-important bluster…

Last month Harris said Trump was a “predator.” She continued: “The thing about predators you should know, is that they prey on the vulnerable. They prey on those who they do not believe are strong. And the thing you must importantly know, predators are cowards.”


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