You Make a Difference! Our mission and operations are funded entirely by Patriots like you! Please support the 2023 Year-End Campaign now.

January 17, 2020

Will Democrats Choose Safety or Risk?

When the economy shows signs of weakness, Wall Street analysts expect to see what they call a “flight to safety.”

When the economy shows signs of weakness, Wall Street analysts expect to see what they call a “flight to safety.” Investors sell stocks and buy bonds or gold. The same phenomenon can sometimes be found in politics. Understanding that George W. Bush was riding high in 2004, after what was perceived as a successful response to the 9/11 attacks, Democrats wagered that Vietnam veteran Sen. John Kerry would stand a better chance of victory than the candidate who most excited them, Vermont’s Howard Dean. A popular lapel pin at the time captured the mood, “Dated Dean. Married Kerry.”

The strategy — to neutralize Bush’s war advantage with Kerry’s war record — ran into difficulties. There was partisan wrangling over whether Kerry deserved his Purple Hearts and other citations, but most damaging was Kerry’s dubious makeover — transforming himself from prominent Vietnam War critic into Vietnam War hero. The threads didn’t mesh, and Kerry found himself tangled in contradictions.

Arguably, one story of the Democratic primary race so far has been the competition between two impulses — the flight to safety versus the urge to splurge.

The first impulse holds Joe Biden aloft. Despite his age, some gobbledygook in debates and on the trail, and his past heresies (from the Democratic primary voters’ perspective) about criminal justice and the Iraq War, Joe Biden has maintained a steady lead. His authorship of the 1994 crime bill, which some believe led to the overincarceration of African Americans, seems not to have dented the enthusiasm of the key constituency in Democratic primaries. He claims a steady 40% of African American support nationally, and a whopping 51% in South Carolina, according to the Monmouth University poll.

Amy Klobuchar is a moderate who tells hard truths to the party’s progressives. In the Jan. 14 debate, she reminded Bernie Sanders that two-thirds of Senate Democrats don’t support “Medicare for All,” let alone Republicans. Perhaps that’s one reason she is among the final six. Klobuchar has struggled to make it into double digits in the polls, though she fulfills many of the desiderata for 2020. She’s from the Midwest, which is likely to be key to the Electoral College again. She’s neither too young nor too old. She is experienced. She is a solid, realistic, gradualist who wouldn’t scare away independents or disaffected Republicans in November. Some might say, well, actually some have said, that she’s “boring.” But in an era when politics has become a juvenile insult-fest, dull sounds soothing. Or it might, if safety is your primary goal.

For at least 30% of the Democratic electorate, those who currently support Warren or Sanders, swinging for the fences is the mood. They seem to have taken Trump’s 2016 win as a challenge: If Republicans went wild in 2016, choosing the least reasonable candidate, Democrats deserve their turn in 2020.

Sanders and Warren are “fundamental transformation” Democrats. Consult Bernie’s website and you’ll find plans, or should I say ambitions, to transform everything. It isn’t just “Medicare for All”; it’s “housing for all” and “college for all” and “fair banking for all” and “justice and safety for all.” Elizabeth Warren has backed away only slightly from her endorsement of “Medicare for All.” None of the candidates acknowledges that the medical system they decry, when they cite high deductibles and costly prescription drugs, is the one a Democratic president, Barack Obama, passed to solve those very problems. Their approach reminds me of my husband’s solution to any household problem: “Apply force. If that doesn’t work, apply more force.”

A tiny dose of modesty about vast government solutions to complex problems would go a long way. Perhaps single-payer is, as Sanders and Warren claim, the fairest, cheapest and most efficient way to deliver health care (though policy analysts across the political spectrum spit out their coffee at Sanders’ claims about how much the whole scheme would really cost). But let’s say he and Warren are right. Apparently, a majority of voters in Oregon agree. Here’s a crazy idea: Before adopting such a sweeping overhaul of 18% of our economy, let Oregon experiment with it and let’s see in five years how it worked out.

One more safety candidate is waiting in the wings. Mike Bloomberg is skipping the early contests, but hiring and advertising now. Has this been tried before? Yes, another former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani, skipped Iowa and New Hampshire in 2008. Of course, Giuliani (to his great regret) didn’t sit atop a $58 billion fortune.

All eyes are on Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Buttigieg now, but primaries bring surprises.


Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.