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Presidential Politics: With Whom Would You Like to Have a Beer?

Thoughts on Picking a Democratic Candidate for President

I’ve decided the best way to chose a candidate for President from the field of Democratic candidates is to ask with whom I would like to have a beer. The reason is we should take everything they say with ‘a grain of salt’ so why not choose a President with a good personality and one, who through his/her likeability, can re-engage the U.S. in the community of nations and bring respect back to our country. Better yet, choose one with whom I would like to watch March Madness and drink lots of beer.

The key point is we can’t trust anything these candidates say. A recent Gallup Poll ranks members of Congress next to last of all occupations with respect to honesty and ethics, just one spot above car salespeople.

I’ve watched so many Democratic debates that I am starting to get whiplash from all the spins and poorly thought out plans of the candidates. I can’t imagine the U.S. Congress passing Medicare for all as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have suggested. I mean, seriously, do we want to add over $25 trillion over the next decade ($14 trillion net of new taxes) to the national debt, which is now over $23 trillion?

Interestingly, Sanders claimed in Wednesday’s debate that his proposal would cut health expenditures by $450 billion or 13 percent each year. He basis the statement on a study published in Lancet, a well-respected medical journal. What he doesn’t tell you is the lead author of the study from which these figures are derived served as an “informal, unpaid advisor” to Sanders’s Senate office as it developed the Medicare For All Act. Talk about your conflict of interests and lack of transparency.

Sanders is too authoritarian and Warren is too much of an ‘it’s my way or the highway’ person who reminds me of my high school English teacher. I wouldn’t enjoy the beer because they would probably tell me I’m drinking it wrong or I should share it with others in the restaurant who can’t afford it.

Mayor Pete is nice enough and seems engaging but he lacks experience and I question his knowledge of foreign affairs. For some reason, MSNBC barely touched upon this subject in Wednesday’s debate yet it is a key factor to reintroduce the U.S. to a civilized global society after Trump trashed international agreements and insulted some foreign leaders.

Pete would probably be fun but having a beer with him would be too much like doing the same with a college buddy. It’s that youthful demeanor. Moreover, he may not want to listen to my concerns about his position and record on race relations. He also worked with McKinsey & Company, a management firm criticized for its work with Purdue Pharma and authoritarian governments such as China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Joe Biden is a safe bet and, if you are averse to change, Joe may be your guy. However, I fear that Joe’s style of leadership is too much a 1990s thing. He’s not a great leader that inspires hope and sometimes he seems confused by questions. In fairness, Biden claims he stutters and that may explain what seems a lack of comprehension when questions are asked and answers formed. Having a beer with Joe might be a halting experience although he is a likable guy.

Amy Klobuchar is engaging but I fear her Midwest values would not allow her to keep up with Donald Trump’s abrasive style. I don’t think she could handle his put-downs and likely offensive comments. She’s nice enough for a beer but may not be able to keep up with my goal of drinking a six-pack at any occasion where I have to talk to politicians.

As for Mike Bloomberg, why did he enter the fray? Doesn’t he have better ways to spend the outrageous amounts he’s already spent (about $500 billion)? How about feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and/or providing medical care for those who can’t afford it. After his debate performance last Wednesday, he’s probably eliminated anyway.

A beer with Mike would be a most boring experience. I’d have to fight hard to stay awake while he defends all the ill-thought-out policies and actions when he was mayor of New York City.

This leave Tim Stayer. Why is he still in the race? Even if he does well in South Carolina, he has no chance of getting anywhere near the nomination. He seems too much of a one issue candidate – global warming. Obviously, this is a very important issue for our future and that of our kids and grandkids. Still, I can’t imagine drinking a six pack while listening to Stayer pontificate.

Maybe the best thing to do is have a beer with all of the candidates. They would be occupied while I listen to music with my noise-cancelling headphones.

Posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on February 21, 2020. Dr. Mintz's Ethics Sage blog was recognized as one the top 100 in philosophy (#23) by Feedspot ( He recently published a book, Beyond Happiness and Meaning: Transforming Your Life Through Ethical Behavior, that is available on Amazon. You can sign up for his newsletter and learn more about his activities on his website: Follow him on Facebook at: