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Mud runners
Time to think about 2020
Life on the Ark.jpg

Some thoughts about the 2020 elections ... but first: a look at this year’s Kentucky Derby.

Each year, the field for the Derby is open to 20 horses, with up to four “also eligibles” in case of late scratches from the field. Qualification is based on points earned in the Road to the Kentucky Derby, a series of races introduced circa 2012.

There were 19 horses in last Sunday’s Kentucky Derby. It was raining and the track was sloppy. If you had your money on the favorite, Maximum Security, you were disappointed. Even though it looked as if your horse came in first, you did not win. Lawsuits will be filed but many are complaining that the race was rigged — or perhaps the entire “Sport of Kings” idea is an anachronism.

The horse eventually declared the winner, Country House, was a long shot, apparently a good mud runner. ...

Meanwhile, at the DNC ...

At last count, 21 Democrats and two Republicans have announced they are running for president in 2020. With that many contenders, the first Democratic presidential debate will take place over two nights, June 26 and 27.

According to the New York Times, some of the proposals from these candidates include $100 billion in reparations for slavery, with $10 billion to be distributed annually over a decade for economic and education projects (Marianne Williamson); establishing a universal basic income of $1,000 a month for all American adults (Andrew Yang); and funding innovation in medical research while pushing for a national ban on assault weapons (Eric Swalwell).

Bernie Sanders’ signature issue is “Medicare for all,” Tim Ryan wants to renegotiate or enforce trade deals, punish Chinese currency manipulation and champion unions’ rights and workforce development; Wayne Messam wants to cancel more than $1.5 trillion in student debt. The current frontrunner, Joe Biden Jr. cites restoring American’s standing on the global stage and strengthening economic protections for low-income workers in industries like manufacturing and fast food.

Jay Inslee claims, “I am the only candidates who will make defeating climate change our nation’s No. 1 priority.” Amy Klobuchar says, “It is time to organize, time to galvanize, time to take back our democracy.” Her signature issues are combating the opioid crisis and drug addiction, and addressing the cost of prescription drugs.

That’s less than half of the field, so for the next year we can expect things to get sloppy and some of the candidates may commit a foul or even find themselves disqualified. What we don’t want to see is a case where well-qualified candidates lose to better known but less fit “mud-slingers” who appeal to the lowest common denominator.