The Only Sure Way for Biden to Trounce Trump: An Enlightened Centrist Platform and Cuomo for VP!

To be assured of defeating Trump this November, the sole Democratic priority, Joe Biden needs to maximize his appeal not just with Democratic voters, but also with independent and centrist Republican voters. That requires 1) an enlightened “practical solutions” platform which greatly satisfies Democrats, independents, and centrist Republicans; 2) a strong, experienced, charismatic running mate who inspires confidence and enthusiasm in all voters regardless of party, gender, and race, that being New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; and 3) complete transparency on personal matters, including his son’s Ukraine business and the accusation of sexual assault by a former staffer.

Since the absolute Democratic priority is to defeat Trump, Biden must not weaken his chances of victory by having a “socialist”, anti-capitalist platform, or by having a leftwing running mate, both of which would alienate centrist voters. An enlightened “practical solutions” platform leads to solving problems without the stamp of extreme ideology, the only way to rally a solid majority of voters. For example, the way to eliminate poverty is not to raise taxes and “soak the rich”. Income inequality is a demagogic red herring. In fact, the only way to eliminate poverty, beyond having enlightened pro-growth fiscal and monetary policies which prevent long recessions and high unemployment, is to provide a truly excellent public school education which prevents dropouts and leads to every single youth obtaining a college degree. No one can object to that, neither left-wingers nor right-wingers. It is self-evident that a universally well-educated citizenry leads to social and economic prosperity, with much lower taxes. That ambitious but easily obtainable goal (which requires a dramatic upgrade in the high school curriculum along with well-organized sports and arts after-school activities) must not be blocked by misguided, small-minded budget deficit concerns, especially since QE financing by the Federal Reserve can obviate the need to raise taxes.

A second example involves how to deal with the politically divisive question of climate change. Biden should not have an ideological approach founded on a particular theory which is not universally shared. Everyone is against pollution, so focus on eliminating pollution for its own sake, not on the Democrats’ theory that pollution is the cause of climate change. Whether greatly reducing pollution will stop global warming is objectively very debatable, since we have had five ice ages followed by five great warmings dwarfing the warming of the past thirty years, and those truly major climate changes had nothing to do with human activity, only with natural forces. Indeed, the current warming is probably the continuation of the most recent great warming cycle. So avoid politically divisive theories, and focus on universally agreed upon goals, such as eliminating pollution.

A third example is how to deal with the politically divisive issue of gun control. The Democrats must be rational and acknowledge that gun violence (and all other forms of violence) is due to mentally disturbed people, and that even if guns are outlawed, there are other means of killing. So, the real solution for gun violence is addressing mental health starting at a young age, by having the public high school curriculum include four years of psychology accompanied by “group therapy” and “good parenting” classes. Psychologically well-adjusted citizens do not go on mass shooting sprees, or behave violently in general, and they are happier. So why do Democrats insist on gun control, particularly when drug laws have never been effective? Why would there not be a black market for guns, just as there always has been for illegal drugs? How many billions have been wasted on the totally ineffective “War on Drugs”? Reach your goal not ideologically, but practically, with an effective program embraced by everyone.

A fourth example is how to deal with the politically divisive issue of abortion. Democrats must stop being ideologically stubborn and finesse religious objections to abortion by focusing on what should be the real goal, i.e., eliminating undesired pregnancies, and achieving it. The great majority of unwanted pregnancies involve high school dropouts. So, eliminating the dropout phenomenon is the way to go, along with encouraging adoption. We’ve wasted all these years under Democrats and Republicans and done absolutely nothing to solve the real problem, all due to ideological stubbornness and limited thinking. By embracing the enlightened solution, Biden will get the approval of most Democrats and Republicans.

A fifth example is how to deal with illegal drugs and addiction. For how much longer will we stubbornly cling to the failed policy of making drugs illegal, ignoring that black markets always exist, and that mental health is the reason for addiction? Biden should insist that the solution for greatly reducing addiction is to focus on mental health, and that requires a four year high school course on psychology accompanied by indispensable “group therapy” and “good parenting” classes. How can any rational person object to this?

Finally, since a poor public high school education is the cause of most of our problems and most of our political divisions, greatly upgrading the curriculum is an absolute necessity. Apart from psychology, other critically important courses are 1) logic and critical thinking; 2) economics and investing, including explaining why QE-financed tax rebates (not ultra-low interest rates) should be the standard economic stimulus tool; 3) analysis of domestic and world history in great detail from 1900; 3) ethics and empathy; 4) the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the history of human rights violations; 5) introductory law; 6) comparative religion; 7) history of art, architecture, and design; 8) history of music; 9) the major mistakes in economic, social, and foreign policy over the past 100 years and which would have been the correct policies.

Regarding Biden’s running mate, this is not the time for gender or racial balancing on the ticket. These are exceptionally critical times, and there is no better vice presidential candidate than Andrew Cuomo, considering charisma, intellect, temperament, managerial experience, and cross-party likeability and appeal. There is no other Democrat of any gender or race approaching his qualities, it’s not even close. What counts is Biden defeating Trump, and having success at governing, with policies which really work to greatly reduce poverty, pollution, gun and all other forms of violence, abortions, mental illness, and drug addiction, and which really work to increase the level of education imparted by our public high schools. All that will serve to reduce our dangerous political divide, while leading to social and economic prosperity. All that should have been done decades ago. To succeed in winning the election and in governing, Biden needs Cuomo. Hopefully, he will realize that before selecting his running mate. Most people will accept Biden not keeping his promise to select a female or black running mate, when the reasoning is totally justified and understandable.

Last, but not least, Biden must not be evasive and duck accusations like most politicians. He must directly address accusations of impropriety regarding his son’s Ukraine business dealings, and of his alleged sexual assault on a former staffer 30 years ago. He must do so in person, at a live news conference, and answer all questions posed by reporters forthrightly. He must prove himself to be a truly honest politician, even if it means admitting mistakes. Furthermore, Biden should immediately publish his and his son’s tax returns of the past 10 years, along with his university transcripts, and challenge Trump to do the same. (Trump’s refusal suggests he has something to hide.). Biden should also call for the mandatory publishing of 10-year tax returns of every single presidential and congressional candidate, and make the point that Trump’s excuse of being audited is totally invalid, even fraudulent.

© Edward Sonnino 2020

April 28, 2020


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Edward Sonnino

Edward Sonnino

Born and raised in New York City. Best course in college: history of art. Profession: economic forecaster and portfolio manager. Fluent in French and Italian.