Gov. Jerry Brown. Photo credit: business.ca.gov
Gov. Jerry Brown. Photo credit: business.ca.gov

Jerry Brown, really?

By C. O. Dessky

What’s wrong with America? Why are the crazies now running the Republican party? And why is Bernie Sanders leading or matching Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and attracting tens of thousands of enthusiastic supporters to his rallies?

I think that Trump and Sanders are both riding the same wave – disgust of the political establishment. Washington looks broken. Because it is. Republicans and Democrats are more intent on fighting each other than in fighting ISIS. Both parties protect the Wall St. bankers who caused the Great Recession. Millionaires and billionaires get richer and richer and enjoy unfair tax breaks. The middle class suffers. The Supreme Court gives massive new power to huge corporations and wealthy individuals. Poor people – black, brown, white – increasingly find it difficult to get a decent education for their kids or to earn a living wage.

So, what’s to be lost by trying something radical? Perhaps Trump can make Washington work a bit better. Maybe he can’t exactly make American great, but it’s hard to believe he can do worse than George W. Bush, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid or John Boehner. And Sanders? Well, capitalist cronies have given us a deceitful tax code, deteriorating public schools, crumbling infrastructure and an environment policy aimed at protecting coal and oil companies while our planet cooks. Sanders may not be the white knight to save us, but could he really make things worse? Unlikely.

The best guess is that as Hillary’s troubles grow, Joe Biden is increasingly tempted to enter the race. He’s a veteran of the Washington establishment, but (perhaps because he sometimes puts his foot in his mouth) he seems unrehearsed, genuine and likeable. Three qualities he shares with Trump and Sanders. But not with Hillary.

Democrats must be wondering who else could be available if Hillary implodes. And who could have a good chance of beating the Republican (or independent) candidate and would be a decent President? Here’s a way-out thought: Jerry Brown. He’s a bit old, a quality he shares with Biden and Sanders. He’s proven that he can fix a broken state capital, he’s a strong environmentalist who’s a fiscal conservative or moderate. Oh, and like Trump and Sanders he’s unrehearsed, genuine and likeable.

If I were betting today I’d place my money on Hillary as the Democratic nominee. But I’m not sure I’d wager much on her winning in November, especially if her email troubles escalate. That should be a real worry for the Democrats. So perhaps instead of gloating over Trump’s growing popularity among Republicans, Democrats should be looking for a viable alternative of their own. I think Biden would be a stronger nominee than Sanders. But Brown, who’s never been part of the broken Washington establishment, could be the best option. Just too bad he’s not 10 years younger.

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