In the new Democratic Party, where women and people of color are to lead, and the white men are to stand back, the presidential field has begun to sort itself out somewhat problematically.
According to a Real Clear Politics average of five polls between mid-March and April 1, four white men — Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, “Beto” O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg — have corralled 62 percent of all Democratic voters.
The three white women running — Senators Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand — have, together, a piddling 8 percent.
The lone Hispanic candidate, Julian Castro, is at 1 percent.
African American candidates Kamala Harris and Cory Booker fare better, with Harris at 10 and Booker at 3.
Who has raised the most money from the most contributors?
Sanders is first with $18 million; Harris is next with $12 million; Beto is third with $9 million in 18 days; and “Mayor Pete” is fourth with $7 million.
Warren, Klobuchar and Gillibrand have yet to file reports.
But the big takeaway from recent weeks is the sudden stunning vulnerability of the front-runner. Seven women have come forward to berate Biden for unwanted and offensive touching and crowding. Joe is on the defensive. Some in the #MeToo movement want him gone.
He is also being slammed for decisions across his 36-year Senate career — opposing busing for integration, deserting Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas hearings, supporting a racially discriminatory crime bill, voting to authorize George W. Bush to take us into war in Iraq.
And unkindest cut of all: Barack Obama’s stony silence about Joe’s candidacy.
The most compelling case for the 76-year-old ex-vice president is that he can win back Trump’s white working-class voters, and return Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania to the Democratic fold.
Thus a major drop in Biden’s polls could be terminal to his candidacy.
If Biden can’t guarantee a victory over Trump, why go with Joe?
Yet, if he fades away as a candidate, as he has done twice before, who emerges as front-runner? The 77-year-old Socialist Bernie Sanders. If Joe fades, Bernie and the comrades will have removed the last large roadblock to a socialist takeover of the national Democratic Party.
And what would then happen if the Democrats simply held the House, added three Senate seats and defeated Trump in 2020?
An all-out effort to abolish the Electoral College that is integral to the historic compromise that created our federal Union. Puerto Rico and D.C. would become states, giving Democrats four more Senators and making America a bilingual nation.
A drive would be on to give 16-year-olds and convicted felons the right to vote in federal elections, freezing Republicans out of power forever. A packing of the Supreme Court would begin by raising by six the number of justices and elevating liberal activists to the new seats.
On the southern border, where 100,000 illegal migrants were apprehended in March, Trump’s wall would come down, all peoples fleeing repression in Central America would be welcomed into the U.S., sanctuary cities would become the norm, and ICE would be abolished.
Open borders would be a reality, along with amnesty for the 12 million-20 million people here illegally, with a path to citizenship for all.
It is impossible to see how the U.S. border would ever be secured.
The Green New Deal would be enacted. Medicare for all. Free tuition for college students. Millennial college debts paid off by the government. Free pre-K schooling and day care. Guaranteed jobs for all. A guaranteed living wage. Repeal of the Reagan and Trump tax cuts. A re-raising of the corporate rate and a return of the top rate for individuals to 70 percent. New wealth taxes on the rich.
With climate change seen as an existential planetary peril, fossil fuel-powered energy plants — coal, oil, natural gas — would be phased out and a new national reliance on solar and wind begun.
There would be reparations for slavery. Abortion on demand right up to birth for all women. Marijuana would be legalized. Harris has urged that prostitution, sex work, be legalized.
How would the Green New Deal be paid for?
Under “modern monetary theory,” currency is a public monopoly for the government, and unemployment is evidence that the monopoly is choking off the needed supply. So print the money necessary to get to rising wages, full employment and a booming economy.
To achieve Bernie Sanders’ Socialist America, the filibuster would have to be abolished, easily done, and the Constitution altered, requiring the support of three-fourths of the states, not so easy.
Yet, as of today, the unannounced front-runner Joe Biden, who is taking fire from many quarters, appears to be the last man standing between Sanders Socialism and the Democratic nomination.
Should Joe falter and fall, Trump would be the nation’s last line of defense against the coming of a Socialist America. For never-Trump conservatives, the day of reckoning may be just ahead.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”