Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced last month that nine Iowans voted twice in the previous election. Ouch. Bad voters. Everyone knows that voting twice — or even once if you’re deceased — is always wrong. Except when it comes to …
… the Iowa Caucuses! That’s right. On February 3rd, Iowa Democrats who cast their support for a candidate who receives less than 15 percent of the vote get to vote a second time.
Is this a great state, or what!
If the January 5 CBS poll is any indication of how things might play out on February 3, I’ll end the evening standing with Bernie Sanders’ supporters. My first vote will be for Tom Steyer, who is hands down the strongest candidate on climate change. I hope he’s viable in my precinct, but I’m prepared for plan B (“B” for “Bernie”) just in case.
Among all the candidates running, Sanders’ track record on everything is the most consistent. With Sanders, what you see is what you get. And climate is high on his list of priorities.
Yet Steyer stands alone as the one candidate committed to making climate their #1 priority. He’ll declare a climate emergency on Day One, and that’s critically important. Remember the Affordable Care Act? President Obama burned so much capital getting that passed there wasn’t enough political oxygen left to tackle climate change.
At this late stage in the game, when humanity is looking down the very barrel of extinction, we can’t afford any more delays.
Sanders is strong on climate, and again, that’s why he’s my second pick. But by every indication, his first priority is going to be Medicare for All. For Elizabeth Warren, it’s corporate corruption. For Andrew Yang, it’s giving each of us $1,000 a month. For Joe Biden … ok, I have no idea what Joe Biden’s going to be. In terms of consistency, Biden is the opposite of Sanders.
So of course, as one who has made climate action the focus of my life’s work these past twelve years, Tom Steyer easily gets my first vote on February 3. Many of you have written in agreement, some in polite disagreement. Yet I’ve had some responses, especially from the Bernie Bros, that have been, well, less than accommodating:
“[D}id he make a donation to you or do you expect that in the future?” Absolutely not, and the suggestion is more than a little insulting.
“[T]his really does highlight how tone-deaf you are.” Sorry, can you speak up?
“You’ve become a one issue voter.” No, I care about many issues, but climate isn’t an issue. It’s a crisis. Other issues won’t matter a hill of beans if we don’t fix our climate problem.
“Why do you get distracted by every shiny object that flashes across your tv?” I don’t own a tv.
“[Steyer] has zero chance of winning and a 100% of fragmenting the vote.” Let’s see where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, when I ran for Governor.
Whatever the outcome of the Iowa Caucuses and the Democratic primary, the next challenge for those of us opposed to homo sapiens following the path of the dinosaurs is to rally behind whoever wins the Democratic nomination. That may be uncomfortable for some, but it’s far less uncomfortable than four more years of Trump administration policies that push humanity even further down the path toward irreversible climate chaos.