Post # 360    ANOTHER AMERICAN BEAUTY PAGEANT (A pliny editorial)

At the time of this writing, there are in excess of 25 registered aspirants (and still counting) for selection by the Democratic Party, as its nominee for President in the 2020 election; all of whom, seem to be well recognized and celebrated personalities and, more importantly, avowed liberals. Stranger than this plethora of want-to -be candidates, is the fact that, as reported, the number is still growing.

There are, perhaps, some, who feel that such a large choice of potential candidates, is a healthy phenomenon, since it will, they feel, necessarily result in the airing, in the debates, of a great many views and novel suggestions for the solution of our problems, and improvements in governance. We, most emphatically, disagree.

The responsible chore of candidate selection, should never resemble the arbitrary and casual franchise of window shopping.

We, of course, are unaware of the respective personal motivation of each of the many aspirants, and remain confident, that all are in agreement with the classic Democratic party platform and principles; these traditionally, have included, health insurance for all Americans, protection of civil and women’s rights, enforcement of health and safety regulations, assistance to the needy, fair labor and agricultural practices, rational gun control, recognition and amelioration of climate problems and a sensible and compassionate immigration policy. The daily, continuous, media recital of the constant misdeeds of Mr. Trump, at this point, should strategically take a back seat, to the more important theme, of the public’s assurance of the restoration of the empathic and traditional aims of the Democratic Party. The goal to be emphasized, is the resurrection of wise governance, including the continued maintenance of the policy of responsible and moral compassionate capitalism.

We have serious reservations concerning the surfeit of candidates, seeking the party’s nomination. Appearances might suggest a possible context, akin to a beauty pageant, where, as perceived, the greatest ephemeral appeal of the contestant, in a swim suit or evening gown, is the criterion of success. There exist at present, a surfeit of beauty pageants, national and international; a mere sampling (of the domestic events, only) would include the following: Miss America, Mrs. America, Miss Teen Age America, Miss World, and so on, (and on) ad infinitem, ad nauseum. If permitted to make a diversionary  observation, we have always regarded (and have consistently written), that any determination of the actual beauty of the person, is essentially, not an external consideration, but an internal one, based upon mature perspective, intelligence, knowledge and capacity for empathy; in addition, as necessary, to the pageant show criterion of (unearned and accidental) outward appearance.

To return to our intended subject, we are troubled, as to the subject of the potential criteria for the selection of a favorite, from any large, pageant-like array of like- thinking contestants. Is it [externals] tonal quality and confidence in speaking? appearance? sense of humor? gender? good looks? personal history? domicile? feistiness?  We hope not. We are obliged to remember that it was the dangerous and attractive, populist, cult of personality, which was the proximate cause for the misleading of the nation, much like the fabled Pinocchio, into going down the wrong path, to its later regret. The voter must exercise his better judgment by voting for a candidate who, appears to demonstrate the essential characteristics of wisdom, maturity of perspective and a responsible knowledge of history, current events, and the needs of the nation. The unprecedentedly large array of similar, “right-thinking” applicants, however, supports the optics of a pageant-like competition; a trite and essentially, superficial array of “gong show” style applicants, hungrily vying for the noisy approval of a populist audience.

Participants, as Democrats, predictably, will speak to their common support of the traditional Democratic platform issues, enumerated above. Yet, if it they uniformly espouse identical platforms, how does the responsibly mature voter to be guided in his selection of nominee? It is this puzzling dilemma that underlies our considered disapproval of a large number of candidates in the nomination process. It would appear in such an instance, that the determinative choice of Presidential candidate, might, shamefully, be left to a decision based on superficial and irrelevantly populist criteria; rather than  the voter’s sincere affirmance of the basic, historic tenets, of the Democratic Party, which all candidates purport to share.

The selection of Presidential candidates is a consequential procedure and ought never resemble a beauty pageant, or a casual window shopping excursion.


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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