The Democratic Hoard + 1

Mariner suspects many voters, like him, have no affinity toward any of the twenty-some democratic candidates. It is a montage for sure. Trevor Noah (Daily Show) presents a bust shot of all the candidates in a single rectangular frame; look closely and one sees a cartoon figure in the last bust shot at the bottom. Indeed. All of them are caricatures of something. In his heart, mariner sees no outstanding, Herculean, Donald-proof candidate. A new candidate is becoming noticed: Tom Steyer.

The good and bad thing about Tom Steyer is that he is worth 1.6 billion dollars. If nothing else, Donald’s bluff about his own wealth and business acumen may not be useful running against a candidate worth ten times as much. Another good thing is that Tom is not a career politician; he lacks the cartoonishness of the democratic hoard.

Interestingly, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) isn’t fond of him and wishes he wouldn’t run for President. If Tom Steyer wins, it can be said that he bought the Presidency; in the future any old billionaire can decide he wants to be president and outspend the opposition. In these times of big money elections, it is still the same but no one who typically runs for office is a billionaire. Billionaires would rather pull the strings behind the curtains – which is no better than one billionaire deciding to step out and run on their own. Truth is, the US is pretty much a plutocracy already.

But Tom puts the electorate on the horns of a dilemma: On the one hand, no one should be able to buy the Presidency – maybe a bunch of party people with a bunch of money – just not one person. On the other hand, Tom has a stellar record as a business man, a liberal philanthropist, an advocate of taking on climate change, and a stated policy that resets taxation and minimum wage. On paper, he is the perfect democratic candidate; not only that, he will intimidate Donald just by showing Donald his checkbook.

To increase a democratic voter’s agony, mariner provides a bit of bio:

Thomas Fahr “Tom” Steyer is an American hedge fund manager, politician, philanthropist, and environmentalist. Steyer is the founder and former Co-Senior Managing Partner of Farallon Capital Management, LLC and the co-founder of Beneficial State Bank.

Tom Steyer was born in 1957 in Manhattan. His mother, Marnie (née Fahr), was a teacher of remedial reading at the Brooklyn House of Detention, and his father, Roy Henry Steyer, was a partner in the New York law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, and was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials. His father was Jewish, and his mother was Episcopalian.

Steyer attended the Buckley School and Phillips Exeter Academy. He graduated from Yale University summa cum laude in economics and political science, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He was captain of the Yale College soccer team. Steyer received his MBA from Stanford Business School, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar. He has served on the Stanford University Board of Trustees.

In August 2010, Steyer and his wife joined Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and 37 other American billionaires in pledging to give away at least half their fortunes to worthwhile causes. Business people “are pretty widely mistrusted and seen as overwhelmingly self-interested,” Steyer said. “The point is that business people are not just laboring for themselves. They have bigger responsibilities and belong to a wider community.”

In 2013, Steyer founded NextGen Climate (now NextGen America), an environmental advocacy nonprofit and political action committee. Steyer’s platform emphasizes fighting climate change and structural political reforms such as term limits for members of Congress and creating a national referendum process. Steyer has also been a prominent advocate of impeaching President Donald Trump.

Steyer has been the single biggest donor in disclosed political giving over the 2014-2018 election cycles, spending $245 million dollars over that time span, all to help Democrats. (Though it’s possible that other rich people spent more in undisclosed “dark money.”)

A near perfect remedy to Donald’s abusive shenanigans. But – should one person singlehandedly be able to dominate the airwaves, campaign machinery and beholding to no one – and be our President?

Oh, the agony. Mariner would vote for a dead goldfish over Donald but there are principles. Oh, the agony.

Ancient Mariner


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