In the wake of the last election, there are those that argue that the way forward is to back centrist candidates with broad appeal. There's a sense that splinter third party candidates cost us a Democratic (and democratic) president. That we can't afford to back someone in a primary that is ultimately unelectable like a Bernie Sanders.
I get the anxiety. I'm as pissed at Bernie bros and people who voted Green or Libertarian (or not at all) in the last election as I am at Republicans. And there is nothing more important than electing as many Democrats as possible in November. I also more or less agree with everything in the paragraph above. Except for the centrist part.
I'm voting for Abdul El-Sayed on Tuesday. I think he's the smartest candidate, which is always a great start. He's young and hungry and compelling as hell. Most importantly, his political views and ideas most resemble my own. That's how you're supposed to use your vote.
People will say that it's impossible for a Muslim to be elected Governor of Michigan. To those people I point to the 44th president of the United States. I certainly was wrong about his electability. Others say he's too liberal. This is the falsest of arguments. This state and this country are liberal. Our problem is turnout. A candidate that has a compelling narrative that they can sell to their constituents is how Democrats have always won. If Trump backlash can't get progressive Dems elected, then we've got bigger problems than which we are willing to admit.
That last sentence may be unfortunately correct, but I'm not going to drive straight down the middle out of fear of it. Gretchen Whitmer is fine. She's smart and capable and most likely I will gladly cast my vote for her in November - if for no other reason than God help us if we elect Bill Schuette. But that's the fight for next Wednesday. Right now I'm going with the right person for the job in my eyes. That's what primaries are for. How can be ask our representatives to do what is right and to vote their conscience if we don't?