Perfect Is The Enemy of The Good

“We’d all like to vote for the best man, but he’s never a candidate.” Kin Hubbard (1868-1930), an American cartoonist, humorist and journalist.

“How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?” Anonymous

I have been reading about and hearing from progressive’s who are not happy with President Biden. He is too old, too corporate, too harsh on immigrants, too soft on environmental issues and most significantly he is a war monger. He got us into another no-win war in Ukraine. Even worse he is complicit in the crimes against humanity being perpetrated by Israel in Gaza and the West Bank.

All this is true. Biden falls short on many policy issues. In many ways he is a disappointment just like Obama, Clinton, Carter and many other politicians. No one is perfect.

In our less than democratic two-party system, the best person is almost never on the ballot. We are stuck with the two major party candidates. I have frequently had to hold my nose and vote for the best available candidate.

With the Miss America pageant there is a field of many beautiful, intelligent, talented and accomplished young women. We have 340 million people in this country. There are millions of good, capable, proven leaders who could represent us as President. But the reality is we only get two choices.

Our political system works against the selection of the best candidates. Running for office is an expensive, grueling, soul crushing, sacrifice of one’s life and family. It is all about money. One must sell their soul to the big money donors. Only the most ambitious, power motivated egos are willing to sacrifice everything (including principles) to get elected.

The current gaggle of Republicans in the House of Representatives are proof of the broken system. These incompetents can’t get along with each other much less cooperate, or compromise, to accomplish the basic functions of governing. A case in point is their failure to pass a budget. We are into the fourth continuing resolution in less than a year to keep the government operating.

Politics in our country has always been ugly and contentious. But the recent levels of gridlock and dysfunction are extraordinary. Contrary to popular belief this is not the result of both parties being unwilling to compromise for the greater good. The current dysfunction is clearly the result of the extreme right-wing faction of the Republican Party. The GOP has become a personality cult of MAGA zealots.

A prime example of this problem is Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO). She is a MAGA rhetorical bomb thrower who prides herself on packing an automatic pistol. She is totally unqualified by education, experience, skills, or temperament for public office. Reading her Wikipedia biography and observing the soap opera of her personal life proves this assertion. She is, like Trump, an embarrassment to the country.

The aphorism “perfect is the enemy of the good” is about the harm that can happen when insistence on perfection crowds out good solutions. What is best may not be what is possible and sometimes half a loaf is better than none.

In 2016 we saw what can happen when people are too ideologically pure, too principled, too unwilling to vote for the less than perfect Democratic candidate. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a wide margin. But because of the undemocratic Electoral College Trump won enough states (by tiny margins) to win the election. He won because too many people voted for a third party, or didn’t vote at all, because they didn’t like Hillary. This put in power the worst president in the history of our country.

In 2016 Trump won Wisconsin by only 22,748 votes – 0.77 percent of the total vote. The Green Party candidate got 31,072 votes. The Workers Party threw away 1770 votes. The write-in votes – the most irrational “protest vote” of all – got 35,000 votes. Other states had similar results. Clearly liberals elected Trump and unleashed his disastrous reign of error.

As a result, our country suffered four years of astonishing incompetence, social strife and erratic governance. The extremist’s control of the Supreme Court was made essentially permanent. The federal judiciary was packed with far-right judges. Many important social, environmental and regulatory programs were gutted. A resurgence of hate, racism and bigotry was unleashed that is still increasing in vehemence.

Now Trump has eliminated the last remaining primary contender. Baring some miracle, he will be the Republican nominee. There is speculation that significant numbers of Republicans and independents may refuse to vote for Trump. This would be wonderful, but we cannot depend on it happening.

In this election the consequences of failure are too great to take any chances. We cannot afford to waste votes on protest.

None of this requires anyone to stop protesting the bad policy decisions of the Biden administration. We should be advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza. We should be advocating for a negotiated settlement in Ukraine. We should be speaking truth to power on many issues when Biden fails to lead in the right direction.

Voting “uncommitted” in the Democratic primaries is an excellent way to show your displeasure with Biden’s support for genocide In Palestine. In the February Michigan primary “uncommitted” got 100,000 votes or 13% of the total. March 5th in Minnesota 19% voted “uncommitted.” On April 4th Wisconsin voters can choose “uninstructed” for a protect vote.


This year we simply cannot chance a repeat of 2016. Everyone who cares about our country must vote for Joe Biden. The risk is too great for protest votes or divisions over fine points of opinion, public policy, political philosophy or party affiliation. Electing Joe Biden is the only way to stop Trump and defeat his destructive cult following.