Since the Democrats claim they would like to retake the White House in 2020, I’m going to offer some unsolicited advice.

Democratic Party power brokers surely will guffaw at the thought of some local op-ed writer in wild wonderful West Virginia offering such advice. Got news for you out there in big cities and faraway places. We have some bright people in this state; we even have some liberal and moderate Democrats and disaffected Republicans.

Current top candidates for the Democratic Party nomination are good people. Some, like Bernie and Biden, have been in government for generations. West Virginians don’t hold that against them. We loved having West Virginia’s Senator Robert C. Byrd bring home the bacon forever. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris have impressive careers, and “Mayor Pete” is an inspiring newcomer.

What’s missing is a bright stable candidate who could attract all but the most extreme left and right ideologists. The current Democratic candidates aren’t reaching enough of the disaffected. Most Americans want a rational leader who understands national and international issues.

If you want to win the election, don’t promise everybody everything; this includes free college education and health care for all. It can’t be done without monster tax increases. You know how Americans feel about tax increases; just “Read my lips.” Someday, the most recent tax law will need to be changed because our grandkids will find our deficit crushing; 2020 isn’t the time.

Address health care inequalities and issues sensibly. Determine what works best in other developed countries that make sure no one goes without basic health insurance. This country is not set up for “Medicare for all.” Seniors pay for Medicare from their Social Security funds and still have co-pays, deductibles and other charges. An uninsured employee could be overwhelmed by hospitalization fees. Uninsured individuals are expected to pay 100 percent of medical charges, while doctors and hospitals agree to Medicare’s rules and accept partial payment as payment in full.

Focus on climate change rationally. Politicians shade the truth; polar bears don’t lie. We can’t police the whole world’s pollution, industry and air quality, but we can do our part and work with others. Don’t attack coal, a traditional industry, which helped America grow. Technology is changing coal’s future as it has other industries. Kodak never envisioned the end of everyday photo film; video rental stores are gone, and most landlines will soon be in landfills.

Intelligent and realistic immigration policy must be enacted, or immigration crises will continue. We cannot put children in cages when immigration runs amok because we didn’t plan well. Think in terms of the “Gang of 8,” the four Democrats and four Republicans who drafted the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.” Only six years ago, immigration reform was possible. It must be again.

Keep us economically, socially and militarily linked with other nations, but particularly with our traditional allies. Don’t sell out our fighting partners. Even high-level Republicans couldn’t stomach President Trump letting Turkey annihilate the Kurds.

Most of America isn’t represented by the far right or the extreme left. Democrats, it’s your job to find the best candidate for the rest of us who don’t want the unstable king of “tweeterverse” to lead and represent our nation.

Diane W. Mufson is a retired psychologist. Her email is

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