Sunday, February 28, 2016

About That Election

Super Tuesday is nearly upon us and who isn't excited about the next step in the bizarre and fear-inducing competition to see who gets to be America's next president? The next several months will call for a lot of nervous news reading.

On the Democratic side, where my loyalties are most closely aligned, it is Hillary vs Bernie. Given my political leanings, which are somewhat idealistic and rather anti-establishment, I am supporting Bernie. My main concerns about the future of humanity are the environment, political corruption, and poverty and inequality. Bernie is much more direct in addressing those issues that Hillary. The current political and economic system in this country needs be shaken up. I do want to see the large financial institutions in America broken up, to have a single payer healthcare system, and to see Citizen's United repealed. I am very thankful that there is a voice out there adamantly demanding that, and thus, am fully behind Bernie.

Which is not to say I am opposed to Hillary in the general. Yes, she is quintessentially establishment. Worrisomely hawkish on foreign policy, unfortunately close to the financial industry and the private prison industry, etc. She is certainly much more moderate than Bernie. Yet, she's got endorsements from organizations I care about, such as the League of Conservation Voters, and I would be amazingly happy if her campaign platform were to be made into law. True, nobody ever succeeds in implementing what their platform calls for, but, while I prefer Bernie's, am also happy with the direction Hillary is going for.

As for who is most electable against the Republicans, I am actually unsure. On the one hand, it is hard to imagine an avowedly socialist candidate winning the majority of the American vote. On the other hand, there is a large proportion of the American electorate that has been been building a hatred of Hillary Clinton for more than twenty years, and anyone close to the establishment is going to have some issues this year. On the gripping hand, well, I don't have the best idea of what is going through the mind of the average American voter. Had I been alive and politically active in '72, I probably would have been a proud McGovern supporter, and would have expected him to win, because who the hell would vote for Nixon a second time?

Which reminds me, I should go back and re-read all of Hunter S. Thompson's coverage of the '72 race. Shame we don't have him doing reporting this cycle.

On the other side of the aisle we have the Republicans, and I am left at a loss for words. Since I started caring about politics, around the 2000 election when I was 17 and too young to vote, I've thought of the Republican Party as a rabid dog that needs to be taken out into the backyard and shot. If that was hyperbolic then, it has seemed a less and less extreme position as the years have gone by.

Never overestimate the American electorate, but damn, Trump? A man who has refused to disavow an endorsement from David Duke, who has been Tweeting quotes from Mussolini, and has called Mexican immigrants rapists. How the hell is he leading in the polls among the Republicans?

Oh, yeah. Republicans.


It is even more frightening watching the Republican debates and realizing that on some topics, Trump actually seems more sane than Cruz and Rubio. Admittedly, that does not take much more than pointing out that 9/11 happened while W was president and having the audience boo him, but that shows where the rest of the Republicans are.

So, yes. This year will be interesting, entertaining, and frightful. There is, I believe, more potential for drama here than there has been for years. With how well Trump is doing, and the how much the Republican establishment hates him, we could see a brokered convention, or a significant third party run. I am all for shaking things up, and I have been hoping for a civil war among the Republicans to burn that party to the ground for ages, but let us hope it doesn't get to the point of a fascist revolution.

Please vote, people.

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