Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, they’ve all had their turn playing in the presidential nominating sandbox. Last night it was Arizona, Utah and Idaho. On Saturday it will be Washington’s turn. Lorri and I will head over to Emerald Ridge High School to caucus for our candidates. Because we are lifelong Democrats, we’ll be shooting it out over Hillary and Bernie.
Lorri will be holding out for Hillary. She’s always loved Hillary. We were in this position in 2008 too, a house divided, as we represented Hillary and Barack at the precinct and district caucuses.
For me, I don’t have that visceral deep-ingrained dislike for Hillary that many do. I do believe she is soft on Wall Street, is somewhat to the right of the entire Democratic establishment in foreign affairs, and manages to carry around a vague odor of impropriety, much as her husband does. On the other hand, I do believe she has more experience than any presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush back in the day. It’s hard to argue with a senatorial term and her time as secretary of state.
For me, however, Bernie is my choice. He offers an idealistic vision, however naïve, of what America should be. We can have the conversation about practicality and affordability, but there is little question that Sanders’ vision is for an America that is much fairer to all its citizens than what we have today. If a single payer health care system, free college tuition, higher taxes on the very wealthy and campaign finance reform aren’t immediately accessible, who can say the fairness they offer isn’t what we should be striving for? Bernie would have been my candidate 35 years ago, and he is my candidate today.
That said, I don’t think Bernie can win. Last week’s string of electoral defeats pretty much insured his inability to catch Clinton. Though last night’s wins in Idaho and Utah were nice, the crushing loss in Arizona makes Hillary’s nomination more likely. Even so, if I can’t go with my heart in the primaries, when can I vote my true feelings?
That said, if Hillary is the party’s nominee, I’ll be voting for her in November. Let’s understand who Hillary is. She’s a center-left politician, much like her husband. She believes in the art of the possible. If that makes her vision somewhat less than breathtaking, it’s not because she doesn’t have progressive inclinations–she clearly does. I nearly gag when I hear Bernie and others suggest that she is something less than progressively pure. Hillary lacks an aspirational message, a vision she can clearly articulate to voters to draw in those less reliable voters Obama attracted in 2008.
In any case I would encourage all my Democratic friends to not sit this one out. Regardless of how you feel about Hillary Clinton, this country cannot afford four years of Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. For all his blathering about winning trade deals and bringing jobs home from overseas, Donald Trump believes that you are overpaid and the federal minimum wage is too high. If you work for a living, and believe Trump is in your corner, you’re simply mistaken. His tax plan, though it may offer some slight relief to the poorest Americans, gives the ultra rich, e.g, Donald Trump, a tax cut of about $2 million per year. Leaving aside all the rest of his bigoted, hateful, racist, sexist blathering, just on policy, his ideas are ridiculous.
Cruz is going to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, eliminate the IRS for a flat tax rate of 10% plus a VAT, and end Obamacare for a system of HSA’s. It’s all the typical conservative B.S. spouted by a man who has virtually no friends in Congress to insure this gets done-not that I’d want it to. It’s another punish the poor, reward the rich program by an intolerant megalomaniac spewing incendiary rhetoric.
These two are the best the Republican part can muster?
Got my fingers crossed that Bernie wins.