Friday, January 1, 2016

75 days, and counting ‘til Election Day

We’re into the new year, and as far as electoral politics is concerned it means we’re now not a long ways away from Election Day.

Just a matter of weeks until primaries in other states start taking place, and 75 days until our own state’s primary where we get to express our say as to who should be the one who gets to succeed Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

IT’S LIKELY THAT the number of people who will still be in the running will have declined by the time Illinois gets around to having a primary (and that the most significant local election in the eyes of our voters will be the Democratic primary for Cook County state’s attorney).

Which is a good thing. Because I have to confess that I don’t have a clue who I would support come Election Day. I know that other than viewing Donald Trump’s campaign as one for complete buffoons to back, I can’t say there’s anybody I could actually recommend for people to cast ballots for.

I must confess that my sister-in-law recently tried to stir up conversation with me by asking me what I think of Trump and who I would vote for.

I fear I gave her lame answers, and because I know she occasionally checks out this weblog, I’m hoping I do a better job of responding to her inquiries this time around.

THAT STRIKES ME as good a way to start out the new year as any other.

I know full well that calling Trump a buffoon isn’t going to do a thing to knock his popularity. The kind of people who are backing Trump are going to do so largely because they’re the bullies of old from the grade school who are upset that the real world came along and they got relegated to society’s dumping ground.

Trump creates a vision of a world where they can restore themselves to a place where they can dump all over everyone not exactly like themselves. Which is something that will never happen in reality.

Perhaps I’m actually an optimist. But I think the poll rankings that now have Trump atop a field of candidates is as good as he’ll ever get. Particularly since he’s counting on people to back him aren’t interested in the electoral process at all.

THEY COULD EASILY decide that turning out to vote isn’t worth their time. A whole lot of quirks could keep them out.

So I’m not really scared that Trump will get the Republican nomination for president. What actually scars me is the fact that I don’t have a clue whom I should support.

I couldn’t tell you which of the Republican dreamers are still in the running and which ones have dropped out. Nor could I tell you the names of every single person who wants to run for the Democratic nomination. I’d have to look them up. Although I suspect that most of them don’t have a serious chance of getting their dreams to come true, so looking up their names would be a waste of my time.

Besides, there’s nothing about any of them that makes me want to cast a ballot for any of them. The sentiment that causes some voters to think we need a “None of the above” option, although I realize that somebody has to win so such an option is a waste of time.

SO I HAVE to figure out a choice – and it could be someone of the Democratic persuasion. Although Bernie Sanders strikes me as someone who courts the support of people who are clueless about government and the electoral process. He’s the Paul Tsongas (remember his failed 1992 presidential bid) of 2016.

And there isn’t anything about Hillary Clinton now that also wasn’t a turn-off back in 2008 when she failed to beat Barack Obama. I’ll admit to realizing there are people in our society (including many of those Trump backers) who would be thoroughly repulsed by the thought of a “President Hillary.” That repulsion is something I would find amusing.

But is that really the reason why I want to vote for somebody for president – because some guy now wearing a “Make America great again” cap would be disgusted?

I think I’d be disgusted with myself if that’s the reason I wound up casting a ballot for Clinton come March 15!


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