Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Youthful exuberance? Or these damn kids don’t know nothin’ these days!

I have been wondering to myself in recent weeks what I (or the version of myself that existed some three decades ago) would have thought of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

What will Clinton vs. Trump card look like?
Would I have been like many other young people just now being exposed to electoral politics who think that the Socialist senator from Vermont somehow represents something fresh and idealistic and a brutal honesty we are in desperate need of amongst our government officials?

FOR THAT MATTER, would I have thought of Hillary Clinton as some sort of leftover from the 1960s – an old lady who is out-of-touch with our society today?

Or would I have been me and somehow perceived Sanders as a lot of cheap rhetoric who most likely doesn’t have the ability to turn any of his talk into anything resembling reality?

And would I have come to see Hillary as some sort of voice of reason who would, at the very least, keep the conservative ideologues of society from trying to run roughshod over the true masses and ram their nonsense talk down our throats!

I’m honestly not sure what I would have thought. Perhaps I would have somehow fallen for the appeal of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign? Perhaps even enough to cast a ballot for it.

BUT THE MODERN-DAY me is the one casting a ballot for the 2016 election cycle. It is the modern-day me that walked on Monday into an early voting center out in suburban Bridgeview (I had to appear in court for unrelated business) and wound up giving my support to the presidential aspirations of Hillary R. Clinton.

I have the same concerns about how the presence of a Clinton on the ballot will stir up the passions of some of our society’s biggest nitwits and could wind up bolstering support for the Republican nominee – whomever that may turn out to be.

Then again, let’s be honest. The presence of New York real estate developer Donald Trump is going to stir up the anger of certain other people in our society – and could well wind up helping the Democratic nominee.

There is that Western Illinois University study that predicted a Trump loss in the general election on the grounds that many would-be Republicans will be unable to support him.

NOT THAT THEY’LL vote for a Democrat. But they’ll find some third-party candidate to back in protest – thereby driving down the GOP vote and shifting some states in the Electoral College factor into play for Democrats to win. The kind of people who back Trump’s loudmouthed antics may want to believe they’re the “silent majority,” but they’re no more legitimate than the original silent majority that gave us the criminal conspiracy otherwise known as Richard M. Nixon for president!

But back to the Democratic ballot; where I just don’t think Sanders is capable of getting any of his talk turned into reality. His accomplishments could turn out to be even more meager than those of the Barack Obama presidency – where he at least can point to a political opposition so intent on demeaning him that the real legacy of the past eight years will be the do-nothing ideologues of Congress.

There are some people now serving there who are going to have to spend the rest of their political lives living down the shame of what they said and did to try to thwart Obama.

That may be why we can use Hillary Clinton in the White House, because at least she’ll be ready for a Congress that will try to prevent anything from occurring. She may be capable of getting them to act, particularly if she gets a more favorable Congress during her time in office.

SANDERS WAS ALWAYS the guy who seemed ashamed of having to work as a part of the Democratic caucus. And it’s not like we’re about to get a Socialist caucus in Congress anytime soon. He won’t have a base of backers who care if he wins or loses.

You may want the perpetual outsider as president. I just don’t see how that accomplishes anything!

So coming from a guy whose own exposure to presidential electoral politics was the 1984 electoral cycle (I cast my first ballot for Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro, knowing full well that many of my collegiate counterparts were eager to claim to be a part of the Ronald Reagan movement), perhaps this is just evidence of my own evolution through life.

Or maybe I’m just not like my 25-year-old cousin, who bought the Bernie Sanders t-shirt in part because she liked his talk, but mostly because she wanted to irritate her mother – a hard-core Hillary fan!


EDITOR’S NOTE: Don’t forget to also cast your ballot for the delegates representing your presidential pick. Otherwise, you’ve cast a fairly meaningless ballot that wasn’t worth the time you spent filling it out.

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