Friday, July 15, 2016

Politics as I see it

This has been the most exasperating election season I can ever remember.
Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton,
Democratic Nominee
for President 2016

That wasn’t the way it started out for me. Early on I was excited to see such a great field of Democrats vying for President.

Republican politics has just never appealed to me. 
It would take a pretty great person for me to vote for a Republican. It has happened in the past, but not very often. I just do not share the same philosophy with the party of ‘bigger is always better.’  This year’s candidates almost seemed like jokesters to me. I could hardly relate to any one of them. One seemed worse then the other, and there were a whole host of them. To me, the worst of the bunch were Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz. Not only did none of them impress me, but they aggravated and annoyed me.

I admit I was partial to Hillary Clinton at the start. In simple terms, I was excited about the prospect of the first female President, but I also felt that Hillary has worked hard for the opportunity to serve as President. I felt she was deserving and completely prepared for the job. These are tough times, so I am not sure there is ample time to break-in a new President. It really would be advantageous to have a candidate hit the ground running, so to speak.

Despite support for Hillary, I related completely to the words of Bernie Sanders. He echoes my own feelings about what is wrong with government. I know I’m not alone there. I have plenty of friends and family members that have also been taken with the notion of a Sanders presidency. Lots of people out there “feel the Bern.”

I was also pretty impressed with Martin O’Malley, who I felt could have easily succeeded Barack Obama. I’d like to see him advance his political career. He seems to share the kind of common sense that is necessary to deal with today’s problems. And, he is a good speaker, something the American people need in a leader.

A very important primary election
I admit that due to some personal problems that have kept me very busy, the inability to connect with the clerk’s office to obtain an absentee ballot, and being in a quandary about who to support, I admit, for the first time, publicly, that I did not vote in this state’s primary election.

The primary is over now and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic presumptive nominee, though who knows how secure that position will be, with every effort on the Republican side and even some on her own team, trying to destroy her. As I write this, I see increasing animosity toward Clinton by the Republicans, but also by the folks that support Sanders. Have they just finally been swayed by the relentless attacks by the GOP?

It is time to think hard about the future
With the national convention where a nominee will be officially named, this primary season is now at a crossroads. It is impossible for anyone to make a prediction, based on the news, lack of news, lies and innuendo, too many political pundits—both professional and amateur—as well way too many opinions on social media, television, and elsewhere. The information available is as varied as it can possibly be.

Bernie Sanders has finally endorsed Clinton for President, but that may not be enough since his supporters are so vehemently opposed to a Hillary Clinton Presidency. They still hold out hope that she will fail and he can be whisked in at the last minute to become the nominee.

But there is another spoiler entering the fray—Jill Stein—the Green Party Candidate for President. I have nothing against her, and in fact like what she espouses, but feel she is nothing more than a stick for which to stir the political soup pot. A vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Donald Trump. This is still a country with two parties. Any third party candidate is a spoiler. Stein will take votes from Clinton, not from Trump. The result could be disastrous, if enough people vote for her. That is what the GOP is hoping for. Siphon enough votes away from Clinton, so they can get Trump to win the contest.

Haven’t we learned this lesson in the past? 
There is a dangerous game being played in Democratic politics and it may serve to blow up in everyone’s face. If Hillary Clinton is not elected, there is only one alternative—Donald Trump as President. No thinking person wants that to happen.

No candidate is perfect 
While I do not agree with Hillary Clinton 100% of the time, she still will have my vote. I refuse to pick her apart by policies—policies that are continuing to evolve—when there is a big picture to look at. We must look at the total package, and not be dazzled by the pretty ribbon tying it together on the outside.

Some people don’t seem to understand that. Often times, folks are just one-issue voters. Some voters are completely inexperienced about how the political system works. Many of these are students and young people that have never seen how long it takes to fight for a cause. Others are complete idealists, refusing to see beyond their own beliefs. There is no compromise for them. They see the world through black and white with no gray area. If there are enough of these kinds of voters, we will certainly face a Donald Trump administration in our future. In my view, that would be a disaster of epic proportion, not just for our country, but for other countries of the world.
While I understand the Bernie Sanders movement, and the enthusiasm he brought to the table, there is no reason to believe the movement is done. It certainly can continue from a seat in the United States Senate. Government and politics are slow-moving. A political revolution, which was promised, is not something that happens overnight. These things take time, nurturing, and planning before they are carried out.

My problem with Bernie Sanders has always been that he has never been tested. We’ve seen plenty of Bernie amid like-minded people, but what would happen to him in a general election with the likes of a Donald Trump, where insults and manufactured information was recklessly revealed on every television station multiple times per day. Anyone can buy an ad. It doesn’t matter if it is truthful. Most times, it completely isn’t. There is no truth in advertising, especially in political advertising. We do know that Hillary can handle it. She has withstood it for decades.

Bernie has painted himself into a corner, by claiming to be a socialist without enough explanation. So many dismissed him as a crackpot, because of their own ignorance and not by anything he did. He did little to educate them.

Let’s give the woman a chance
So much has been said about Hillary and her shifting positions. I’m a woman, so I understand that nothing is ever set in stone. As new information comes to light, even our long held positions can be tweaked, tempered, or even shifted. Everything is a work in progress. Nothing is so perfect that it doesn’t need to be re-thought and re-thought again. We live in an ever-changing world. Things change. I caution against judging Hillary Clinton by the good ole boys of the past. We’ve never had a woman in the White House and it could make all the difference.

I don’t believe all the ugly things I’ve heard about Hillary Clinton, because frankly, there is never any proof—just a bunch of hot air—by people with an axe to grind. People generally don’t like strong, independent women. I do. I want to see Hillary succeed. I want to see what she can do. I think that like Barack Obama surprised some of his adversaries, Hillary Clinton will too.