Well, I did my civic duty and privilege as a democratic citizen.
And it was a pretty easy vote in two regards.
Firstly, I do love being retired and living in a small suburb off on the corner of the smaller side of the Twin Cities. Both voting and DMV visits are painless and wait-free.
Being retired lets me pick a time, mid-morning, when the work rush is long gone, but no one is on their lunch break yet.
I could walk to the church that’s my polling station. It’s about a mile-and-a-half, one way. The problem is the walk back is uphill and a reasonably steep hill at that. (And it was 38° out this morning.)
Secondly, with Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar both dropping out, the only really sensible choice is Joe Biden. Which in many regards is more of a vote against Bernie Sanders.
It’s certainly, once again, a vote for the least worst rather than a wholehearted full-throated vote for a candidate I really like. (I was going to vote for Our Amy who has the experience and centrist thinking I would like to see in the White House.)
But here we go. There’s a whole baseball season to get through — a nice distraction from what’s going to be an ugly political season — and just after the World Series it’ll be time to vote.
I will say that I’ve figured out why I’m so filled with ennui lately. It’s partly seasonal (and that part is getting better), but it’s actually socio-political.
- I expected America to reject that clown the moment he rode down his golden escalator. Didn’t happen.
- I expected the Republicans to reject him during their primary. Didn’t happen.
- I expected America to reject him in 2016. Didn’t happen.
- I expected Congress to do something in those early years. Didn’t happen. The monster’s power just grew and grew.
- I expected better from the media. Didn’t happen.
- I expected more of a mandate in the 2018 election. Didn’t happen.
- I expected something from the Mueller Report (remember that?). Nothing happened, and it’s ancient history now.
- I expected something from the Impeachment, got nothing, and it’s gone from our minds now, too.
- We’re at the last best hope, the 2020 election, the thing Nancy Pelosi wanted rather than Impeachment (turns out she may have had a point).
And the question of my despair is: Will anything happen this time?
Seems like a lot of people are predicting the monster will win again. Apparently people are more-or-less okay with the lies, the character flaws, the greed, the ignorance and stupidity, and the sheer incompetence.
Because, hey, no skin off my back, eh?
We’re so besotted with our toys and distractions that we sink into ourselves while society teeters on a very dangerous brink. We are at risk of literally “amusing ourselves to death.”
Civilizations do fall when its citizens lose their way. Even a wack-job leader can derail a country. Germany has never been quite the same since Hitler.
And we’ve got our own modern day Twitler.
What are we going to do about him?
Stay centrist and sane, my friends!
March 3rd, 2020 at 1:16 pm
It’s pretty amazing how much the race has changed in the last 48 hours. I just read something showing that Biden has surged in a major way. Still a strong chance for a contested convention, but a major change.
I actually didn’t expect anything from most of those events, except for the 2016 election, although even there I feared it might result. At this point, I’m fairly pessimistic. I think the chances Trump is reelected is high, primarily due to the electoral college, although it will be close.
But if the contest remains close, I’ll probably vote in April. I’ll definitely vote in November. Aside from maybe a political contribution or two, it’s all that can be done.
March 3rd, 2020 at 3:07 pm
March 3rd, 2020 at 3:59 pm
March 5th, 2020 at 1:22 pm
They’ve dropped like flies (as the saying goes) this past week. With Warren out, it’s down to two old white guys: Bernie and Biden.
Time, I think, for Bernie to start conditioning his supporters to stand for Biden. (Pretty much time for all sane people to stand for Biden.)
Like it or not, this election is really only about one thing: Does this country reject trumpism or not? Are we ready to get back on track as a modern nation — a world leader?
Or are we going to keep on collapsing inwards to the black hole of our ignorance, foolishness, and self-indulgence?
March 5th, 2020 at 2:56 pm
I broke my cable news rule last night. I saw a tweet that Sanders was being interviewed by Rachel Maddow right then, curiosity got the better of me, and I tuned in. I only watched for a few minutes, but based on what I saw, I wouldn’t count on him conditioning people for Biden anytime soon (except for nominally saying he’ll support the eventual nominee).
March 5th, 2020 at 3:00 pm
That’s the vexing thing about Bernie. He’s incredibly self-centered, and it infects his followers.
March 5th, 2020 at 3:04 pm
I hope we don’t have another convention with them constantly chanting in the background, heckling speakers, etc.
March 5th, 2020 at 3:16 pm
Sadly, standards of behavior in our culture have shifted rather radically (along with so many other things — for years I’ve been trying to convince people this isn’t business as usual).
March 13th, 2020 at 10:39 pm
Don’t forget that Bernie supported Hilary in the end. In fact, he came here to Tucson to support her campaign…this was back when everyone thought she would win and there was a sense she might be able to flip purple states (hahaha…those were the days). Anyway, I went to hear him speak, and he really wasn’t the belligerent asshole everyone thinks he is. Rather Obama-esque in a smaller crowd. I don’t get why people think he’s so extreme. Here’s a little flashback that might amuse you:
But I have a question for you. Do you think Biden has a better chance than Hilary at beating Trump? (If so, why?) Do you think the coronavirus will have any effect on the way people view Trump, (given the plummeting stock market)?
March 14th, 2020 at 11:15 am
“Don’t forget that Bernie supported Hilary in the end.”
True, but many of his supporters didn’t. (I’ll never forgive Susan Sarandon.)
I read an article today suggesting that cancelling of big campaign rallies will hurt trump and Sanders much more than Biden, because P45 and Sanders depend on the huge crowd energy — the “revolution.” But it crystallized in my mind what really bothers (and scares) me about Sanders (and trump): they are supported, in part, by mob mentality.
Of the two, trump is without substance, so he simply can’t survive smaller audiences. Sanders is a whole other deal, certainly a man of great substance, and no doubt good in small groups. The question is whether his campaign works as well that way.
“Do you think Biden has a better chance than Hilary at beating Trump? (If so, why?)”
Yes. Biden has a fair amount of baggage, but nothing like the artificial hatred the Reps genned up for Clinton. They’re still making noises about her email server. They really hated her up and down the line. They’ll try that with Biden, but I’m not sure they’ll find the same purchase.
There is also that we’ve had four years of trump now, and I think that does change the equation. Before it was the hated Hillary compared to the unknown factor of trump. So many deluded themselves into thinking he’d “pivot” presidential.
“Do you think the coronavirus will have any effect on the way people view Trump, (given the plummeting stock market)?”
Yes. I just read an article declaring the trump presidency over. We’ll see, but this virus just might be the thing that finally kills that monster. (His presidency, I mean, of course.)
March 14th, 2020 at 8:49 pm
I get what you’re saying about mob mentality. I don’t like that either. But I do like his directness and his policies—not that he (or anyone) could actually accomplish them anytime soon, but it’s nice to know what he stands for.
Totally agreed about the virus screwing up his campaign. Looks like Biden’s got the gods on his side, as well as The Establishment. 🙂 Here’s what Time has to say about it:
“Slowing down the pace of big public appearances could be a blessing in disguise, particularly for the Biden campaign. It gives his staff an excuse to keep him in more scripted settings to avoid the gaffes and apparent “senior moments” that periodically go viral at a crucial turn for his candidacy in the 2020 race. “If you’re a campaign that has always looked for controlled moments, then this gives you the excuse you need,” says progressive strategist Rebecca Katz. On Super Tuesday, Biden easily won several states that he had never campaigned in, suggesting that he may not need big rallies to win support.”
God, I hope you’re right about the virus sinking Trump. I sort of doubt it though. Some of my Republican friends here point to the economy as reasons for liking Trump, but I get the feeling they won’t hold this coronavirus stuff against him. Of course, none of them are even remotely on the fence. They would never ever vote for a Dem., no matter how hard I try. 🙂
I think you’re right about Hilary being more hated than Biden. I just wonder if people will actually bother to vote Trump out.
March 15th, 2020 at 10:03 am
I don’t know. I guess we’ll see. Sometimes I’m optimistic; sometimes not at all. Obviously I can’t rely on people to care about character, competence, or honesty, so I can only hope they care about public safety (their own skins) or their pocketbook. Both are currently threatened, so… who knows.
I do absolutely agree Sanders’ directness is a big part of his draw. Likewise P45. People do respond to that kind of openness (imagine that other politicians — good lesson to learn). And obviously Sanders’ intelligence, compassion, and policies, put him on another plane entirely than P45.
I think the Time quote is right on. COVID-19 might actually make this a saner political season than we expected (if the social isolation thing keeps up for a few months).