Then There Were Three

When the 2016 Presidential primary season kicked off, I was equally apathetic about the Democratic choices and equally appalled by the Republican ones. The only thing I was certain of was that whoever survived the Democratic race would have my vote, because the clown car carrying the Republican Party's potential nominees was stuffed to overflowing with a collection of buffoons, morons, idiots, blowhards, and religious zealots. In other words, the party I once was a loyal member of had once again presented me with no sane options to vote for, as they have repeatedly done for ages now. As far as whether I felt any special feelings towards Clinton or Sanders? No, I did not. Not my party, let them sort out which one they like, and I'll show up and vote for them.

In fact, I had equally good feelings about both Sanders and Clinton … and equally bad feelings. While I respected Sanders for having an ideology and walking his own path without seemingly wavering, it is an ideology that is exceedingly far left of my own fiscally conservative and socially liberal outlook on things. Clinton, on the other hand, says things I can agree with, and I know she is fully capable of running the government, but ugh … I just don't like her. It's not even that really. It's that after 25+ years of hearing this, that, and some other thing about one or the other Clinton pretty much nonstop, I'm sick to death of hearing the name Clinton. But like I said, whichever of them found their way to the general election ballot would have my vote, because none of the Republican options needed to be anywhere near the Oval Office unless they were visiting on a guided tour.

And so I didn't pay any attention to the primary brouhaha. This was easy to do since we no longer have cable television, and I had many other more personal and pressing matters to give a damn about. But sometime around the New York primary, I thought I should check in and see how things were going. I really wish I hadn't. I wish I would have gone on ignoring it all until November, because once I opened the Pandora's Box, there was no closing it. I'm a political junkie. I can't help myself once I get a taste.

So I have watched as Republicans marched into polling stations to vote for Trump, proving just how stupid, hateful, closed minded, and bigoted that party has become. Back before the Internet was a thing that existed, I began to lose faith in the Republican Party, which eventually lead to me no longer giving them my time, money, or attention, and I predicted then (and have continued to predict) that their ever rightward sliding would eventually lead to a complete nutcase being nominated for President. I'd envisioned someone more like Ted Cruz, but Donald Trump is, I believe, the perfect candidate for the current Republican Party. The ultimate panderer who will say whatever he has to say to the people in the room with him to make them like him, even if it's the exact opposite of what he said two hours ago. This is the end result of decades of the GOP doing more pandering to special interest groups and the far rightwing crazies than standing up and fighting for things they actually believe.

I watched as Clinton gained her footing, found her focus, and garnered votes while batting away the piles of poo being flung by all the usual suspects. As I listened to what she had to say, I discovered I don't dislike her as much as I thought, and occasionally I found myself excited about the idea of voting for her. I've voted for a great many people who didn't especially excite me and who I didn't especially like. I don't have to like them, I just have to have faith they'll keep the train on the tracks and not kill us all. I'm confident Clinton will keep America rolling in a generally good direction, and we agree more than we disagree. I guess what I'm saying is I wouldn't have to roll my eyes or hold my nose to vote for her.

Then I turned my eyes to Sanders. As I listened to him speak and read his interviews, he annoyed me, not because I didn't agree with much of what he had to say about his big plans for America but because something felt “off”. Since I didn't really know much about Sanders, I started digging into his past. At some point during my journey backwards through this life, the warning bells that go off in my brain when I am exposed to far rightwing craziness began clanging loudly. I discovered that Sanders is a far left crazy. He is an example of the other side of the far right crazy coin, and just like Trump, he's a narcissistic, egocentric, “the rules don't apply to me”, win at all costs politician with a good helping of sexism lurking beneath the surface. But I told myself that people change over time, and maybe the Sanders of now wasn't like the Sanders of back then, and as Clinton pulled further ahead, I was sure he would eventually come around to helping her pull the party together to kick Donald Trump's butt in the general election.

Well, I feel stupid for not listening to my gut reaction and giving him the benefit of a doubt. So convinced of his own righteousness, he is determined he must be the Democratic nominee, even if it means burning everything to the ground and handing Trump the Oval Office.

Mr. Sanders, however, insists that the convention will be contested because he is still lobbying superdelegates — party officials and state leaders who cast their final votes at the convention — to withdraw support from Mrs. Clinton and back him instead. He plans to make the case that he is a stronger candidate against Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. A number of polls, he said, show he can beat Mr. Trump by larger margins than Mrs. Clinton can.

So Sanders would have the super delegates overturn the will of the millions more people who voted for Clinton than voted for him because polls say he has a better chance to win? Well, isn't that special. How arrogant and egotistical and disrespectful of the democratic process and the voters who have taken part in it. I am appalled and disgusted. Any hope that I might regain some measure of respect for him and his ideas is lost forever. I would now prefer he not be elected to any office anywhere ever again. If he believes the will of voters should be overturned on the basis of numbers churned out by pollsters, he isn't worthy of being called a statesman. I'm not even sure someone who believes such a thing should be called American.