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Having a hard time wrapping my head around this election season. I can’t remember being less excited to vote for… Well, anybody.
I wasn’t really a full-fledged thinking person when I cast my first vote in 1996, but I remember thinking I liked Bill Clinton a lot better than Bob Dole, even if Dole was from Kansas and he seemed like a likable guy.
MTV probably had way too much influence on my feeble mind but Clinton just seemed cooler, and he was clearly the favorite of of the channel that brought Daisy Fuentes and Beach MTV into my life.
I wrote a pretty good column in the University Daily Kansan (if I say so myself) after the Starr report came out, and I’ll always remember watching the impeachment votes get tallied while manning the electronics station at Target. That was my first real taste of how partisan politics really was. All those Rs and Ds voting against each other.
By the time I was living in Los Angels and getting ready for my second presidential election, it seemed like there was no way people could prefer George Bush to Al Gore, but I guess I underestimated just how uncool it was to suggest putting our excess money into savings. (At least, I think that’s what that “lockbox” business was about.)
Gore wasn’t terribly exciting, but he did get some cache later in life as a jet-setting global warming warrior. (See what I did there?)
If you haven’t figured out my political leanings yet, I’m going to give it away that I was way into John Kerry in 2004. I mean, who didn’t see the Iraq war coming and that it was going to be a disaster? (Too many politicians, that’s who.)
Kerry had his faults, for sure, but it still irks me that what people fixated on was how thoughtful he was. Talking about both sides of an issue? What a jerk!
Thank God for Obama. Finally, somebody who I really liked. Still do. I wish he would be the Vice President next and then run again in 8 years. I’ll try to enumerate the reasons I like the guy in a later post, but for now, it’s time to dig up this lede.
I am not excited by any of the candidates left in the major races for president. It’s easy to see why I don’t go for the Republicans, given I’m such a liberal thinker, but it’s worth recapping my issues with the main competitors still running.
Trump – Kind of a cartoon, really. Who knows if anything he says is true. Just don’t trust that he’s really in this for the good of the American people.
Cruz – Worst than Trump, because you know where he stands, and it’s basically against most of what I hold decent. (Help for those who need it, equality for all, a willingness to compromise now and then… These are things I like.)
Rubio – I just don’t think he has the composure yet. Will be interesting to see how he does when he runs again.
Now, what about my beloved Democrats?
Let me start with why I’m not feeling the Bern.
I love that people like Bernie Sanders are in the political arena. You need warriors for the deepest of a party’s core beliefs. I didn’t get into Ralph Nader or Ron Paul, but I respect their desire to fight for pure principles above politics.
I just don’t want them in charge. I think Bernie Sanders has some great ideas, but at my core, I’m a centrist. This is what we need more of in our democracy, not less. A willingness to find middle ground and work something out.
Bernie Sanders would probably be a fine President, given how little power the position actually holds, but I worry he may spend too much time fighting.
So, I should love Hillary, then, right? Triangulating centrist from the 90s heyday. (I’m listening to Soul Asylum RIGHT NOW!)
Much respect to Hillary, but I’m just not excited about the name Clinton at the top of the ballot after so many years of Bush. It’s not her fault, really. I just wish some more viable candidates had come up on the left.
I mean, her main competitor is an even older white guy? That’s the best we can do as Democrats?
As it stands now, I will be voting for Hillary when the primary season finally gets to California. I’ll hope against hope that she or Sanders takes the top job when November rolls around.
But, I won’t be all that excited about it. It’s just no fun to root against somebody.