Three and Counting

While it seems likely that Hillary will be the Democratic candidate for President, Bernie is “hanging in there”. Donald has locked down the Republican nomination. Regardless of who wins in November, our generation will take the White House back from the generation that’s currently in charge. I say our generation because all three candidates are my contemporaries. Bernie is 4 years my senior. Donald is a year and Hillary two years younger than I. No matter who wins, we won’t have a “child” like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz … or, Barack Obama … for our next President.

I hear commentators and others say that we’re being faced with two bad choices. So what else is new? The first time I was eligible to vote for President was 1968. I voted for Richard Nixon as the least bad of three less than stellar candidates. That’s been the case for me in most of the Presidential elections since. Maybe my standards are too high. Maybe the quality of candidates is too low. Maybe really qualified people have better things to do with their lives.

Bernie

As you may have guessed from my earlier posts, I support Hillary. It’s not that I don’t like Bernie’s ideas … especially those that propose to “level the playing field” by simplifying and adjusting the tax structure, broadening educational opportunity, and preventing a repeat of the financial collapse that began at the end of the Bush Administration / beginning of the Obama Administration. I liked those ideas 50 years ago when our generation first started yelling about them. (I wonder how many of Bernie’s younger supporters know that many of his ideas are twice their age.) My problem with Bernie’s proposals is that I find many of them to be incomplete … and some to be impractical. Bernie wants to get rid of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and start over with something like “Medicare for all”. (Donald has mentioned a “start over” idea too.) It took almost 74 and a half years to get from the Social Security Act to the Patient Protection and  Affordable Care Act. Do we really want to begin fighting the health care question all over again? Bernie has not emphasized foreign policy. If he were to win the nomination of the Democratic Party, he should look for a running mate who has a strong background in foreign affairs.

Both Bernie and Donald yell a lot. (Bernie seems to yell all of the time.) This bothers me. When I yell, I’m usually angry. The more angry I get; the more irrational I get. I have no way to know whether or not Bernie’s or Donald’s yelling is irrational anger, but I don’t want to risk that in a President.

Both Bernie and Donald say “Huge” a lot too. Maybe it’s a mid-century, New York City colloquialism. Maybe they’re both just like hyperbole.

Donald

Donald seems to be a near perfect example of an egotist and opportunist. He’s been shown to contradict himself … sometimes within the same day. Stephen Colbert used video clips to show Donald debating himself. If Donald believes half of what he says, he’s a fascist. If he also believes the other half, he’s a schizophrenic. I do enjoy Donald’s apparent hobby … collecting and propagating conspiracy theories. (I was pleased when he held Ted Cruz to the same nonsensical “birther” criterion as President Obama.)  I keep hoping that he’ll tell the public that Majestic 12 still exists and has taken control of the world with the help of extraterrestrials from a civilization in the Orion Nebula.

Donald wants to “Make America Great Again”. When did America stop being great … and, if it did, when was it great? On “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, John Oliver learned that many conservative newscasters believe that America was great when they were children. I don’t remember the late forties and, since he’s a year younger, I doubt that Donald does either. (If he had Eidetic Memory or Hyperthymesia, I’m sure Donald would have bragged about it long ago.)

Through the Decades

I do remember the Fifties … it was the most boring time of my life. If you wanted to learn anything beyond what the schools fed you, you had to go to a library and dig for it. (Worse yet, you had to be quiet in libraries.) My family didn’t even have a TV until 1953. I was (and still am) the smart, fat, non-athletic kid who liked learning stuff and reading comic books. For the first few years of the decade, we had a war in Korea that we tried to pretend wasn’t a war by calling it a “conflict”.

The Sixties were interesting. We had The Summer of LoveWoodstock, and the first Moon Landing … but, we also had the Vietnam War, Kent State, and The Manson Family. I doubt that Donald wants to bring back the Sixties … but, Bernie might. (If it weren’t so low-tech, I might too.)

I barely remember the Seventies. About the only things that made an impression on my memory were the Oil Crisis near the beginning, the proclamation of  a War on Drugs in the middle, and the Iran Hostage Crises near the end.

The Eighties brought us the beginnings of the technology-driven, global civilization we know now. I think that’s a good thing, but others consider it the beginning of our downfall. The Berlin Wall was opened in 1989. The Eighties also brought us AIDS and the not very successful “Just Say No” campaign of the War on Drugs.

I consider the Nineties the best decade of my life. The Berlin Wall came down completely; the Soviet Union fell apart; we won the Cold War. By the end of the decade, a Democratic President and a Republican Congress worked together to produce the first balanced Federal Budget in 30 years. We even had a $124 billion surplus. I had a good job that I enjoyed.

At the beginning of the 21st Century, the Bush Administration gave that surplus back to us, the taxpayers … then all Hell broke loose. (Too bad the Government didn’t keep the $124 billion. We could have used it for the war to cripple the Taliban and the war started by a lie.)

That brings us to the “twenty-teens (aka Now).

Hillary

Why do I support Hillary for President? I must admit that part of it is her gender. As it was time for a black President, it’s past time for a woman President. Through much of our history, my gender has done a lousy job of running the world. Maybe it’s how we’re taught; maybe the Y-chromosome is a genetic defect … whatever it is, most male rulers have done as much harm as good. It’s time to give a woman an equal opportunity to make a mess. There’s always a chance she could do a better job than her male predecessors.

I know that many voters dislike and distrust Hillary. I’m not one of those voters. Half of what people don’t like about her are lies. The rest is stuff that I find questionably relevant. (Anyone who believes that the rest of the government’s e-mails were significantly more secure than hers isn’t paying attention. Privacy has been an illusion since the phone company created the party line.) Hillary knows the middle class. She grew up as part of it. As Reagan went from Liberal to Conservative; Hillary went from Conservative to Liberal. (So did I.) Her family was conservative, but her experience showed her that was not the way to help those in need.

Of the three remaining candidates, Hillary is by far the most experienced in government. She has been First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State. She knows the successes … and failures … of two Presidential Administrations. She knows that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act needs work, but proposes fixing it rather than starting over. She knows how important education is … to the individual; to the country; to the world. Hillary knows many world leaders personally and how to work with them. She knows the difference between misguided fanatics and devout followers of God … regardless of how the devoted view the All-That-Is.

Updated PolitiFact Graph

For what it’s worth, here’s a May 27, 2016 update of the graph I created from PolitiFact.com’s Truth-o-Meter.

PolitiFact Chart 27-May-2016

As you can see, Donald still holds a strong lead … on lying.

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