Let me repeat: in this presidential cycle, there is only one Republican candidate in that overcrowded field, who I would willingly give an ear. His name is John Kasich; and now that he is officially in the race, we will see what he has to say before I write them all off (most likely).
Any politician who states -without being coerced- a willingness to put public policy imperatives ahead of party loyalties, is one who can earn my vote. When Kasich -as the Republican governor of Ohio- chose to implement the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) instead of sticking to the party’s obstructionist positions, he earned a serious look at his policy prescriptions and political views. He seems to be carrying some republican-style baggage, but that isn’t a disqualifier to me, since he appears to be one of few republicans willing to genuinely engage minorities.
I have told you guys that I will probably support Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders in the Dems primary. Let me go a little further by stating that if “Billary” Clinton emerges as the nominee I will probably vote for her (by default) while holding my nose. I am no Clinton-junkie.
With each passing day, it appears as though Mrs. Warren would not make the race; and unless Joe Biden enters and freezes me up temporarily (since I must give him a good look-over); it is more and more likely that I will be voting for Bernie in the primary election.
Do I think Bernie can win the primary and the presidency? Yes. Definitely. However I must admit that his chances in the general election can be damaged by his avowed socialist leanings. The republicans will try to make hay with that, every day the sun shines; no doubt. So let me state the obvious: if one is inclined to be pragmatic -more so than idealistic- then one would conclude that Hillary Clinton offers the best hope for democrats retaining the White House. Here is the question I will put to you however: is there something called “Clinton Fatigue” setting in with democrats who vote in presidential primaries?
Look; the way we elect our political leaders nowadays leaves a lot to be desired. Our political system needs reforming like yesterday; but those in power are all about survival and self-aggrandizement; thus there are no real proposals for tangible changes, anywhere on the horizon. Many voters feel this, see this, know this; and is simply frustrated by it all; this is the message I am taking away from the early successes of the Sanders and Trump campaigns. The crowds they are attracting are those unfulfilled folks who are looking for political and economic reforms, and for real change not small change.
In today’s political environment authentic leaders can hardly ever emerge, and that’s why we end up with too many elected officials who are compromised beyond belief. You see, contemporary political candidates are deathly scared of losing; and in order to raise money, garner tactical support (especially from unions and effective political organizations), obtain mainstream-media exposure, raise their profiles, enhance their winning chances, et al, too many sell themselves off to “special interests”. In the bargain they end up in the pockets of the highest bidder. After they become victorious, the “will of the people” is usually trampled on, and reluctantly takes a back-seat to specific agendas of the special-interests groups which dictate to the newly electeds. It’s a non-ending cycle and has been in place for decades now.
Bernie Sanders has been consistent all his political life. He has been one of the best sitting senators for eons. Donald Trump has always been a buffoon. However Trump will call it as he sees it and that is refreshing to many. Not because he is correct in his analyses (he is usually wrong by the way), assessments or recommendations, but because he doesn’t use focus-groups and polling before taking a position on a vital issue.
Mrs. Clinton comes off as disingenuous despite her powerful political resume. With the advent of Elizabeth Warren’s creative-articulation on economic issues, we suddenly find -for the first time in an extensive political career- Hillary Clinton’s newly discovered view that profit-sharing should be a way of incentivizing workers in most industries. She also suggests it as a way of closing the large wage-gap between ordinary workers and upper-management types.
Go check the public record of Mrs. Clinton’s last presidential run: tell me how many times she used the word: “income-inequality”? Tell me if she ever used the word: “profit-sharing”? Tell me if she ever suggested reforming “capitalism”? Tell me if she advanced progressive ideas for closing the income and wealth-gaps between the rich and the poor? Thus today’s Hilary Clinton is being reactive relative to the economic issues that Bernie Sanders always raised. One has to take her new positions with a grain of salt and even question her new-found fervor. Why settle for Bernie-lite (or Elizabeth-lite for that matter) when you can vote for the real thing?
The big problems Sanders will encounter in this race, will probably develop way after the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. That’s when some states will not allow his name to be placed on the ballot given he isn’t registered as a democrat. I suspect it is possible for him to make such a change in a timely manner but I doubt he would. The challenge will be to undertake a “write-in-candidacy” which is an extremely difficult proposition; even with all the enthusiasm being displayed by his supporters.
Bernie Sanders is as authentic as they come. He has been a registered “Independent” since time came into existence. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1990. He was elected to the Senate in 2006. He is the longest serving “Independent” in the history of Congress.
There are many women out there itching to make history on two fronts. If Mrs. Clinton wins both the Dems-nomination and later the presidency, there will be lots men and women (especially) celebrating her victory all over the world. Bernie Sanders has an uphill battle to face. He is standing in front of history. So too is Donald trump and all the other republicans running. I wouldn’t bet against Mrs. Clinton; but I will be voting for Bernie. I have been BERNED.
Stay tuned-in folks.