There is little doubt by now: this is going to be the most awful presidential election of my lifetime, pretty much by any definition of the word “awful” you would care to choose. I live in Indiana, so I generally don’t get a choice on who either party nominates. The only time in my adult life that it mattered was 2008, when I voted for Obama, who narrowly lost. That election didn’t really involve having to carefully choose my candidate, as I’d lived in Obama’s district in Illinois. I believe I’ve voted for him every time he’s stood for public office, actually, and Hillary’s people were doing their best to make their candidate as unpalatable as humanly possible.
I would have been an Edwards guy in 2004 had it mattered; Kerry had the primary wrapped up by the time Illinois’ primary rolled around, and I think we all dodged a bullet with that guy anyway. And I swear to God I can’t come up with a single competitor Gore had for the nomination in 2000, so I suspect I didn’t vote for whoever that was.
There is a post about how fucking stupid our current primary system is and how desperately tired I am of two tiny rural white states getting to decide who each party’s nominee is every single election cycle, but I’m too tired and aggravated to write it right now and pretty much everyone who lives outside of Iowa and New Hampshire can probably write it for me anyway.
Assuming there’s still multiple candidates by the time May (fucking MAY!) rolls around, I don’t know who I’m voting for. There’s plenty of time for one of them to genuinely piss me off by the time the primary rolls around, and Hillary’s starting to show signs of listening to the same type of idiot, if not the same literal idiot, who cost her the nomination in 2008. I like Bernie’s positions on issues more than I like Clinton’s, but that’s not always the most important thing and I don’t know what he’s going to be like once/if the Republicans start pointing their guns at him instead of Hillary. He’s shown some troublesome difficulties with thinking on his feet in the past, he’s too damn old, and– while this probably shouldn’t make a difference– he’s attracting all the PUMA nitwittery this time around, which doesn’t really reflect on him as a candidate but is still one of the things keeping me from anything resembling full-throated support anyway. I also feel like Hillary will be more effective as a president than Bernie will in a lot of ways. Then again, she’s also much more likely to start her administration by picking up a small country and throwing it at a wall just to prove she will, and I’m more than a little tired of that bullshit too.
If Hillary is the nominee she’s going to beat Trump or Cruz like a rented mule. I’m fully aware of all the polls showing Bernie ahead of both of them by wider margins than Hillary is now, but it’s way too early to take them seriously. Sanders needs to do a hell of a lot of minority outreach before I’ll be comfortable believing he’ll win, for starters– but the same thing was true with Obama and look what happened there.
(People forget: the early line of attack against Obama was that he wasn’t black enough, and that the Clintons’ historic popularity with black Democrats would ensure Hillary the nomination– “Obama’s people” were all supposed to be young white liberals. Of course, as soon as Obama started winning contests, the narrative changed and suddenly the black people who he wasn’t black enough for a few weeks beforehand were only voting for him because he was black. Just because Bernie is weak with minority Democrats now doesn’t mean that he’ll stay that way.)
I am less concerned with the “Boo! Socialist!” attack than I probably should be, mostly because the Republicans will be running an out-and-out fucking lunatic no matter what happens, and I think “Boo! Socialist!” will not be as effective when their candidate is crazy enough to make a GWB 3rd term look palatable by comparison. Rule 1 of the GOP for the last couple of decades is Things Always Get Worse, Yes, Even Compared to That; their frontrunner is an open fascist, so I don’t know how that can really happen, but it will. I have to believe that sooner or later this bullshit will bite them in the ass, but it hasn’t happened yet. Bernie’s positions are a lot easier to lie about, though.
So, yeah. I’m not sure that this piece really has an overall point to it other than this is what’s on my mind at the moment and I’m kind of tired of talking about, y’know, my life. I’m pretty certain that one way or another this will be the lowest-turnout presidential election in American history, and it will probably deserve to be. We’ll see if I’m wrong. I’d love to be.
I will probably not be super interested in arguing in comments, by the way. Particularly if you’re in the mood to set me straight on Sanders. Feel free to keep that to yourself.