February 10, 2016
There were two surprises when I went to retrieve the newspaper from my front steps this morning – more snow and the results of the NH primary election. Wow!
As much as I like Bernie, I didn’t expect him to do so well. A lifetime of election watching has conditioned me to view our process as a method of selecting the most acceptable, the least offensive candidate. Could it be? Is it possible that “the system” is flexible enough to effect significant change? My goodness. I might have to exchange my curmudgeonly pessimism for optimism.
Trump’s win has a different significance, but like Bernie’s, it indicates, contrary to my cynical expectations, that the primary campaigns are actually democratic (small d). Trump is seen as the best option by a plurality of Republican voters. I was pleased by his decisive win. His victory suggests that traditional Republicanism may, at long last, be dying. The days of the money-driven, pro-business, worker-be-damned traditional Republican Party may be over. Trump’s candidacy may be the silver bullet that kills the GOP monster.
No doubt, Hillary is a safer choice. All of us, Republican or Democrat, hope the candidate we choose is a good enough politician to effectively manage the changes he or she supports. I guess that’s the basic difference between HRC advocates and BS (how unfortunate) advocates. Clinton voters opt for someone who can be trusted to use the existing levers of power to move the boulder. The overwhelming majority of New Hampshire Democrats don’t believe in those methods anymore. They are so frustrated by the system, the status quo that the Clintons can manipulate so well, that they’re voting to change it.
The age disparity between Clinton and Sanders voters can be interpreted as a greater willingness to take risks in younger people. As we grow older, we become more risk averse. I don’t disagree with taking a safer approach. Apparently, New Hampshire Democrats think our political problems are systemic, and that a vote for her at this stage is an endorsement of the system.
Change is scary, but so is no change. A Jewish Social Democrat as President of the USA? Oy vey!
It sounds absurd. Sanders’ candidacy could be as lethal to the traditional Democratic Party as Trump’s would be for the Republicans. Donald Trump. a blowhard pitchman as President of the USA, is an even more bizarre prospect, and more frightening. He is absolutely unqualified and dangerously egotistical.
But there’s no doubt anymore that the status quo, the political equilibrium to which we have been accustomed, is tottering. The majorities in both parties are voting against the system.
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