Do you understand the election?

I do not, that is to say, I do not understand the attitudes of the voters.

Most younger people I know do not vote. This includes people even up into their forties, except those who have a Ph.D., and M.D. or a J.D. (yes, that much education). They say it is because “the government is bad,” or the government does not affect their lives. If pressed, they say that it is because they do not understand how things work. Someone, a minority por más señas, even told me he knew himself well enough not to vote, because he knew that as a voter he would betray the interests of his race and class because he was too poorly informed and too easily swayed by right-wing rhetoric.

In the meantime, there appear to be Sanders voters who will not vote for Clinton in the general election. I would understand if there were a serious third party campaign (I am not one of those who say third parties make the Republicans win). But so far there will be none, and there is a great difference between business as usual (Clinton) and the Republican candidates we have now.

I do not think the minority voters who support Clinton over Sanders are magically better informed about the inner virtues and faults of each. I think some of them are uninformed voters (voters of any race, color, creed, or national origin can be uninformed). I think many others are really, really concerned about how right-wing the Republicans are, and have gone for Clinton early on as the safest bet to win against them.

I do not understand the Clinton voters who say it is anti-feminist to vote against her. What about Sarah Palin, then? Or, is it “racist” not to vote for Ben Carson … or Marco Rubio?

Mostly, though, I do not understand the Clinton voters who think she is a liberal candidate, and that Sanders is unrealistically left-wing. He’s just like a white liberal Democrat from back in the day, from what I can tell, and I cannot understand why it is so far out to vote for him.

The most intriguing comments on Clinton I have heard are that one has to elect masses of women, any women, for women’s rights to get on the agenda, and that we are not likely to get a first woman president who is also a progressive. These things are surely true.

I, however, cannot make someone this hawkish my first choice, or even anything but a lesser-of-evils choice, so I guess that defines how I make my choices. I don’t think peace is unsupportive of women, though — to the contrary, if one thinks of women in the countries where wars are actually waged.


8 thoughts on “Do you understand the election?

  1. I think Clinton is a neoliberal who will continue Obama’s policies. She might do more for women than Obama has. The important issue is the Supreme Court.

    The far out thing about Sanders (and Clinton, too) is that he is too old. Take it from an old person.

    1. Well, Reagan was 70 when inaugurated and was quite doddering by the end, so you may have a point. Obama seemed to be a good age.

  2. The young old, the ones in their 60s, don’t realize what happens to almost everyone who gets into the 70s (Trump is almost that). At age 76 I can manage OK but have to plan things carefully, can’t do more than one thing a time etc. and most of all am totally incapable of putting up with crap.

    Note that neither Sanders nor Trump can really elaborate on their ideas but just bluntly react. That indicates that their cognitive skills are seriously diminished, and they compensate by getting louder and making big gestures. You might also note the lack of nuanced facial expressions in both men. Hillary Clinton is as articulate as ever. She is one of the lucky ones whose intelligence does not diminish with age, so far, anyway. But she could experience a downturn in a few years, too.

    I’ve observed a lot of old people, am old myself, and that is what I see.

    I would like for Clinton to run with Elizabeth Warren, who still has a lot of good years to go, and both of them wipe the floor with Cruz.

    1. Clinton/Warren is a good idea. But she is only 2 years younger than Clinton, you know.

      You are scaring me about the 70s,, they are not really that far away for me. My mother said that it is around age 68 that people become old.

  3. Z: You have got a lot of highly productive years to go. It’s important to set things up for yourself while you have the energy and judgement. Then you can be happy later on. Be good to your future self.
    I notice even Warren, much as I like her,sounds simplistic sometimes.
    Say what you like about Clinton, but she is the top wonk in this contest and shows no signs of cognitive decline.
    The pity for both Clinton and Sanders is that they are coming into their own so late.
    And Trump is Mr.Shouty old guy who is losing it.

  4. When you’re faced with the possibility of a President Trump, you worry less (or I do) about the ideological purity of the candidate that has the best chance of beating him, whether that’s Hillary or Bernie.

    1. Yes, but that isn’t the question.

      I do have new insight from one of my death row inmates, who is black. He says that as a black person you must support Clinton to prove you do not expect welfare!

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