Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How to View - or Happily Live Through - the Democratic Race

I read a lot of news and commentary, so I am aware of an alleged fight between "bots" or automatic nags of Sanders and Clinton supporters. These people apparently are saying mean, harsh or untrue statements about their opposing candidate. Being a Sanders supporter I am sensitive to those labeled "BernieBros" who supposedly are for Sanders because they *HATE* Hillary Clinton (and will lie or do anything harmful to her campaign). This alleged hatred is supposedly mean, nasty and horrible - much like the members of The Group W bench in "Alice's Restaurant."

However, I cannot tell whether these people (1) exist, (2) are mean, nasty, horrible and dishonest, or (3) *HATE* Hillary Clinton. One of my problems in trying to grasp this alleged phenomenon is that I have read many statements, posts and tweets by people favoring Clinton that say that the act of posting exact quotes of Clinton is harassment, sexist, evil, cowardly, awful and unfair. I also do not know whether those who claim there are terrible "BernieBros" mean to imply that all terrible "BernieBros" are male. (It might be difficult for Clinton supporters to claim that female Sanders supporters are sexist, but I am not young enough - or cool enough - to know whether or not that would be difficult for her supporters.)

Another aspect of this situation is that the Clinton supporters whose words I have read deny that any of them do, have or even might ever say anything underhanded or mean, despite statements slandering, quoting, disparaging and denying Sanders' ideas and actions. When Bernie supporters assert that Clinton supporters have "gone negative" against him, some Clinton supporters claim sexism or flat denial; others say, "He started it!"

For a few days I wrote asserting certain facts about Clinton's career, and that was not productive. Recently, I have made a point of addressing supporters of both candidates to the effect that it is harmful in the long (November) run for anyone who intends to vote for the nominee to be divisive or destructive of the reputation of either candidate. Some people have responded positively to this idea; others have not. I understand the frustrations of hearing seemingly untrue statements made about one's favored candidate, and I feel those frustrations from time to time. But few partisans are open to learning or hearing about the warts on their preferred candidate or are interested in being reminded of the contradictions or flip-flops on positions that inevitably appear to exist. One thing that I thought both groups of people could agree on was being non-destructive. I was wrong.

So I have decided to view this contest - and indeed the upcoming likely *TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD* general election campaign - from a perspective of hope ... and amusement. Nothing I do or say is likely to affect the outcome. Regardless of how it goes or how it ends it should be a very interesting, dramatic and possibly fun experience. I do not have an idea what the resolution will be, or who the main participants will be. I expect to feel exhilaration, bewilderment, fear, anguish and ... at some points, condescension. I may feel part of this - a human involved in and affected by this process. At certain points I may feel so bewildered that I find it difficult to grasp that I am part of this group/gang/mob who are simulating self-government. Probably some of the time - hopefully not at the end! - I will look down on the nitwits who nominate or vote for one or more the candidates. (Will another Quayle/Palin be chosen for Veep?)

But I intend to be, although partisan, not demeaning or despairing of a cataclysm. That is my story on February 3rd, 2016, and I believe I will stick to it. Of course, I could be wrong.

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