I’m feelin’ the Bern…!
Everyone who knows me, or my writings, knows I’m about as conservative as it gets. When I became eligible to vote in 1970, I immediately registered as a Republican. Between then and now, though I’ve on occasion voted for “third-party” candidates, I’ve never voted for a Dem/socialist. In fact, in the entire panoply of Democrat politicians, I’ve only ever been aware of two I’d have considered actually voting for prior to today: Zell Miller and Jim Webb.
Going one step further, when the GOP nominated John McCain as their candidate in 2008, I was so disgusted with that result that I quit the GOP and re-registered as “Decline To State” (DTS), California’s equivalent of “Independent”. I even resigned my Life Membership in the NRA over their decision to endorse McCain. That’s how strongly I feel about actual traditional American conservative values and principles; McCain was certainly NO conservative.
So in light of all of that, what’s happened to make me cast my vote today for “the Bern”, Bernie Sanders, self-avowed socialist candidate for the Democrat presidential nomination?
A unique and unlikely confluence of events.
First, California’s goofy and Byzantine election laws permit DTS voters to simply choose at the polling place whether or not they want to vote in any particular party’s presidential primary, and those laws leave it up to the parties to determine for themselves whether or not they’ll allow DTS voters to vote in their primary. This year, the Democrats have chosen to allow DTSers to do so, and the Republicans have chosen not to do so.
Further, as of now that’s actually pretty irrelevant as to the GOP, since Donald Trump has already won enough primary victories to secure the GOP nod, and his opponents have withdrawn from the race. That’s a done deal. So even if it were possible to vote in the GOP primary, why would I even bother?
However, there’s much to be gained by participating in the Democrat primary!
If the Bern were to somehow, magically, secure the Democrat nomination, that would almost certainly guarantee a November defeat for that repugnant party. And, of course, there’s that “other” candidate, Her Royal Arrogance Hillary Clinton. I so thoroughly despise her that it’s almost impossible to pass up the opportunity to throw a few banana peels in the path of her haughty march to the Dem convention in Philly in July. Maybe one of those banana peels could be a Sanders win in California. How could I possibly pass that up?
And so… I did it. I actually cast a vote for a self-avowed socialist Democrat. It didn’t feel as weird as I thought it would, and the hand I used to cast my vote didn’t fall off my wrist or develop blisters, much to my surprise.
So consider this: if I could cast this vote, is it really out of the realm of possibility to think that someplace on this big planet there is actually a herd of unicorns prancing around?
©Brian Baker 2016
(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal: http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/153159/)