As the 2016 presidential election was taking shape in what seems like three decades ago now, it was all about building upon Barack Obama’s social legacy, human decency, war-last inclinations and padding an economy that was slowly clawing its way up from the awful depths of the Great Recession. That he was also one heckuva popular guy certainly wouldn’t hurt the good cause.
If we could get big money out of politics by continuing to mainstream our Supreme Court, keep the bankers’ oily fingers out of our pockets, and take from the bloated DoD and give to the less fortunate, America’s foundation might look like something built to last again. But another Bush-Clinton showdown? Rather not, thanks.
So I supported and voted for Bernie Sanders in the primaries — proudly. While the crazy old guy with the flyaway white hair and a socialist-gray suit didn’t have all the answers, he did have a new energy. Besides, the kids loved him, and it is their world, after all.
Hillary, a sure thing in 2008, was back as the very same sure thing eight years later, which in retrospect should have scared people a whole hell of lot more than it did. That it was her turn, was all well and good if you’d been with her all along. Most Americans weren’t.
So on down the trail we confidently ambled. Sanders went on to demolish Clinton here in Wisconsin, which makes it all the more stunning that Clinton ignored the place in the general. But even with that big win here in the Cheese State, the road for the upstart Sanders was tenuous. Still, there could be no doubt he was tapping into something that needed tapping: People were sick and tired of retail politics, and all the fucking money.
It was also around this time Donald Trump was unbelievably insulting his way into Republican hearts and on his miserable way to being their filthy-dirty nominee. This seemed too good to be true for whoever ran against him from the Left, and just too sad for words for America. Frankenstein coming back to life — ripping through the countryside, tearing everything limb from limb. Surly there would be a windmill scene in the nick of time …
In June, Clinton knocked off Sanders in the California primary, and I threw in the towel and all my support for her. Stopping Trump was absolutely paramount. I also got to liking Hillary, especially after she cleaned Trump’s clock in all three debates. Tough gal right there standing up to the fire-breathing monster.
But there never was a windmill scene.
In an effort to make some point, America instead stabbed herself in the heart.
We are still sorting through the rubble of reasons — apathy, Bernie-or-Busting, you’ll-vote-for-her-so-I-don’t-have-to, something called Jill Stein, media fixation with Trump, misogyny, stupidity, Russian influence, etc., etc., etc.
We are also resisting like a motherfucker. Surreal things happen when you suddenly find yourself backed into a corner with no choice but to fight your way out or die.
Quite predictably, things are not going at all well for the Orange Frankenstein. He is still out there ravaging Trump Country looking for love when he’s not tearing apart everything he can get his little hands on … or ripping up golf courses in Florida. He’s an unhinged maniac. He says he didn’t think the job would be this tough …
So here we are — beaten, bloodied, angry as hell, and looking for leadership. In the background the Hillary and Bernie supporters are slowly turning up the volume on the whose-party-is-it knob. All this noise is like battling a rotten stomach. It’s no fun to deal with, but getting it all out is the only way to get some relief.
So let it out, people. We’re about a year away from when it will really start counting again. The way I see it, figuring out what this party stands for and who will lead it, while opposing Trump on every little thing should be no more difficult than performing the self-destructive gymnastics that tied us in this awful knot in the first place.
Now that we absolutely, positively know what we do not want, the real work begins to discover what we do.