The Price of Winning

The pundits say Bernie Sanders has no chance of winning the Democratic nomination, much less the Presidency. The pundits say that Bernie Sanders is unquestionably going to be our next President. The pundits say that his age is a problem. The pundits say that his age is not a problem. The pundits say that it’s all a matter of money, or timing, or demographics. The pundits say none of that matters, if the message is right.

What the pundits are saying is that the Presidency is entirely a matter of winning it.

That is, of course, an appropriate concern of a candidate’s staff. Maybe it’s a concern for the pundit class as well, pretending to be Kingmakers or perhaps merely bookies. Maybe the ability to say, “I told you so,” actually generates revenue for them.

For myself, I don’t get a million dollars or a toaster oven or even an “Attaboy!” for picking the winner, or for voting for him/her. All I get is a tiny shot at giving voice to my political will.

Should I waste my voice voting for a candidate who I believe will make the world a worse place, just because I think she might win? And maybe make the world a slightly less-worse place (or maybe a slightly more-worse place) than the other guy?

Conventional (pundit) wisdom says the 2016 election will be a choice between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Or, as in the Soviet Union that existed in my youth, a choice between Brezhnev and Brezhnev.

My political voice, reduced to two notes a quarter-tone apart, both outside my vocal range. That’s not a political voice — that’s a mumble of defeat.

No, I would rather voice my political intent and lose, than give up my voice and support a winner I didn’t want in the first place.

One thing I have learned about dealing with life is that if you don’t ask, you won’t get what you want: when you do ask, it’s surprising — to me, at least — how often you get what you ask for.

I’m going to ask for a nation in which too-big-to-fail banks are replaced by smaller community banks, where there is assurance that old age does not bring poverty, where health care is a right and not a privilege, where the drug war is over and the prison industry is defunct, where cops who brutalize and kill are prosecuted, where inflation is seen as the problem that it is, rather than a mark of a “healthy” economy, where there is a middle class that people can actually aspire to join. This is what I want to see.

I’ll get none of that with either Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan.

This entry was posted in General.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s