Voices from the Streets: Choices

Until recently, I’d mostly steered clear of the current race for the White House. Call me an uninterested observer, but I just didn’t want to be bothered. Elections come and go and after awhile you find out or come to believe that no matter who’s in the Oval Office, not much is going to change.

Like many, I thought Obama’s election would be the beginning of great things, and even though many good things have indeed happened, the majority of the last eight years have fallen way short of expectations, and much of it isn’t his fault. That whole “Thanks Obama” crap has gotten old.

Anyway, presidential politics wasn’t on my to-do list. Oh, I followed the cliff notes—“building walls,” etc. But I steered clear of the first debates.

After my illness, I suddenly found that I had an enormous amount of recovery time on my hands—with nothing else on television except those awful mid-winter shows and repeats of Law and Order. Therefore, I settled in to catch a few of the prime-time debates as the Iowa and New Hampshire shindigs were on tap.

I actually felt a twinge of embarrassment for republican voters when I saw their choices. Indeed, I almost expected to hear an up-tempo version of “Send in the Clowns.” I laughed out loud at Chris Chrstie’s tirades, calling the president feckless, as if he even knew how to spell the word, and his boasting about how he would order a Russian jet shot down. As for Ben Carson, he always sounds like he’s half awake. Then there’s Mr. Roboto, Marco Rubio, who keeps repeating himself over and over and over again. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush is busy proving that George really is the smarter brother, which is pretty sad when you think about it.

And then there’s Donald Trump, who always reminds me of the rich kids I went to school with: a loud, obnoxious bully who always hides in the teacher’s lounge so guys like me can’t get to him.

As far as Ted Cruz is concerned, it’s easy to see why even his fellow senators dislike him. Kasich is the only worth listening to, but that’s just it, is anyone listening?

As maddening as the Republican quagmire is, many would say that the Democratic race is equally head scratching but for vastly different reasons. Neither choice, whether it’s Hillary Clington or Bernie Sanders, is a bad one. Although they both have some differences, both seem headed in a direction that could be good for the country. Granted, Bernie’s way may seem a tad idealistic, but making the rich pay their fair share is an idea that is long overdue. Yes, I worry that if he was elected, he would run into the same obstructions Obama has faced, but the same can be said of anyone who wins.

As for Hillary, yes, she’s taken money from Wall Street, but so have politicians before her. It’s that old double standard: folks, don’t fall for it. Besides, I wouldn’t mind seeing Slick Willie back in the White House. And for me, that’s what it comes down to: Hillary or Bernie. For those of you who don’t agree, well, there’s always President Trump.

James Shearer

James Shearer is a writer and co-founder of Spare Change News.

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