Voting for Hillary, Hoping For Johnson ... And I Don't Mean Gary
Let it be said upfront that I was a Bernie Boy. I didnt support Hillary
Clinton in this 2016 race nor did I in the 2008 primary run. I
wasnt With Her'. She wasnt my girl. Additionally, Im
not an apologist for Hillary Clinton or others. Dont read such
things into any of the words that follow. Rather, I calibrate
the real-world in which we live against known quantities. This should not
be confused with pragmatism. Theres a differnce.
When I pretty much knew that Bernie Sanders would not prevail in his rather
impressive presidential run far surpassing reasonable expectations
I knew what would soon be coming. I knew it some time before the
Democratic Convention. For I fully realized, independent of garnered delegates,
the sobering reality of Super Delegates functioning exactly as they were
intended: To thwart the candidacy of anyone who demonstrated the ability
to capture imagination while believed to be incapable
of capturing the national vote.
Never again would the Democratic party fall in the wake of another George
McGovern, as reasoned. Ergo, the Hunt Commission that gave us the contemporary
Super Delegate system in direct defiance of the McGovern-Frazier
Commission that sought to take power away from the party bosses in 1970.
The difference between then and now? They didnt have email. There was
nothing to hack. But, for both parties, the control mechanisms and internal
sentiments" were the same. I suppose that, in these more modern times,
the good news is that email doesnt carry the fragrance of cigar smoke.
But with the mathematical loss of Bernie Sanders as a presidential candidate
skewed or not, heres what I saw coming
Yet another internal
war - played out publicly - between two opposing factions of liberal Democrats,
real or self-described: The Progressive Free Radicals, as I call
them and the politically fashion-conscious NPR Liberals
wrapped more in self-image - the way they perceive themselves - than having
much real intimacy with the issues. Theyd come from different places.
The 'Progressive Free Radicals would be engaged, could work out of
a garage and didnt mind getting dirty. In contrast, the NPR
Liberals - a variant subset of the 'Chaise Lounge Liberals' - signed
onto positions in the feel-good academic as long as they didnt interfere
with politics that played out as a fashion statement and lifestyle choice,
not to be inconvenienced by tangibility. And in these distinctions would
be the difference between Grit and Gloss.
Still, both groups can be selective as it relates to respective perceptions.
The Free Radicals, with their sense of focus, tied to a principle
if shy on memory
and the NPR Liberals with a
tunnel-vision focus that prefers to ignore a given set of truths, becoming
apologists when forced to confront those truths. The latter group lives in
a moment, but both groups share a common flair for a romanticized sense of
Enter Lyndon Johnson. While the HBO film, 'All The Way' and Bryan
Cranstons performance therein were both excellent, it still
stood as a highly selective and romanticized take on LBJ. So, in truth, was
Spielbergs Lincoln. For while Lincoln freed the
slaves, he also didnt see them as equals
they should serve on juries, hold any office, or have the right to vote.
As stated by Lincoln in 1858, I am not, nor ever have been, in favor
of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white
and black races. But Hollywood along with the more selective
overview in childrens history books, where most of education ends,
co-conspires in the creation of romance novels.
But even outside the realm of Hollywood, glorified folklore is created
or selected'. While many know that Franklin Roosevelt turned away a
shipload of Jews endeavoring to escape Nazi Germany, many dont seem
to know, as one cited as the Father of Progressivism, that Roosevelt
opposed anything even remotely resembling collective bargaining
along with yet other rejected tidbits that remain the mainstay diet
of contemporary Progressives on this day.
But back to Johnson
arguably the quintessential poster child for
corruption, from voter fraud and manipulation in his 1948 Senatorial race,
to general back-stabbing and hidden agendas, inclusive of misleading the
entirety of the American people regarding Americas involvement in Southeast
Asia ... Enter The Pentagon Papers standing as the precursor
to modern email. And yes, Johnson wasnt held in high regard by liberals
during his presidency.
Hey-Hey LBJ. How many kids did you kill today?, chanted the anti-war
protestors if personally comforted by their own academic deferment
But how do we, as contemporary liberals, remember Johnson? Hes the
one, as folklore hero, who gave us The Great Society (if to conservative
chagrin) as well as the Civil Rights Act
even as one who had
opposed each and every Civil Rights bill that came before him as a Congressman
between 1937 and 1956 (yes, attempted Civil Rights legislation went back
that far). He also was a vehement opponent of the Jim Crow laws, while
were at it.
In 1957, perspectives regarding civil rights changed for Johnson for
the better. Whether this was a change of heart or a matter of political
calculation doesnt really matter. What emerged out of bad'
was some good. And that, in turn, would be our takeaway, as liberals.
Understand, Im not saying - as an apologist' that "Hillary is
cool because others had their less than stellar moments. Im saying
that these moments are conveniently forgotten
if posthumously. And
some, indeed, would not be generally known
ever even now.
Theres little assurance no less guarantee that some good
will come out of bad by way of Hillary Clinton. But entertaining the possibility
- no matter how remote it may seem to many - may make the bitter pill easier
to swallow ... OR not.
Again, as one who didnt favor Hillary Clinton in either one of her
presidential runs, I still have long seen her - perhaps somewhat empathetically
- as being of quasi-Shakespearian proportions, wrapped in a linear Hollywood
narrative. Having ultimately rejected the Goldwater politics of her father,
she would emerge from Wellesley with the best of intentions and the more
noble of ambitions and achievements
only to be consumed by the very
stage she chose to launch her platforms
as so many are, in and out
of politics. A shame.
As Ive often said in my own life regarding a number of issues,
as well as personal experiences and encounters
I dont create the monsters. I just give them names.
Merely points to ponder. These aside, vote as you deem best.