And, They’re Off…

February 1, 2016 is the official kick-off to the presidential election, even though we don’t yet know who the candidates will be. It marks the day people in Iowa gather to caucus for the candidates – which I will be doing for the first time in my life as a voter in my current state at the end of March. To be honest, I much prefer pulling the lever or ticking the box. From what I’ve read about caucusing, it doesn’t sound like an activity I’d enjoy. I’ve been conditioned to think as a solitary voter, behind box or curtain – not in a room full of people I need to explain myself to. Who knows? Maybe I’ll like it; in my mind, however, the process seems a little labor intensive. I’ll get back to everyone once I’ve actually done it.

The political junkie in me wants to finally see some actual numbers. I’m sick of listening to the endless stream of rhetoric, the debating, and most of all, the xenophobia, jingoism, racism, and gibberish spewed by many of the candidates. Yes, I’m talking about you, Republicans. The Democrats, despite being decidedly less flamboyant than their right wing counterparts, aren’t blowing my skirt up, either. My heart is with Bernie Sanders, even though my head says he doesn’t have a shot in hell against Hillary Clinton and her self-serving tank brigade consisting of her husband – the former president,  and all her corporate patrons.  Not that I don’t think she isn’t qualified to run the country; she absolutely is. I would just prefer someone closer to Sanders. Yes, the perfect successor to the first black president would most certainly be a woman, but come on – Bernie’s a Jewish guy from Brooklyn. It doesn’t get much more anti-establishment than that. I’d kvell like the proudest bubbie if a boychick from my old neighborhood got the keys to the front door of the most well-known house in the world.

In the meantime, there is still much more campaigning and rhetoric to be endured. There will be an infinite number of opportunities for Donald Trump to stick his foot in his mouth about a wide variety of issues. Now that Sarah Palin has joined the fun by endorsing him, I’m sure she’ll be giving a few more speeches that will leave us educated fake Americans wondering, “Is that English?” She’ll continue her attempt to define mental illness as something President Obama has inflicted on the U.S. military, while ignoring her own shortcomings as the parent of a violent and drunken son, and a daughter who preaches abstinence despite giving birth to two illegitimate children.

Ted Cruz will have many more opportunities to show the world that there is a sizeable black hole in his chest where his heart would normally be, and Marco Rubio will attempt outshout them both. As for the rest of them, they don’t deserve anymore bandwidth from me. They’ll all drop like flies over the next few weeks, and then the fun will really begin. Of course, there is every reason to believe I am talking out of my ass right now, since we are certainly navigating through some previously uncharted political territory.

Let the games begin. Here’s to politics as sport: Crack open your beverage of choice, pop your popcorn, baste your chicken wings, and heat up the chili. The hell with the Super Bowl. This is what I live for.

May the best person win.

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