Now that we have marked Fat Tuesday off of the calendar, we can turn our attention to the second most important Tuesday in our lives, Super Tuesday.
On March 3, Alabamians, as well as residents of 13 other states, will head to the polls to cast their vote for their party’s presidential nominee, and here in the Yellowhammer State, we have important Senate and congressional races, too.
I have voted in every single election since I turned 18. Voting is important to me.
But I could not be less excited about voting in this primary.
I am a moderate, and being that in the year 2020 makes me a person without a party.
I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats in my lifetime.
All I want in any leader is a measured, competent, reasonable, decent human being who can manage the country well and actually work with others (even if they are on the other team — gasp!) to get things done.
I don’t need an inspirational figure or some sort of political messiah. I don’t need to fall in love with them, and I don’t want to wear any of their shirts or hats. I really only want to hear about them on the news when they do something exceptionally wonderful or stupid. I don’t need 24/7 cable news reports about what a horrible or wonderful job they are doing.
Remember when cable news also used to be about babies falling down wells and pandas being born at the zoo? Now it’s all politics, all the time. I miss Baby Jessica. Whaaaaaaaa!
We’ve just gotten caught up in this whole cult of personality thing with our leaders, and it’s crazy.
The Republicans certainly have that with Donald Trump, and it looks like the Democrats are poised to have it, too, with Bernie Sanders as their nominee. Those two couldn’t be more emblematic of the political divide we have in this country today, as their ideologies could not be more different.
But what to do if you really don’t like Trump but also think Bernie’s policies are just way too extreme?
All you can do is throw up. (And then vote.)
Sure, there are Democratic candidates pitching themselves as the moderate choice. But just like in the 2016 Republican primary, they are splitting up the vote too much. No one is going to drop out by then, and by the time they finish slugging it out, it will be too late. Sanders will have already accumulated a huge chunk of the delegates from his 25ish percent of loyal followers, just like Trump did.
Is history going to keep repeating itself, where we are bouncing back and forth nominating the most extreme candidates from both parties?
I really hope we are not, but it certainly seems that is exactly what is going to happen. At least this year.
And it wouldn’t be so bad if it was just for the race at the top of the ticket, but this anger and bizarre presidential devotion bubbles down the ballot and trickles into our local elections. This political climate has turned candidates who were once moderate, reasonable human beings into folks screaming about border walls, “illegals” and their undying love for the president.
Jerry Carl, who is running for Congress, packed so much red meat in his 30-second ads it was hard to keep up with what the terrible, awful, evil Democrats were going to do to us first: steal our guns, kill babies “on demand,” open the borders or “assault” the president.
His opponent, Chris Pringle, literally built a cinderblock wall in front of a door made to look like Nancy Pelosi’s office in his ad, and muttered “Commies” at the end.
In the Senate race, poor Jeff Sessions with his hostage video ads, putting his MAGA hat on, after being absolutely berated and belittled by the man who he professes to still love and support. It made me want to cry for him. I just can’t imagine wanting ANY job so badly you are willing to praise a person who has treated you so poorly. It’s sad.
And I caught a Bradley Byrne radio ad the other day, where it was basically just Trump saying Bradley’s name over and over again. It literally made me laugh out loud, as it made me think of a high school girl listening to her boyfriend’s voicemail over and over again just so she could hear his voice.
They know all of these issues are nuanced and complicated. And I am positive they aren’t sitting around writing “I love Trump” on their Trapper Keepers. But they also know this sort of pandering plays well with a certain segment of their base. At least some consultant has convinced them of that, anyway. But it’s just such a huge turnoff to the rest of us.
I know it happens on both sides. I am sure if we lived in a blue state, we would be inundated with ads building a jail around Trump and Mitch McConnell.
But when you talk to all of the aforementioned candidates in person — none of them are really like that. They seem to be reasonable, well-educated people, all of whom have worked hard for our community in their various offices. They certainly aren’t screaming about sanctuary cities, Nancy Pelosi and people coming to take your guns from you. I’d just rather see that side of them. All of these hyper-partisan scare tactics are just ridiculous.
And that’s what is so frustrating about the state of politics in this country. I hate that we have come to the point where it’s nothing but shouting about what the other guy is going to do or take from you. And all of this partisan hatred, in general, is just too much.
Somebody please make it go away. Whaaaaa!
I’m going to vote next Tuesday, but I’m not going to like it.
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