You know those crazy kids we call the millennials are running loose causing a ruckus, right?
There’s talk about who they’re voting for in the primaries and then for President, god-help-us-all.
And about how these kids just love some Bernie Sanders.
And how Hillary Clinton’s trying her damnedest to get the millennial vote but just doesn’t have that cool honesty thing going on.
And how the Republican candidates are like drunks who’ve stayed too long at your house and are falling all over your furniture and breaking shit.
And how the millennials are just so confused about who the hell these old, irrelevant drunk people even are.
Because these millennials, you see, are our dreamers. Our idealists. Our visionaries.
And they’re onto something.
But then there are the old folks who can be, well,… all kinds of stuck.
All tired and grumpy, digging their heels in trying to keep things the same—or get things back the way they were.
You know, to the good old days when women couldn’t wear pants to work or get a credit card of their own, or those sweet and happy days when black people couldn’t walk into just any old restaurant for a sandwich.
Now luckily for the sake of spiritual progress and positive relationships, some of us non-millennials remain forward-thinking, open-minded, justice-seeking dreamers, even after thirty.
Yet vintage aside, if you’re of the persuasion where black people, gays, Mexicans, Muslims, poor folks, and free-thinking women don’t make you want to stock up on weapons and ammunition, or build a wall around your neighborhood or your whole damn country, then it sounds to me like you too might have a touch of the dreamer in you.
Maybe you even have a touch of the revolutionary in you.
Well I think we can agree it’s a good damn thing Dr. King kept on with his dreaming.
Or that Susan B. Anthony or Harriet Tubman or John Lennon or Woody Guthrie or Clara Barton or Nelson Mandela or Rosa Parks didn’t fall for that bullshit about the real world.
But think about all the people who do.
Dream on, y’all, and keep on with the dreaming.
We need people who don’t stop at it can’t be done, don’t buck the system, who do you think you are, get real, it’ll never work, don’t rock the boat.
We need people who are more like give peace a chance, love is all you need, visualize world peace, and no-more-war.
People who see a bigger picture. A much bigger picture.
Which is why I’m coming to you today.
Because we’re in a political pickle, y’all; a presidential pickle, to be exact.
If you’re sick of the whole presidential race already, I’m just really sorry about that.
It’s just that if you don’t pay at least a little bit of attention, someone else will gladly do that for you.
Someone like network TV, for example. Or CNN. Or how about the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post. Yeah, they’re all independent thinkers, to be sure. (Um, sarcasm alert.)
This situation is pretty much pay now or pay later —with very high interest.
Please realize that if Ted Cruz manages to win the Presidency, then the U.S. will be a mere breath away from being more of a theocracy than a democracy.
That means that someone’s version of a religion will be the major deciding factor in your day-to-day life. You don’t get to pick the religion, by the way.
We’re talking, there goes your first world healthcare (such as it is, thank you big pharma and the insurance industry), your gender equality, your LGBTQ rights, your educated populace, your right to decent wages, and even your right to do what you want to in your own damn bedroom.
Bu-bye to all that fluffy, non-essential stuff.
And please realize that if the chump called Trump blinds enough people with his posturing, bullying, fear rallies, and empty statements, we can kiss whatever shred of worldwide respect and international cooperation we have left good-fucking-bye.
And here’s a bonus: we and our bully-in-charge will become an international target even more than our arrogance and military complex have already made us.
Please understand that one of these jackasses could be the next POTUS.
So you may want to get in on this shit.
Which is why I’ve condensed some information for you.
Don’t sleep through this.
First, we have Bernie.
By now you are hopefully familiar with Bernie Sanders, the U.S. Senator from Vermont who has been representing the people of Vermont for 37 years. He’s considered the underdog, but damn if the man isn’t actually trying to win.
I plan to vote for Bernie because I’m feeling the Bern.
Then we have Hillary.
And of course you know Hillary Clinton, former eight-year U.S. Senator and four-year U.S. Secretary of State who is, other than running for President, currently unemployed. Except for her quarter-million-dollar speeches for Wall Street bankers, I mean.
Hillary is considered the more electable of the two Democrats, though it’s starting to look like electability isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
For a while there, we had a guy called O’Malley.
Martin O’Malley, former Governor of Maryland, was in a distant third place, so he dropped out of the race.
He seems basically what I wish Hillary was—a progressive with a clean and consistent record and message. I guess time will tell on O’Malley, though.
Now onto the Republicans; so much yay.
First of all, the following people are why you should fucking pay attention to who gets elected in even the smallest of local elections, ’cause these bat-shit-crazies don’t come out of nowhere.
The Republicans started with a gazillion bizarre candidates, and are now down to three of their bizarre-est, who are even worse than seven years ago when the Republicans ended up with—not altogether joyfully—a Mormon candidate.
These Republican candidates, in my left-leaning opinion, all suck.
And here they are.
We have the chump.
There’s Donald Trump in the lead, which I find both astonishing and immensely frightening. Here’s a guy who is a mean and very unkind human who basically can’t seem to get enough of himself.
I’m pretty sure precious few of this man’s supporters would like or respect—or trust—the man if they knew him in person. The big boys in NYC neither care for him, nor trust him, either.
I don’t know, maybe people’d like to have around when they’re smashing beer cans on their foreheads, or something, ’cause he sure as hell doesn’t appear to give a shit about personal development.
Trump has run for various offices before, but otherwise has no political experience.
We have the creep.
Bobbing along in second place, we have Ted Cruz, Canadian-born to an American mother and Cuban father, currently a U.S. Senator from Texas.
This guy’s super creepy and super-duper conservative, plus the question of his being a “natural -born” American is as yet unsettled.
So ironic, given the rabid interest in Obama’s natural-born-ness.
Plus, Ted Cruz is all kinds of dishonest and just an all-around awful person who would be at least as bad as the chump as Prez. Hard to believe, I realize, but much like Trump the chump, Cruz’s co-workers don’t actually like him, either.
We have the one we thought was reasonable, but isn’t at all.
Moseying along in a distant third place is John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio.
At first this guy comes across as reasonable (because it’s hard not to look half decent next to Trump and Cruz), but it doesn’t take long to realize he’s frighteningly conservative in that I-love-small-government-but-let-me-micromanage-your-personal-life kind of way that Republicans are so crazy about.
The weird thing about this guy right now, is that given that the chump is running the Republican party into the ground and that pretty much no-one likes Ted Cruz, Kasich may be the GOP’s only hope for a remotely-okay candidate. Dude’s gonna need some political Aderall or something, though, because he’s all kinds of behind.
Shit, what am I saying? Somebody throw some money at Kasich so he can catch up.
Good-bye to the awkward one and the la-la one.
Until very recently, there was Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator from Florida, who was awkward and prone to outbursts. And not in a good way. But it’s the lucky young man who Rush Limbaugh calls a “full-throated conservative.”
And just because he was so damned bizarre and had that perpetual “Wait, what?” look on his face, I feel I should mention retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who proves you can be smart and not-so-smart at exactly the same time.
Dr. Carson foolishly entered the race having not brushed up on history or politics or foreign policy. Or much of anything pertinent, actually, and not surprisingly, Dr. C. had no political experience.
You can see that clearly we who are not Republicans must act.
Here’s the thing. Trump, Cruz, and Kasich, all three, are 100% hell-no material.
I mean, one of the latest Republican debates appears to have been moderated by Jerry Springer, such is the caliber of Republican candidates. Or how about the debate where Trump talked about his you-know-what?
Sorry if that made you just throw up your lunch.
Republicans are really doing their part to piss off the millennials.
Given all this, the millennials like Bernie.
They like the dreamer. The idealist. The honest, old dude with the sheepish grin and nutty professor hair.
Of course there’s talk that Bernie can’t win the Democratic nomination, let alone the Presidency. That he doesn’t understand how things work, that he’s fighting an uphill battle, that he’s not a realist like Hillary.
And the media is just all over some Hillary, like Bernie hasn’t got a chance in hell, even though he’s gaining on her like he’s got some kind of super power to catch up with the likes of a Clinton.
The trouble for Hillary is that Bernie just keeps coming up with more energy, more dreaming, more donations, and more supporters.
Keeping those dreams alive.
Bernie Sanders calls himself a Democratic Socialist.
Which he’s awfully brave to do, because Americans are all up in the paranoia when it comes to the word “socialism.”
Simply put, Democratic Socialism means that Democracy is supposed to work for all the people in a society instead of like it does in the current state of our Democracy.
Right this red hot second in America, under 1% of the population holds more of our country’s wealth than the entire 90% of the rest of us.
Now you know that’s not even close to right.
All the stuff we expect in a first-world country.
So here’s the deal: if you have a social security card, then you’re pretty much a card-carrying socialist, ha-ha.
And if you use public roads and highways and the Post Office and you observe federal holidays and have ever received overtime pay or unemployment or taken maternity leave or sick leave or disability, then all this stuff makes you a fan of Democratic Socialism.
So how about that—not scary after all.
The consolation prize.
Now we do have Hillary who is pretty much on the take from Monsanto and Wall Street investors and who does have an honesty problem along with a very serious consistency problem.
Never mind that she’s no progressive.
I wanted to like her, and for a good while I was sure I’d vote for her if Bernie doesn’t get the Democratic nomination.
But I’m not so sure anymore, given that her skeletons just keep showing up and each one looks worse than the last one.
Yeah, sure, she might be the “lesser of two evils” and all that kind of shit, but goodness me, we can do wayyyyy better.
The goal: a thriving society, not a decaying one.
Come four or eight years from next January when another new President is sworn in, maybe you’ll be, say 23 or 30-something years old, maybe even close to forty good god.
Maybe you’ll be in your career-building, child-raising, house-buying, geez-I’m-getting-a-gut, how’s-my-401k-looking, will-I-ever-get-a-vacation years.
Or maybe you’ll be a good deal more vintage like me and praying to god you won’t be forced to work till you’re ninety.
So consider this your permission slip to dream.
Do like the millennials and pick the dreamer.
Bernie thinks he can win, and so do I.
And he may be a dreamer, but dammit, dreams are how we get anywhere at all in this life.
If all we do is go along with the status quo, what the fuck are we even here for?
But if you’d rather take a nap till November…
Listen, if you just don’t want to fool with all this, you can always leave the voting to your racist, chauvinistic, homophobic, xenophobic Uncle Clyde*, ’cause he won’t mind laying your future out for you.
Because he knows what’s best for the country, anyway.
So lemme ask you the zillion-dollar question:
Is dreaming even worth a damn, or should we all just hold our nose and do the whole “lesser of two evils” thing once again?
See, we have a chance to continue on our path toward self-destruction versus a chance to elect an honest, very decent and just human being to lead the country.
We can actually make a real live positive difference in the world, y’all.
So what’ll it be, America?
*Hey, my apologies to any kind and decent Uncle Clydes out there.