Dignity Restored

October 13, 2015

We have a FULL year to go. A lifetime in politics. But tonight was the first debate among democratic candidates and I didn’t want to miss it.

CNN seemed like it was staging a major theatrical event. Its lead in to the debate had the tone of a wrestling match with cheesy introductions that caricatured the candidates, and tricky camera angles, music and graphics all designed to create drama and suspense.  I almost turned it off before it even started.  Earlier in the day, Tony R. posted this on Facebook:

CNN just spent 20 minutes instructing viewers on the best way to play drinking games while watching the presidential debates tonight. Nevermind “Don’t you have something better to report?” What about “Let’s encourage people to be drunk while thinking about the life and death questions facing humanity.” Doomed.

I’m thinking, Jesus… it’s hard to have a sense of humor about that. How embarrassing. I’m seeing this whole election through the eyes of Peter who will vote for the first time and is taking it so, so seriously. Our country and media have lost all dignity. How weird that a 17-year-old teenage boy has more maturity than the news media and candidates (I’m not kidding; he’s been obsessed about this race. So far, it’s been almost entirely about the republican side show, starring the buffoonish Donald Trump, and most of the time he’s just kind of incredulous, when he’s not falling on the ground laughing.)

But the democratic candidates didn’t buy into it. When the dems have a debate, the adults show up. If you’re a republican (if you watched) you may not have liked the answers, but at least they had a substantive, respectful debate. As, you know, CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT should!

Hillary was polished and prepared and it’s hard to see beyond her vetted and practiced answers, but that was as bad as it got. I believe she’s got to do exactly that because of her place at the top, her history, baggage, and the fact she is target #1, She is an immense threat to the republicans and cannot miss her carefully crafted, poll-driven mark, or they will destroy her. So I think she did just fine, fine enough, more than fine enough, and demonstrated she can handle the job. She totally can–no doubt about it. Deeply experienced. Smart as hell.  (And a woman, which is not a trivial fact. It’s time for a different kind of energy in this office… though President Obama did go a long way toward restoring civility and humanity to the job.)

But Bernie. Oh my god. Nothing but intensity, truth, passion, integrity. He is right on the money about absolutely everything.  He doesn’t have to vet his positions. Not a lick of bullshit. Not a shred of pandering to anybody for their vote or financial support. He doesn’t have to finesse his delivery, he doesn’t have to steer his answer in some other direction. He plays no games. He’s direct, human, honest and committed. He listens, he learns, he’s smart. He is dead serious. I think that’s what impressed me the most. This is serious shit and he’s not messing around. I could not agree more. Our democracy is in serious peril. We do, as a matter of fact, have more serious things to talk about in a presidential debate than Hillary’s emails.

He’s speaking directly to, inspiring and mobilizing people.  He is the definition of a leader.

I was so impressed.

And he’s got my vote.

I imagine that at some point he will finally be perceived as a threat and the reps will go after him for being a big scary socialist democrat (and just what is wrong with that?!) and I don’t know… maybe the dems will too, and he’ll have to end his run and commit to Hillary. But maybe not. Maybe we’ll have a Sanders-Clinton ticket. You heard it here first.

And the other guys–O’Malley, Webb, Chafee–hardly mattered. They just don’t. See ya, guys.

Anyway… another year to go. In the meantime, here are two people who made me grateful, for the gazillionth time, that I am a democrat.