The circus rolls into Arizona next week as the Republican and Democratic parties hold their respective presidential preference polls. As a means to selecting delegates to the national party conventions, it's not as stupid as the caucus method employed in Iowa and Hawaii, but neither is it as straightforward as the primary held in Mississippi last week. Wow, we suck worse than Mississippi in both election and education. The dolts in the state Legislature should put that in their re-election campaign literature.
If you've got a couple hours to waste, try looking up exactly how the Republicans determine who will go to their national convention. It's a rather arcane process, but suffice it to say that the people who end up going to Cleveland won't look or talk or think like we do. But that's okay. Republicans across America have lost their damn minds; why should Arizona's Republicans be any different?
We do know that Tucsonan Bruce Ash will go because he is a Republican National Committeeman. Ash has also gotten some national pub lately, based on the fact that he's the chairman of the Rules Committee. Said committee may end up being the Nuclear Option if the party can't figure out a way to derail the Trump 40 percent express between now and July. Trump wins all those states, but he never gets a majority of the votes cast. The most recent poll in Arizona has Trump leading with a predictable 37 percent, followed by fellow hatemonger Ted Cruz with 25 percent and Cruz's fellow member of How In The Hell Did This Bum Ever Get Elected To the United States Senate? Club, Marco Rubio.
Ash may be called upon to toss out the rules that mandate that delegates vote for the person to whom they are pledged, at least on the first ballot. (In 2012, three delegates broke their pledge and voted for Ron Paul on the first ballot. Party leaders punished the insurgents by staring at them for an uncomfortably long time.)
I plan on voting for Bernie Sanders, although he has zero chance of being elected United States president. I have a long and glorious record of voting for people who don't win. I can say proudly (and honestly) that the first time I was able to vote, I voted for George McGovern. Things haven't changed much since.
I get a kick out of the visceral reaction that people have to the word "socialism," as though it's not already a part of the fabric of American society. Socialism, in one form or another, has been a part of every presidential administration since Franklin Roosevelt. Dumbass people in my generation tend to lump it together with communism, which is ridiculous. Republicans apparently missed school the day that we were taught that sharing is caring. They see a big threat out there, as in "I've got 100 of these, but under socialism, I'd only have 99."
My all-time favorite example of the irrational fear of socialism was the knucklehead at the Tea Party rally who held up a sign that read "Keep The Government Out of My Medicare."
There was a time in my life that I thought that capitalism, with all its flaws, could work for most Americans. I don't believe that any more because we no longer have capitalism. We're told that, under capitalism, when unemployment is low and hundreds of thousands of jobs are being created each month, wages should go up, but they haven't. Under true capitalism, scoundrels who distort the system for their own, petty, short-term gains will be punished, at least in the marketplace and perhaps even by the criminal-justice system. That doesn't happen.
I'll tell you what: I'd rather get gummed to death by socialism than to get dicked by what passes for capitalism these days.
A young friend of mine named Andrew—a rather earnest fellow for his age—asked me, "Is Hillary Clinton really the best the Democratic Party has to offer?"
I answered, "No, of course not. BILL Clinton is the best the Democratic Party has to offer, but he can't run."
Here's how you can tell whether all the TrumpCruzRubio stupidity has sent you around the bend. If you sincerely believe that any of the Republican candidates could defeat Bill Clinton, then you, too, have lost your damn mind.
A while back, when computers were first coming into their own, they used to have imaginary (computerized) match-ups between sports teams. What would happen if the 1927 Yankees, with Ruth and Gehrig, played the 1965 Dodgers, with Koufax and Drysdale? I've always wondered what would happen in Bill Clinton ran against Ronald Reagan. That would be fun to watch.
Here's one of those "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree" insights as to why poor Andrew is the way he is. When he was in high school, he once told me that he was "a fiscal conservative." I laughed so hard that it felt like I developed a kidney stone. I tried to explain to him that the only thing that a high-school kid should be conservative about is what (and whom) they allow inside their body.
So yes, I'll vote for Bernie next week and for Hillary in November. She's not great, but at least she's not a vulgar, racist blowhard ... or, even worse, Ted Cruz.