Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Confessions of a Primary Dropout

With the delegate math showing Hillary Clinton as the inevitable Democratic presidential nominee - which the media and the Democratic National Committee ensured long ago, before any Democratic primary or caucus participant cast a single vote - I'm resigned to the fact that neither my first nor second choices for the nomination have worked out.  Since I have only once before supported one Democratic presidential candidate who wasn't a leading contender for the nomination - Bob Kerrey in 1992 - it wasn't until this year that I have come to realize just how unfair the nomination process is when you support a long shot.  Oh, I realized long ago how convoluted and complicated it is, but only now have I realized how unfair it is.  Martin O'Malley, my original choice, never got past Iowa, and all sorts of underhanded trickery at the polls and sabotage on social media groups have slowed the initially meteoric pace of Bernie Sanders, whose candidacy I turned to after O'Malley dropped out of a race he was never really allowed to run in.  I supported Bernie for all the reasons he's running, but part of the reason I supported him was that he is not Hillary.

Note tense.  I'm not supporting Bernie Sanders anymore.  Why not?  It's not because I don't like Sanders now - I still do - but because I am no longer supporting anyone in the New Jersey Democratic primary on June 7, as I have decided to spare myself the trouble, and not vote in the primary, and so not sacrifice my registration as an independent and declare myself a Democrat as required.  This is mainly because I, like Groucho Marx, would not join a club that would have me as member.  But I'm also not voting in the primary because, well, Bernie's licked.  Hillary is the nominee-in-waiting, and the Democratic primary voters in Indiana are likely to ratify that reality today.  Meanwhile, I plan to vote for a third-party presidential candidate in November - but that's another post.
Yeah, my choice for President will lose.  Just like Bernie Sanders is losing to Hillary.  Just like O'Malley lost to everyone - he was the only candidate everyone else joined Donald Trump in ridiculing.  That's okay, I'm used to supporting losers.  I voted for Dukakis in both the primary and the general election in 1988.  And Martin O'Malley, my original choice for 2016, has a history of supporting losing presidential candidates; not only is he a protégé of Gary Hart, he supported Hillary in 2008. And like I, he didn't initially support Bill Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992.  He chose the guy who became first candidate to drop out of the race.
Guess who that was.

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