A Few Political Thoughts: 2023 Edition

No matter how much I try to ignore it, I have to face the fact that another presidential election year is staggering toward me, lolling from side to side like some sort of deranged zombie, and I’m just staring at it in horror, unable to move. It’s especially discouraging this year because I have little hope that it’ll be anything other than a mulligan of 2020’s election. If Trump is once more selected by the Republicans as their candidate, I’ll have no choice but to vote against him. That said, I’ve been unimpressed at best with Biden. A trained cocker spaniel would be better than Trump, but that doesn’t mean we have to just go for whatever we’ve got lying around.

I was thinking this morning over my voting record. It really has bounced back and forth, when it comes to presidential elections:

  • 2000: George W. Bush. Didn’t even think twice, mainly because I was 22 and didn’t think twice all that often. Those were the days when I was a staunch Republican.
  • 2004: George W. Bush. See above. Same explanation.
  • 2008: Barack Obama. I was on the fence about McCain. I thought he had the potential to be a good president, but then he went and picked Sarah Palin as his running mate, and any chance I’d vote for him went out the window. It was a colossal failure of judgement.
  • 2012: Mitt Romney. I still think Romney would have been a great president, and I’m disappointed he never got his shot. This was an election cycle where my faith in The System really went down the drain. I knew Romney tangentially. A friend of the family, and a well known church figure in the northeast. The way he was portrayed in the press was very disillusioning, and permanently changed the way I view public figures. At this point, I always remind myself that I don’t know any of them. I only know what I’ve been told. I think in hindsight, people should recognize Romney was the real deal. Yes, perhaps a bit stiff, but genuinely interested in doing the right thing. The fact that he was one of the few to stand up to Trump, and that he’s now bowed out of any further Senate runs, only furthers my opinion of him.
  • 2016: Hilary Clinton. I didn’t view this as a political decision. I viewed it as a moral one. I will never vote for a person as reprehensible as Donald Trump, regardless of ticket. This was a case where I didn’t have to wonder if the press was portraying him unfairly. All I had to do was listen to him speak, and he gleefully showed exactly who he was.
  • 2020: Joe Biden. See above. Same explanation.

There is a very good chance I would have voted Republican all three times I voted Democrat, if only the Republicans could have fielded a ticket I could get behind. Of course, that was back when I had some respect for the Republican party, and it would have implied they would have rejected Trump. Instead, they seem hellbent on picking Trump again, and if they don’t pick Trump again, they seem to want to pick someone about as bad.

When Romney stepped aside, he said “At the end of another term, I’d be in my mid-80s. Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders. They’re the ones that need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in.” I completely agree. Joe Biden is 80 right now. Donald Trump is 77. Age doesn’t preclude people from being outstanding leaders, but our government is making decisions for a future very few members of that government will have to live in. Obama is 62 now. He was 47 when he was elected. More of that, please.

My respect for Biden would spike if he openly acknowledged this and stepped aside. But that’s not a bet I’d take in a hurry. So instead, will we end up with 2020, but with legal proceedings?

I’m going to go back to ignoring this as long as I can . . .

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