While the activity of this blog has decreased significantly over the last couple of years due to a variety of life events (namely the birth of my first child and work matters), the level of interest in politics and current events has remained the same, if not grown. This blog was started in 2009 as a response to the ridiculous narrative that emerged and dominated conservative politics. I had been a registered Republican and had always viewed my positions as "moderate," maintaining socially liberal views, experimental to moderate domestic policy concepts, and occasionally crossing over with mixed ideas on foreign policy and international relations. I felt that my presence in the party could help "control the crazy" and keep the right-wing Christian xenophobic nut jobs from taking control. During the 2008 campaign I was excited. From my research I was interested in John McCain. I was not quite a fan of Hillary Clinton but Barack Obama was invigorating and presented a fresh new look at the Washington business-as-usual way of doing things. I had hoped for some good debate between McCain and Obama. While I had voted for President Bush in the past, falling victim to the myth of compassionate conservatism, I had started to become disillusioned with the party. I thought McCain had the potential to hit the reset button but it was too late.
He selected Sarah Palin to be his running mate and the rest was history. The Republican party had spiraled into a giant anti-everything party that avoided all rhyme and reason for the sole purpose of maintaining power for those who were already in control. Their attack on everything, labeled as a fight against government overreach, was a lie and they worked to dismantle the fundamentals of society so that they could accumulate wealth and power for the upper echelons of society. To make matters worse, they argued for a Christian nation and wished to impose their religious beliefs upon everyone. I ended up voting for Obama both in 2008 and 2012.
I kept my party affiliation to try and prevent the ridiculous campaigns of candidates like Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney from taking root but the conservative echo chamber was too strong. I looked forward to the 2016 election hoping that the Republican autopsy report would yield more moderate and competent candidates but they failed to materialize. Instead we got nearly two dozen candidates ranging from a ego-maniacal billionaire and narcoleptic neurosurgeon to a delusional corporate executive and yet another Bush. On the Democratic side was the expected run of Hillary Clinton, the hope of a Joe Biden candidacy, and then the eventual announcement of Bernie Sanders.
While I viewed Hillary Clinton as extremely intelligent and qualified, I found her to be very distrustful. I had the impression that all her positions came only after they would test positive in focus groups. Reading about her record, her official statements and policy positions, and her behavior on the campaign trail, I still did not like her but viewed her as the lesser of the two evils. I was hoping for a Biden run but that never happened but then Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy.
Bernie Sanders first showed up on my radar during his nearly nine hour filibuster nearly 6 years ago. After he announced his run I red more about his personal history, his beliefs, and his intentions. His stated goals of his campaign were reminiscent of Obama's 2008 campaign, but where as Obama tried to compromise with Republicans and then eventually got stuck in numerous political quagmires (while eking out some impressive accomplishments), I had found Sanders to be even more ambitious and presented himself as the galvanizing figure the Democratic party was so desperately in need of. Hillary Clinton has framed herself as the cautious defender of the status quo and of Obama's achievements, insisting that if she does not win everything would be dismantled, but her presumption that she would be the nominee had failed to unite the coalition Obama built and which Sanders intended to grow. You also had more independently-minded folks like me, who were essentially kicked out of the GOP for being to moderate or a "RINO."
The proposals made by Sanders made sense. We have tried it the conservative way for nearly 40 years. Republicans have pushed the goal posts far to the right that even Democrats like Obama and Hillary Clinton started appearing to be more like Republicans from the 1970s and 1980s. I had felt that there was no harm in trying other methods and thought that would be the "fiscally responsible" thing to do. Universal health care, free tuition, capital punishment or drug policy reform - all reasonable and important tasks to undertake. While Republicans have built an impressive game on the local level (gerrymandering, court packing, etc.), Democrats seemed to lack the guts and seem to retreat into the defensive in hopes of preserving any gains they may have made, no matter how small. Sanders was proposing much more and that promise to get voters to the polls for a "revolution" of sorts is what we need.
For that reasoning The Midnight Review is endorsing Bernie Sanders for the Democrat primary and 2016 presidential election.