by Joe Courter
This seems to be the election no one is enjoying.
For younger people Hillary was not who caught their attention and devotion, it was Bernie. Her presence has been a constant in their lives, and with that a constant whine of criticism and investigations. Bernie was the new thing; full of optimism and ideas that would hold real benefits to their lives. For older Democrats, there was a certain inevitability to her campaign that did not inspire. As a woman she brings a valued perspective, she is very intelligent and skilled, but she’s a hawk on foreign policy. Kissinger? Negroponte?
And now, with Trump as her chief opponent, there are those creepy pictures of the Trumps and Clintons hanging out together, and the feeling that we have slipped into an oligarchy, which in truth we as a country largely have been for years, but it just seems so blatant now.
Many of us, and Bernie himself, feel that the only viable choice is to keep Trump out and elect Hillary, to keep up those hopes and dreams the Bernie campaign inspired in us and turn that into a movement for change, and try to retake Congress this time, in 2018 and in 2020. This will take work and commitment, and for so many people who are so busy in their lives just trying to survive — to pay their bills, deal with work, their kids, their health — it is not something to feel fired up about.
On the Republican side, they are snared in a trap of their own making. Through cultivating a propaganda attack machine with Fox News and talk radio, they now have as their candidate a barely controllable con-man egomaniac. Using his celebrity status and a demeaning, bullying style, he blasted through the primaries, with the people whose world view was shaped by the propaganda of fear and hate falling in line behind him. The haters are a minority, but they have always been out there, and still will be after the election. THEY may actually be enjoying this, but mainstream Republicans are cringing at what’s become of their party.
I am not sure what Libertarians enjoy, but Gary “What’s Allepo” Johnson can’t be making them happy. And the Green Party Jill Stein supporters are not happy that a big groundswell of Bernie people have not fallen in line with their candidate. We unfortunately live in a system for now designed to keep a two-party system in power, and that will not miraculously change in the next 40 days. Many Bernie people are realistic enough to know that, and theirs is a heart and head choice in November. Personally, I don’t think we can chance a Trump win, and a third party vote in a close state is reckless.
So what’s to enjoy?
Well besides enjoying the best month of weather Gainesville has to offer we can try: Trying to knock out Ted Yoho. Passing Wild Spaces, Public Places. Getting with Marihelen Wheeler’s grassroots campaign. Voting YES to marijuana for symptom relief. We are in a climate of fear and frustration with the political process, with so little enthusiasm, which could mean low voter turnout. The consequences of that would not be good. Whether early vote, absentee vote, or going in on election day, please vote and make sure your friends do too. It matters.
A final word. Thirty years ago Jenny Brown and I produced the first Gainesville Iguana. It was meant to bridge between the Central America Solidarity Movement, the Quakers peace community, and the Humanists of Gainesville by combining their mailing lists for a newsletter.
Now here we are, and here I am still at it. Thank you to all; readers new and old, subscribers, advertisers, patrons of our advertisers, and everyone who has helped stuff envelopes, stick address labels, written for us, helped distribute, made donations, attended benefits, played at benefits, etc., etc.
Come to IguanaFest Oct. 15 and you will be in good company appreciating what this little paper has done. What would we be without readers?