Practical Magic

There’s something anticlimactic about early voting.  It’s like shopping on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving; sure, you’re getting the job done, but the air of excitement just isn’t there.  Granted, I don’t think anyone has ever stampeded a polling place as soon as it opened on Election Day, but they’re also not selling cheap PlayStations either.

Anticlimactic or not, I went and got the deed done yesterday.  It took all of ten minutes, which belied the amount of thought that went into my eventual decision.  I’d been going back and forth between Clinton and Sanders ever since primary season started.  No matter who gets the nomination, they’re getting my vote; it would take a Republican candidate the likes of which couldn’t get so much as a sniff of the debate stage in today’s political climate for me to consider not voting Democrat.  As long as the GOP stands for regressive social ideals and rampant theocracy, the elephant strolls on without me.  So I’m basically fine with either Democratic candidate coming out on top.

But I filled in the bubble for Hillary yesterday.

It wasn’t without reservations.  I’m not thrilled at the idea of two families holding the White House for 24 out of 32 years.  There are times Clinton comes across as nakedly political.  I appreciate and admire Sanders’ idealism.  But after riding a similarly idealistic wave with Obama for the last two elections, I find myself feeling the need for a little pragmatism.

Sanders talks a lofty game, but I don’t think he fully understands just what an uphill battle so many of his proposals would be.  For instance, he wants to drop the Affordable Care Act and institute a single-payer system.  This in the face of a Congress that has perfected the art of voting to repeal Obamacare.  We’re supposed to believe they’ll be on board with an even more radical proposal?  Titling at windmills can be inspiring, but you eventually have to take a couple of them down or else it’s just words.  And I’m not 100% convinced Sanders has a solid plan beyond the admittedly stirring speeches.

It’s like this:  Sanders is the guy who comes into the locker room before the game and gives the “Win one for the Gipper” speech.  Meanwhile, Clinton has been studying game film, knows the other team’s tendencies, and has gameplanned to beat them.

Maybe I’m getting cynical in my, um, late middle age, but I’ll take Clinton’s efficient pragmatism over Sanders’ lofty idealism.  She just knows how to get stuff done.  I feel like she’d know how to navigate a possibly hostile Congress.  And that her plans would produce more immediate results, as opposed to the way so many of Sanders’ ideas seem to rely on some revolution happening at some indeterminate point in time.  Clinton might be up to her neck in the political machine, but at least she’s our mechanic.

But I’m not going to be upset if Sanders ends up as the nominee.  Like I said a few days ago, this election cycle for me isn’t about inspiration, it’s about making sure the only way the Republicans and their insanity get near the White House is to take the tour.


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