With apologies to Mark Twain, Democrats are like the weather. Everyone complains about how awful they are but no one does anything about them.
There was a time in my life when I was a registered Democrat. That time ended when I was in Kansas and wanted to vote for a friend in a state House of Representatives primary.
My problem is that I don’t feel comfortable with both feet on either party’s platform. I am pretty conservative on most issues so I register as a Republican, but I can’t handle it when the far right flank of the party stops believing in vaccines and other science. Their willingness to see every gray area as only black or white is also troubling. The hypocrisy on moral and fiscal issues is also hard to handle.
The new Trumpublican Party that refuses to hold its leader responsible for anything from ethical to moral to criminal misdeeds is also a part of the Republican Party with which I don’t associate.
But not being a fan of Donald Trump doesn’t make a person a Democrat.
Hillary Clinton broke some glass ceilings by becoming the first female candidate in a major party, but she wasn’t a great candidate. She wasn’t a great speaker or debater. Even when she was right on message, her delivery and style were problematic.
Most people point to the fact that she lost to a reality television star who was riddled with personal scandals in the general election to demonstrate her weakness as a candidate. But the biggest example of Clinton’s weakness as a candidate is the fact that she normalized and empowered Bernie Sanders as a Democrat.
Now Sanders is back and Clinton is saying she won’t be. That isn’t good for the Democrats. Running as Clinton’s only foil, Sanders built a nationwide campaign structure that none of the approximately 507 other candidates have.
Sanders is not a Democrat. The popular Republican attack on Democrats now is that they are Socialists, but Sanders is only a quasi-Socialist. He likes single-payer, government-run health care, but he also loves capitalism. He writes books that bring him millions. He holds an office that pays him $175,000 a year. Sanders isn’t for government owning the means of production for any industry other than medicine.
Sanders isn’t a Socialist. He certainly isn’t a Democrat. But the Democrats know that if he runs as a 78-year-old opportunist Independent that he really is, he will steal millions of votes from their candidate so they welcome him into their primary.
Trump could be a historically unpopular president who is facing unprecedented legal and policy challenges when he runs. But if history is a guide and recent moves are any indication, the Democrats will find a way to make sure he serves fast food to college athletes for four more years.
Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.