LET IT ALL OUT

Posted in Rants on July 26th, 2016 by Ed

I'm getting to the point of personal overload on this election and hoped to take a little break for some different topics this week, but who am I kidding. So, quick roundup of Day 1 of the DNC.

This was well-scheduled. Give the first night to Sanders and Sanders supporters. He gave a terrific speech, as did Michelle Obama. Elizabeth Warren, meh. She had a zinger or two. But that address gave me a little more insight on what her potential limitations as a presidential candidate could be. She, like Barack Obama, has a Professor Mode. She's more of a lecturer than a "Let's go burn this motherfucker down" orator. She didn't do badly. It was just "meh."

Sanders insisting on a roll-call vote for the nomination is irrelevant. If that formality makes his supporters feel a little better, great. The outcome is the same whether the vote is counted or done by acclimation. Nothing gives any candidate the right to be elected by acclimation, so there's zero benefit to pushing for it.

And this is the part where I'm going to try very hard to be Good. To be Nice.

The more I listen to them, the more it's clear that the fundamental disconnect between Sanders supporters who will vote for Hillary and Sanders supporters who will not vote for Hillary is not an ideological one. It is a difference in worldview. And while not all of the "No Hillary" Sanders supporters are young, they seem to share in common a worldview that is often stereotypically ascribed to "millennials" (if that term even means anything anymore). There have been moments in my career dealing with college students in which I've been left speechless – you can appreciate how rarely I'm unable to fill the air around me with words – by their worldview. It's not a liberal-conservative thing, it is the apparent expectation that the world somehow has to make itself appealing to them. For example, I've had exasperating conversations with students who refuse to accept their only job offer because it either doesn't pay them what they have decided they're worth or it isn't "fun" enough for them. And I ask them sincerely, "So do you expect to just wait until the job market gives you what you'd like it to give you?" And you'll have to take my word on this: Some of them say yes. Some of them really do move back in with mom and dad and not work at all for years – years – waiting for something they think is worthy of them to come along. And of course it never does.

The "No Hillary" people they interviewed on MSNBC may have been cherry picked, but the ones that didn't sound dumb as a post expressed a large, visible amount of frustration with this process and with the fact that the choices available to them are unpleasant. People feel this kind of frustration all the time in all areas of their lives. The thing I just do not understand though – and here is the unbridgeable divide – is why they feel that if the choices don't please them, then they can refuse to make a choice until they get one they feel is worthy of them.

Nobody has to vote. The Sanders people are not in any way obligated to vote for Hillary Clinton or at all. Similarly, the students who don't like the jobs they're offered are free to refuse and wait for something else to come along. However, in both cases they seem destined to learn the hard way that refusing to do anything that you're not over-the-moon enthusiastic about doing is not an effective way of bringing better options to the table for the future. I just feel sorry for anyone whose approach to any part of life, including politics, is "I'm devastated if I don't get exactly what I want." God almighty, life must be one crushing disappointment after another to a person with that attitude. There are a handful of Hillary loyalists who really super-duper love Hillary Clinton, but they are a distinct minority. As with any other candidate, most people who plan to vote for her just like her better than the other options. Nobody promised us a rose garden. Sometimes you make a choice you don't love because you admit to yourself that the alternatives are worse. Is anyone reading this really excited about getting up and going to work tomorrow? I bet not. But you're going to do it – we're all going to do it – because it's the best choice we have at the moment.

To people whose worldview precludes that, politics, and I daresay a lot of other parts of life, is indeed bound to be extremely disappointing and frustrating.