I’m doing the right thing and voting for Bernie tomorrow in the New York primary–first time since 1992 that my vote will have any impact on the eventual Democratic Presidential nominee! Come to think of it, I voted against a Clinton back then, too!
It seems like I usually support the insurgent candidates over the establishment picks: Kennedy then Commoner over Carter; Jackson over Mondale, Jackson over Dukakis, Harkin and then Brown over Clinton, Nader over Clinton, Bradley then Nader over Gore, Dean then Kucinich over Kerry, Obama over Clinton, H. Only Obama in 2008 won as an insurgent. My only establishment candidate that I supported wire to wire was Obama in 2012.
In the general elections, I ended up voting for the Democratic candidates Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton (in 1992), Kerry and Obama. I voted third party in 1980 (Commoner–Citizen’s Party), 1996 and 2000 (Nader–Green Party.)
I’m excited about the enthusiasm and idealism of the young voters supporting Bernie–and hopeful that his fresh take on policy will continue to move the Democratic Party’s agenda closer to my home turf on the left. All three Democratic Presidents that have won since I became eligible to vote in 1978 paid lip service to the things I care the most about: increasing the ability of unions to organize, dealing with our country’s mass incarceration problem, ensuring that issues of poverty and housing are part of our nation’s political dialogue. Carter (and the economy) was too weak to get anything done, Clinton ran a campaign repudiating traditional liberal values and Obama has delivered on parts of the liberal agenda–but actively explored things such as the sequester and other versions of his perceived “Grand Bargain” with conservatives that would gut traditional New Deal programs (while muttering about liberals’ bad attitudes about the need to sacrifice our values in order to have “bipartisan cooperation in Washington.)
Yes, I will vote for whomever gets the Democratic nomination–because the GOP cannot be allowed to turn back the clock on all the social and economic programs that liberals have championed–and let’s be honest, Republicans would attempt to repeal every program designed to help families, children, women, ethnic/racial minorities, disabled and the poor–passed by Democratic Presidents from FDR through Obama. Oh, and we also have a chance to reverse the conservative influence of the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future!
But tomorrow: I will feel the Bern!