Feel the Bern?

Yesterday evening, while walking back from Trader Joes, I noticed a sweet older couple loading their groceries in their car.

“I like your bumper stickers!” I said, though, it initially seemed like they didn’t hear me.  Their car was adorned in BERNIE 2016 paraphernalia, one of a growing number of Berniemobiles in my neighborhood.

After a few seconds, the owner popped out around her car and shared her hope for Bernie.  Then her eyes narrowed.  She shifted her stance, her voice grew stern, and she sharply stated:

“It can’t be Hillary.  I DO NOT LIKE HER.”

Her vitriol took me by surprise.  She was obviously a liberal voter, yet, her tone of disgust was beyond anything I’ve heard from progressives.  After growing up in Irvine, I’m familiar with Hillary disdain, though, it was always generated by conservatives.

While unexpected, I totally invited her response by mentioning the stickers.  I do love Bernie Sanders, the Berniementum, and the fact he has absolutely elevated the most pressing issue of our time: serious economic inequality. On the issues, he gets it.  After seeing him speak about rising senior poverty and our dire need for improved long-term services and supports, I don’t doubt he’s an expert and prepared to lead.

Yet, a year-ish from the primary, I’m 90% sure I’ll vote for Hillary.  The main reason is elect-ability and the importance of having a Democrat in the White House.  The second is experience-I value a leader with her depth of service. Yet, the Trade Joe’s conversation and Hillary-angst among progressives is concerning. Sure, it is important to have a candidate who may draw moderates away from Republicans.  But what at what cost? What’s the cost: benefit of a candidate who attracts some swing voters but ensures progressives stay home?

The stories of Game Change and Hillary’s 2008 collapse loom large in my mind when thinking about the 2016 candidate. Thankfully, the world is far different today than 2008, and imagine Hillary, and her team, are sharper and more focused.

For me, there’s no real conclusion to this reflection-just jotting down early thoughts on this election.

Searched for a photo of Bernie and Hillary, and this popped up. Don’t really know what else to say about Hillary v Bernie, so I’ll just end with a little Matt Damon :)

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Filed under Oakland, Observations

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