406 Days Until the 2016 Presidential Election
(as of September 29, 2015)
Bernie Sanders threw his hat into the Democratic Presidential race along with a couple of lesser known, or rather less publicized individuals. Sanders is a breath of fresh air, especially in comparison to the cookie cutter guys on the Republican side, most hewing to the same ideological line.
Sanders, Independent Senator from Vermont, represents the small state known for its individualistic streak. He has struck a vein of discontent among Democrats discouraged by the slow economic recovery, a deadlocked, difficult to get anything done government, and the behind the scenes way big money influences the political system. The last thing Vermonters want is billionaire industrialists pulling strings and telling them - perhaps more like guiding them without their knowledge - to vote for their candidates. The Koch brothers, two of these mega-wealthy one percenters, along with a tiny minority of other uber-rich, are the 21st century incarnation of the old political bosses who chose candidates in smoke filled rooms.
Sanders does not have much of a chance of actually being sworn in as POTUS in January 2017, but he is an interesting voice of the people. And he scares a lot of Hillary Clinton supporters and undecided Democrats, some of whom want a third big name - Joe Biden - to step up and run.
This primary season is more fascinating than the Bush-Clinton race originally predicted by many political pundits.
I watched the two Republican debates and was underwhelmed. Too many candidates, too little substance, way too much Trump. Rick Perry bowed out of the race, Scott Walker returned to Wisconsin, but there remains double-digit numbers of Republicans vying for POTUS.
Reverence to big money and a hard line against any Obama initiatives has gotten the GOP into a heap of trouble, resulting in non-traditional political candidates Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina. These anti-government, anti-establishment GOPers walk onto the national stage and yell, "I've had enough!" Enough of big money calling the shots, and enough of a do-nothing government. People listen and applaud.
Well thank you Citizens United and the last seven years of the GOP Congressional delegation. The Republican mantra - don't let Obama, and therefore the government, do anything - is wearing thin.
People want government to govern again.
And that will only happen when open minded, less strictly ideological individuals are elected. Government does not work when too many legislators refuse to get along with others. Democratic government is all about attempting to work together, eventually resulting in a meeting of the minds and the dirty word hard line conservatives love to hate - compromise.
Over the past few years we experienced hollow GOP victories that in the short run garner publicity but in the long run prove meaningless.
Now that John Boehner will no longer lead House Republicans, can the GOP get their act together and pass meaningful legislation? And will they be able to unite behind a Presidential candidate able to win a majority of American voters? Stay tuned...