Some people say they have “an addictive personality.” Why do they have to wrap it up in pretty words? Especially when the fact of the matter is, and you might as well just say it, you are a junkie.
A purveyor of junk. A consumer of junk. Whether that junk be porn or drugs or TMZ or whatever — I think we’re all junkies to some degree, and I have to own my junkie-ness…
For me, I was a junkie who was really into reveling in my own insecurities. I’d throw myself into books and films, which then of course soon threw me into sex and drinking/drugs. I sure as hell couldn’t BE Hunter S. Thompson, but I sure as hell could live like him and pretend like I could write like him. And man, I was on the prowl for that sex and those drugs whenever I could get them. That thing never goes away, but today I feel as if I’ve moved on from that stuff.
But the essence of the junkie is too fill up life with something that gets you off, in some sort of way.
I am a junkie. And now my junkie-ness revolves around politics, in particular, presidential elections. The great horse race to see who will lead the free world. I can trace when I became a junkie for this, and it started back 30 years ago probably, and it’s just gotten worse.
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I was a big Obama supporter back in 2008. I was early to that party. Heck, I emailed him before he announced that he was running for President. I urged him to run. I made a point to explain why, logically, he could win, that the country WAS ready to elect him.
I was a precinct captain for the campaign, and I was heavily involved in the democratic primary vs. Hillary. God we wanted to beat her so much. And the Democratic establishment combined with her campaign people, they were at first bemused by, and then HATED us after Iowa. We were ruining Hillary’s coronation. We called people. I organized people. We called Iowans and New Hampshire-ans, and Nevadans and Georgians and Kansans like mad. I set up meet ups on “myBarackObama.com”. It was fun and I felt compelled to make a difference. And what a battle it was to win the democratic primary (more than the general election.)
I took his primary loss in California personally, even though I was proud that I delivered the votes in my precinct (which polled +15 for Hillary at the beginning of the primary season, and became a +3 Obama win – largely by me convincing LGBT voters to become volunteers, because Obama was on their side, more so than Hillary – I’m glad that at the very least, Obama followed through and has been the most gay-friendly President ever.)
The 2008 democratic primary was the battle to end all battles. For the soul of America. We were either going to change the world, or The Man (in the form of Hillary) would continue to rule over us. It was change that we could believe in, and while I’m not too sure if even Obama himself is pleased with the overall changes that came as a result of his Presidency, one thing I’m sure of is that Obama’s 2008 campaign was a massive amount of work and we were driven to make Barack Hussein Obama the next President.
AND… Yes, we did. Perhaps the most effective and most important campaign team ever assembled. PROOF that the grassroots can win. And I was on the front lines.
And after that, after he won, I thought I was done. Could it really get better? I mean, it’s really all about the horse race for me. And that was the best one.
The rest? What comes after the election? What’s that? I’m probably what’s wrong with America. Because I’m of the opinion that if you elect someone to be a representative, then it’s their job to represent the people’s best interests, not to tell the people, “okay, well done, now it’s on you to make sure that what you want gets accomplished…” which was basically the crux of Obama’s inaugural speech. I was like, Huh? What about you going and doing your job for us, Barack? You know, us, the people who did such an amazing job getting you elected?
Anyway…. here comes 2016. And as a junkie, I’m going to break it down for all ya’ll.
On the Republican side, 3 serious candidates. Bush, Rubio and Kasich. I’d say Bush is 40%, Rubio 35% and Kasich 25%. Very tight. Whoever wins between Bush and Rubio will most likely make Kasich his VP, and if Kasich wins the nomination, he’ll probably pick Bush (if he’d take it) and if not Bush, then probably Christie. Everyone is all pumped up about Donald Trump and Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, but they can’t win. They have zero chance. Yes – ZERO chance. Cruz? Paul? Less than zero chance. Graham, Pataki, and the others? Less of a chance than Cruz or Paul.
Only Bush, Rubio or Kasich give the Republicans a chance at the Presidency, and the party elite know this. Rubio probably offers the best chance to win the general election, a kind of “Republican Obama” that should scare the shit out of the Democrats. It’d be a pretty interesting upset victory, but I think the Republicans are so sick of losing the general election, that I think they’re going to go with Rubio.
On the Democratic side, you’ve got a big favorite: Hillary 2.0. I don’t know. I’m just not excited about this. Still, she’s at least a 2-1 favorite for the nomination. I’d put Bernie Sanders as about a 6-1 shot, and if Biden runs, he’s probably 8-1. After that, I put Martin O’Malley as a 25-1 shot. Not impossible because people will like him, but I think a lot, like everything, has to go just right for O’Malley (even more so than has already happened.) Jim Webb, I’d put him at 60-1, a huge long shot, but if he can impress and inspire the first time he’s seen nationally, far more than the other guys, then who knows? Weirder things have happened (aka Michael Dukakis or Walter Mondale.)
Gun to my head, I have to bet on one, then I’m feelin the Bern to win the Demo nomination. I’d put my money on him and his grassroots team. He’s got the money to compete and a message that the Millennial generation wants to hear (they gravitate toward paternal figures, they sort of latch on to them, because a parent will take care of you, and Millennial’s don’t mind someone else taking care of them, in fact they prefer it.) Bern’s as right on the issues as anyone. You could talk to Bern about music, or films, or beer, or football, and you know it’d be a really good conversation. Can you really say this about Hillary? I’m not saying that this SHOULD be the criteria, but this criteria, to a large degree, IS the criteria, right or wrong.
However – Bern’s a socialist, and that means your key battleground states are going to be VERY tough (Nevada, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania) for him to win in the general.
So if it’s Bern vs. Rubio, Clinton vs. Rubio, Bern vs. Bush, or Bern vs. Kasich, I’m sorry to say it, I think all of those ways, we’re getting a Republican next. If it’s Clinton vs. Bush or Kasich, then I think the Democrats eke out a win.
And I’m going to lap up all of the stories and debates and poll numbers because, yeah…I’m still not over it. I want to see who wins the big horse race for the keys to the free world. I know it’s all just a bunch of junk, because why?
Because I am a junkie…