Looking back over my nearly 70 years on the planet and my more than 50 years of active political engagement, I can see that one word that could neatly sum up my experiences might be “Quixotic.” I run around tilting and windmills and I have a few stashed in case I run out of obvious ones.
My wife agrees. And she’s known me longer than anyone else.
That label is true in most areas of my life, but nowhere is it more accurate than when it comes to politics. Just by way of example, I was a life-long Democrat until this year when I switched to being a Green, which is the most progressive party I can find. I’m still a progressive and I always have been.
Except in 1964. That year, I was living in Chicago where the Dick Daley Democratic Machine owned everything. I was in my element at last. So naturally I joined the Goldwater campaign. I said at the time that I did so because I admired that he was a man of principle even though I didn’t agree with a single principle he espoused.
This is all by way of explaining why, if as anticipated Sen. Bernie Sanders, the self-described Socialist independent from Vermont, tosses his hat into the Democratic Party run for the White House, I will be a solid supporter. Unless, that is, Elizabeth Warren changes her mind and decides to take a shot. In that case, I’m going to have a dilemma on my hands. But just because of his sheer courage in adopting the Socialist mantle, I might tip to Sanders until and unless he is forced by the Establishment to drop out.
The differences for me between the Green and Socialist parties are quite small but there were a couple of planks in the Socialist platform I felt uneasy about. Plus my belief that global climate change is the defining issue of our time internationally matches up more closely with the Greens in their passion. But it would be a close call if Sanders and Warren both offer themselves as candidates.
This article points out why a Sanders candidacy could ultimately be good for the Democratic Party but I don’t honestly care about that or its impact on the “presumptive” nominee, Hillary Clinton, for whom I have no love at all. For me, a leftist candidate might actually have a chance of winning this year if s/he can get the nomination because the GOP has nobody of any stature ready to run. (Seriously; the latest talk is about giving Romney another shot!)
I hope Sanders decides to run.