Blog, Politics

From One Cranky Old White Guy To Another Cranky Old White Guy: Why I’m Not Voting For You Bernie

Originally published June 6th, 2016 on Huffington Post

I admit it. I’m a cranky old white guy.

I’m used to getting my way. All the time! And when I don’t, I become visibly nasty.

I’m used to being the “smartest guy in the room.” Which of course, I always am! All rooms, any room!

I’m not voting for you Bernie principally because I don’t want another cranky old white guy pretending to be charge of things when he really isn’t and won’t be in charge of anything. You’ll just further the dysfunction.

It’s easy to make all kinds of pronouncements, many with which I happen to agree, but have no hope whatsoever of ever getting implemented, at least not in my remaining lifetime, or yours for that matter. This is especially true of someone who hasn’t accomplished much in Congress despite being there for an awfully long time. You just plain alienate too many people. We already have too much acrimony. We don’t need more.

I especially don’t like it that in your debates with Hillary, all the while she is speaking, you constantly wag your hands distractingly and even make faces when she says something that you don’t like. This really shows what a cranky old white guy that you really are.

In short, you get on my nerves!

Yes, I’m a Hillary supporter. I think she’s smart (actually smarter than Bill), extremely knowledgeable about national and international affairs, has well thought-out policy positions, was well liked as a Senator by both sides of the aisle, and performed well under very difficult conditions as Secretary of State. This is spite of the fact that the Republican hate machine has for years done everything they could to destroy her. By not taking their bait on the Benghazi hearings, she literally drove the Senate Republicans crazy. Unlike us, she can be cool under pressure.

I give you enormous credit for promoting a Progressive agenda that this country needs desperately and for pushing Hillary to the Left. But I worry that if you and your supporters don’t get behind her as soon as possible—indeed, starting right now!—you will help elect Donald Trump, one of the worst nightmares imaginable.

I know that it’s hard for cranky old white guys to listen and to take advice from one another. Maybe we could learn to do it. It’s never too late to change. But then we wouldn’t be so cranky.

It’s really hard to give up something that has served us well for so long. But has it really?

Blog, Media + Politics, Politics

The Black/White Thinking of Bernie Sanders

Originally published February 6, 2016 on the Huffington Post

The rumblings of the Republican candidates are so demented that they warrant little comment. The Democrats are another matter.

I find myself increasingly annoyed by Bernie Sanders. Who gave him the sole right to define who and what is and isn’t a Progressive?

I grew up in a family that was impoverished in every conceivable way: financially, mentally, and physically. “Poor” doesn’t begin to describe the terrible conditions that gnawed at us daily.
Because I was a smart kid, worked hard, and the costs of an education at one of the best public universities in the world were essentially nil, I ended up becoming well-off. Should I therefore feel ashamed that, because of my expertise, I am able to charge good consulting fees for my services from some of the world’s leading corporations?

As someone who grew up in abject poverty, I’m proud of the fact that I now make good money. I’m even more proud that more often than not, I tell organizations what they don’t want to hear, namely what they need to do to make things safer for their workers and their surrounding communities.

I agree with Republicans that one shouldn’t feel ashamed for doing well financially. But that’s where my agreement ends. I believe fervently that those such as myself who have done well should pay much more in taxes than we currently do. I want those who are poor to have the same opportunities to succeed that I had. In this regard, I’m in strong agreement with Senator Sanders.

But this is also where I disagree strongly with Senator Sanders. I not only find his contention that Secretary Clinton cannot be both a Progressive and a Moderate a premier case of faulty thinking, but deeply offensive. Since one can certainly be a Progressive on social issues and a Conservative on financial matters, being a Conservative and a Progressive is not necessarily a fundamental contradiction in terms. Why then is it an inherent contradiction, not to say somehow “bad,” to be both a Progressive and a Moderate? To believe that it’s a contradiction is black/white thinking at its worst.