Partially because I could. Oregon makes it dead easy to be a lazy voter. You don't have to actually go anywhere or do anything other than open your ballot, fill in the little bubbles (or write in "I.P. Freely" if you don't feel like voting for any of the many unopposed candidates on the damn thing), then lick it closed and dump it back in the mail. Or, if like me you're too goddamn cheap to stick a postage stamp on it, toss it in one of the big blue-and-white democracy dumpsters dotted around the city.
But partially because I just really couldn't get too excited about Exercising the Franchise.
I tried to work up some enthusiasm for this year's election. There were fifteen - fifteen! - candidates for mayor of Portland including someone who was identified on the ballot sheet as "The Ack".
There were a couple of tax proposals - a gas tax and a boost to the property tax for our historical society - that I wanted to pass.
The ballot was remarkably free from the sorts of loony sonsofbitches I complained about back in 2013. Which is good, don't get me wrong. But which isn't really very exciting.
And there was the Democratic primary.
Early on in the process I went to one of the Sanders' get-togethers. I call it that because that was really all it was; there was nobody from the Sanders campaign staff there, and no real organizers from the local party apparatus. There was at that time no physical Sanders campaign office in Portland; indeed, the Portland office finally opened weeks after the one in Eugene, apparently due to a lack of college students or something.
I like Sanders' platform of economic equity and geopolitical caution, so I thought I might see if there was anything I could do to help. I put my name down on the volunteer list, and waited.
And waited...and waited.
Finally the Sanders campaign contacted me. To see if I wanted to...phone people in Iowa.
That was the theme of the following several months. The Oregon Sanders campaign came looking for people to go on a road trip to Ohio, or to call voters in Arizona, or to mail fliers to South Carolina. Nobody bothered to see if the guy with the bad temper and the sore hip and the limited non-working free time wanted to campaign in his own state.
Until, finally, they did. By which time, I'd had a chance to meet and talk to people like this...
"...if Sanders does not win the nomination. Will the supporters he’s energized show up for Clinton?...and I'm sorry. These people are goddamn fools.
Ditlefsen said she’s hasn’t made up her mind yet. “I don’t even want to say that I would consider Donald Trump,” she said. Rather, she said, a Trump win could somehow advance Sanders’ agenda. “Possibly if Donald Trump was elected, maybe he gets impeached for doing some crazy thing. And maybe not,” Ditlefsen said. “Maybe we just realize after four years that we need to jump into this political revolution.”
Handing the United States to a real estate shyster and his petty fascisti won't "advance Sanders' agenda" of income equality and financial regulation, and only a political mouthbreather would think so. But I kept hearing a LOT of this bullshit from Sanders' people here. "Crooked Hillary" and how superdelegates were an Illuminati-confirmed scheme to steal the nomination. "Bernie-or-Bust"; how a true populist revolutionary would never, never stoop to compromising with Wall Street Hillary's corporatist agenda.
I wanted to hear Sanders' talk more about his ideas for his administration's energy policy, his foreign policy, his fiscal policy. I wanted to hear how he'd govern faced with a Congress filled with shit-flinging Republican monkeys whose entire agenda consists of Lurvin' Jesus, Lickin' Guns, and Hittin' Homos.
Instead I kept hearing the same thing this guy did:
"All candidates repeat themselves. But this one seemed truly engaged only by his economic message. When he discussed other subjects — racial inequality, foreign policy, the environment — he seemed to many to be going through the motions for a few minutes until he could return to his billionaire-bashing theme. A Washington wag (some said it was Vice President Joe Biden) said, “Every sentence in a Bernie Sanders speech is a noun, a verb, ‘Wall Street.’”and I wasn't impressed. I ended up deeply unimpressed with Sanders.
A lot of Oregonians disagree with me. More than half Felt the Bern, and Sanders took the majority of Oregon Democratic delegates.
(I pause to note that Il Douche swept the state, which merely reiterates what I've told you before; Oregon is caricatured as "Portlandia", land of the hipster, but is in fact two deeply different places. The "blue" parts are damn blue. But the "red" parts a blood-red. There are few GOoPers as goopy as the Oregon shitkicker variety, whether from the deepest hinterlands of Malheur County to the wanna-be-hinterlands outside Oregon City.)
The Oregon primaries are over. My gal Sarah Iannarone came in a fairly distant third in the mayoral race. At least the gas tax and the OHS levy passed. And now we have a whole summer to look forward to hearing about...
Donald Trump's penis.
Fucking hell. Just kill me now.