Saturday, June 7, 2008

Just a Horse Race

My father always said it was the difference of opinion which made horse racing possible. I would think how boring it would be without horses. And horse races. Or contests of any kind. It only seems in politics that I am inclined to think, "How stupid are you to think your candidate is better than mine?"

I believe this thinking first was evident during the campaign of Richard M. Nixon. I recognized in him a certain insanity that seemed reflected in the people that fell into what I have come to think of as "mad dog" supporters. Those individuals who will absolutely no listen to reason or hear a single bad think about their candidate. It was shortly after he resigned from office and was pardoned that I fell into voting for the lessor of two evils. I have always voted. But I will admit I seem to vote for losers. Even with horses I might add.

I voted for Gore and for Kerry. I worked on McGovern's staff. Was clean for Gene. Frequently the candidate I most like is eliminated in the primaries like Biden or Richardson. Since I liked him I just knew Obama was going to lose the fight with Hillary. I was rather shocked that he didn't. So having learned something with age I didn't break up marriages or relationships or kiss off friendships over this primary. I have a few friends that are Hillary supporters. Fewer that believe in McCain. I admit I fall back to the, "How can you be so stupid?" gut reaction with avid McCainites.

A Hillary supporter friend of mine was half apologetic following Hillary's non-concession speech on June 3rd. I think she thought I would rub her nose in it. No, that was one horse race. Now we are on to the second horse race. Who do you like in his field? I am finding this rather refreshing actually. Because during the ten year campaign of G. W. Bush it was hostile and all about make wrong. After 9/11 you were either for the dictator or a traitor. We started whispering in corners. And by his second stolen election we were sure we were going to be burned at the stake or hung from the yardarm. I had anti-war friends during the Nixon years that vanished from the face of the earth. I fully expected
it again.

So we have run a long and difficult horse race and we are all still here. Nobody has died or vanished yet. When you live through JFK, RFK and Martin Luther assassinations you start expecting the worst routinely. So far it is just a horse race. And that is good. Now on to the second horse race. Wouldn't it be nice if there was no bloodshed, no cheating, no name calling, nobody dying? Just a race for President of the free world. Wouldn't it be nice if the world was really free.