Deciding Elections Via Polls Rather Than Deciding Them At The Polls

A Word About Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

By Ken K. Gourdin

Blogger Cody Ray Shafer opined on deciding elections via polls rather than deciding them at the polls. Here are his thoughts on the matter (last accessed July 26, 2016): http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peculiarpeople/2016/06/the-weak-shiver-of-an-uninspiring-democratic-process/.

I responded:

We would, no doubt, be on opposite sides of the aisle if we were members of the same representative assembly, but I think your take on Clinton-v-Sanders was interesting. I’m disheartened that so many Republicans now have taken a “He-may-be-an-SOB-but-dammit-he’s-our-SOB” approach to supporting Mr. Trump, particularly since Mr. Trump’s criticism of so many of those who are now kissing his ring was so vitriolic, so vile, so vulgar, and so personal (beyond the pale even in the knock-down, drag-out, take-no-prisoners arena of political “discourse,” such as it is, in an election year). I lost respect for Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, in particular, over their endorsements of Mr. Trump. (“But he’s completely different in private than he is in public,” Dr. Carson has said. Oooh-kay … and that’s supposed to be some sort of virtue, some kind of an asset? Some people, in the throes of a lapse of decorum and corresponding attack of brutal honesty, might call that being two-faced.)

It’s true that, if one cannot win an election, from a purely practical standpoint, one’s principles might not matter much: only winners effect policy. As Mr. Obama so relished reminding his vanquished foes, “I won,” leaving unspoken what he clearly saw as the chief implication of his victory: “Anyone who thinks I’m open to negotiating over any part of my agenda is in for a rude awakening.” On the other hand, even winners will be faced with the prospect, sooner or later, of trying to look themselves in the eye in the mirror without regret, so winning is hardly the only thing that matters.

Even if I would be tempted to disagree, from a political and/or a policy standpoint, with every word that comes out of Senator Sanders’ mouth, there is nothing calculated or conniving about his positions: he says it, and he says it how he says it, because he believes it, not simply because it will curry favor with this group or with that group. Mrs. Clinton, conversely, hasn’t had an unpolled or a non-focus-group approved thought in at least 30 years. I respect Senator Sanders for the courage of his convictions; Mrs. Clinton wouldn’t know anything about such courage if it bit her in the netherregions.

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About kenngo1969

Just as others must breathe to live, I must write. I have been writing creatively almost ever since I learned to write, period! I have written fiction, book- and article-length nonfiction, award-winning poetry, news, sports, features, and op-eds. I hope, one day, to write some motivational nonfiction, a decent-selling novel, a stage play, and a screen play.
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