I have been wakeful of presidential elections given 1948, when my mother, pushing my sister, hermit and me home from St. Leo’s School, listened on a radio that Dewey had conceded to President Harry Truman.
“That can’t be!” she exclaimed, reflecting a common end that New York Gov. Thomas Dewey was a tighten to prevail. But approbation it was, and a play of that choosing kindled a low adore in me for elective politics.
Two years after we had my initial confront with a live politician. As predestine would have it, it was U.S. Senate claimant Richard Nixon. we was visiting my grandfather during his multiple Texaco gas hire and hardware store in Lafayette, Calif., about 10 miles easterly of my home in Oakland. We listened a voice on a loudspeaker beckoning a folks to hear from Rep. Nixon. This was a famous Senate choosing of 1950 where Nixon degraded Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas, a initial Democratic lady to win a House seat, with a classical red-baiting debate that was eventually successful. Nixon had won his House chair in 1946, violence Democratic Rep. Jerry Voorhis in his initial oppressive and sour campaign. It would not be his last.
I swayed my grandfather to concede me to cranky a travel and see what was happening. After a prolonged wait, another automobile temperament loudspeaker horns and intoxicated with Nixon signs pulled adult during a small park in downtown Lafayette. Out stepped Richard M. Nixon in cloak and tie. He took a microphone and, for a life of me, we can't remember a word he said, yet we was star-struck in a participation of an tangible famous person.
Returning home after that day we described a arise to my not-impressed mother. “I don’t trust Nixon,” she said, “his eyes are too tighten together.” She pronounced a same thing in 1952 when a family watched as clamp presidential carefree Nixon gave a “Checkers speech” that helped Nixon equivocate removing dumped from a GOP sheet headed by Dwight Eisenhower.
Mother, of course, was prescient.
She and my Republican father voted for Adlai Stevenson. And my cousin Keith and we worked a neighborhoods handing out Stevenson fender stickers and hung around a Oakland Democratic domicile examination a phone bank frenzy with eyes widened.
I was bending for life. Or was.
The choosing of 2016 is though doubt a darkest, dirtiest, many inhuman and outrageous one of my lifetime. we have run out of “d” words, yet maybe mortal and delusional should be added. The elective complement we have famous for time ancient is down, damaged and maybe lost.
Can a improved one be salvaged? The answer in an undeniable “maybe.”
Here’s what we face: a debate appropriation disaster brought on by a Supreme Court of a United States of America. Jane Mayer’s new book, “Dark Money,” describes in abounding fact how a Koch family is trying, with shocking success, to criticise and mishandle a apart powers of government, not only in Washington, D.C., though in state capitals as well.
Next we have a contemptible state of congressional redistricting. we exuberantly determine with a transformation led by former New York Times contributor and Pulitzer Prize leader Hedrick Smith, “Reclaim a American Dream.” He persuasively creates a box for rejecting of a domestic dinosaur famous as gerrymandering. It is one of a categorical roots of immorality in politics. As used by Republicans and Democrats alike, it is astray and undemocratic. There are carefree signs in many states that a energy of redistricting can be taken from a manipulators and put in a hands of responsible, inactive adults — not a pols.
My crony and former co-worker Mike McCurry has a vital oppose with this grounds — namely, that it competence be too late to repair politics by addressing fraudulent congressional (and state legislative) maps. His indicate is that Americans are now congregating in communities where they feel neighbors share their “values” and mostly their politics. “So even sketch a lines some-more sincerely competence not furnish most change,” Mike told me. “That’s been a knowledge in Arizona, for sure, where an eccentric elect that drew lines did not make most of a difference.”
Proof that Americans are apropos some-more polarized is a proliferation of electorate who go into a voting booths and only lift a levers for true party-line tickets.
So what’s a answer? Here, Mike and we agree. We need leaders who will step adult and do what’s right. And that’s what brings me make to a gloomy state of U.S. politics, circa 2016.
One of a clearest signs of domestic dysfunction is reflected by opinion and diffidence of immature Americans to attend in a contaminated complement we have today. Tepid choosing audience in a United States is annoying subsequent to that of other democracies. Our voting procedures are archaic. Why on a Tuesday? Why not keep polls open on Saturdays and Sundays? Why rest on machines that mostly mangle down and choosing officials who are deeply partisan? (See Florida in 2000.)
The conjecture that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is deliberation a billion-dollar privately saved eccentric run reflects a notice that a stream aspirants for a presidency are fatally flawed. He is not alone. I envision a record low audience no matter who wins a nomination.
If Donald Trump indeed prevails, we can hear by 94-year-old mom cheering — for a second time — “That can’t be true!”
Bob Neuman writes for Pundit Wire. He is a former communications executive for a Democratic National Committee and served as arch of staff for Rep. Morris K. Udall, D-Ariz.