I’ve been a registered Independent for decades,

but I do openly acknowledge a left leaning on many topics.  That said, the first sitting politician to really inspire me was Rudy Giuliani.  His leadership during the 9/11 aftermath was nothing short of Churchill and had my deepest respect and admiration.  Had he not gone off the deep end of some unknown pool of crazy in the time since, I would still be a huge fan and supporter of his.

Obama was also very inspiring to me and I did vote for him, twice.  The first time, filled with hope and inspiration; the second time, mainly not wanting Romney but still hopeful that since the re-election was out of the way Obama would finally start making good on his campaign promises.  His two terms have been the most disappointing Presidency of my lifetime.  I think it’s a safe bet to say that a lot of people would probably agree.  He was supposed to lead us out of the mess that the Bush administration left us in and undo the outrageous policies they enacted.  To say that he got cozy and snuggled in with all of that instead would be an understatement.

Hillary Clinton claims (at least on the days when she’s not throwing Obama under the bus) that she intends to continue his policies.  I don’t doubt that; the Clintons likely had some influence in shaping them.  That’s the problem.  What have any of them done for the overwhelming majority of Americans?  Nothing.  Not a damn thing.  The unconscionable and perpetual wars overseas continue on.  The poor and the middle class get to go over and be killed and permanently maimed in the wars under the banner of patriotism, but that’s a tragedy that is never really talked about in the news.  What is the body count now?  What is the updated permanent injury count?  Why don’t all of us know that?  It ought to be on the nightly news, every single night.  Instead, it appears that all the candidates but one, Bernie Sanders, will not only continue, but will increase, our military involvement overseas.

Minimum wage, adjusted for inflation, would now be close to $22 per hour, had it kept pace from when it started.  Why don’t most people know that?  More importantly, why are those who do know it okay with that?  My niece, who is normally a sweet girl, recently posted some very nasty things on Facebook, dripping with disdain and disgust, about how minimum wage workers need to develop some skills and education if they want to be worthy of $15 per hour wages.  I see things like that a lot on Facebook, posted by people who ought to know better.  Why are people so cruel and so utterly lacking in compassion for the poor?  The short answer is that the poor are easy and vulnerable targets and they always have been, always will be.  That collective attitude really needs to change.  “Minimum wage” is a wage deemed as “minimum” for the poorest among us to live on.  Adjusted for inflation that wage would be nearly $22 per hour right now.  It is currently $7.25.  That’s 1/3 the amount deemed “minimum”.  People working full-time on minimum wage qualify for food stamps and Medicaid, and I think it’s outrageous for anyone working full-time to be that poor.  Not everyone is destined for high wage careers, or able to pursue advanced academic education, but ALL hard working people should be entitled to respect and dignity.  Yet $15 per hour is pie in the sky to a lot of people, and incremental increases to reach $12 within a few years should suffice according to Hillary Clinton.  This is the same person who makes $225,000 per hour giving speeches that we’re not supposed to ask about to Wall Street bankers.  She’s looking out for us?  With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Aside from the economic and foreign policy issues that are so important to me, there are many other things about a potential Clinton presidency that really disturb me.  The Democrats want to downplay the email server scandal, but I happen to think that it’s a very big deal.  National Security is a very big deal and I do believe that she compromised ours.  Ignoring Federal laws for your own secretive purposes is a very big deal and I do believe that she did just that.  Mrs. Clinton’s utter disregard for anyone or anything that doesn’t suit her convenience is very disturbing.  Her judgment is very much in question, and I see example after example of how her arrogance and sense of entitlement has been detrimental to the rest of us.  She seems to think that she’s absolutely entitled to be the first woman US President and that she is justified by whatever means to accomplish that.

I remember very well what a national embarrassment both of the Clintons were in the 1990s.  It is my opinion that they aren’t worthy of being in the White House again.  I don’t think that anyone under Federal investigation should even be eligible to run for President, and the fact that all of her scandals are being glossed over and minimized only spells doom for the rest of us.  The system is very corrupt and anyone beholden to it cannot be counted on to help people outside of it.

Bernie Sanders is a once in a lifetime candidate who should be embraced by a grateful public.  He has the courage to stand up to all the corruption and a sense of integrity that believes everyone, including the poor, has a basic human right to dignity and a decent standard of living.  His pursuit of higher office isn’t to enrich himself or proclaim himself the anointed one; he takes this on for others.  I am proud to support him and to tell my kids why I do support him.  As a Pennsylvania resident, I have even changed my voting registration to Democrat just so I can vote for him in the Primary next week.  And yes, I will be returning to my Independent designation very soon and I doubt that I will see the need to change it again in my lifetime.  I have no desire to be associated with either the Democrat or Republican parties.

The people who think that Bernie supporters should just fall in line behind Clinton if she gets the nomination really do miss the point entirely.  They’re not interchangeable.  They’re not on the same page.  They’re not even in the same book.  I will never vote for Hillary Clinton and that has nothing whatsoever to do with Bernie Sanders or any blind allegiance to him.  It has everything to do with Hillary Clinton and the person who I believe she is.  There isn’t anything Bernie could say to change my mind and I would actually lose some respect for him if he tried to.  I’m not afraid of President Trump and I do believe that he will win if she is the nominee.  Career establishment politicians have been in charge for the past five decades of my life.  They, and the horse they rode in on, can turn around and go back to wherever they came from.  Good riddance!

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