The Best Concession Speech

I still don’t know which way to go in this Democratic Primary season, but with baseball starting soon, I’d better make a choice before I become distracted.

But not today.

Funny, though, how Bernie won New Hampshire going away and—three days later—he’s the one struggling to keep his head above water. It isn’t surprising though. Bernie does have plans, but no real way of effecting them—at least none that he has shared other than a plan to tax the wealthy. But wealth is a relative term, and it might be difficult to place it within certain parameters.

I read an editorial today in which the writer pointed out that in Wisconsin (for instance) Bernie’s free college initiative would cost the state tens of billions of dollars: it’s the same state in which its governor, union killer Scott Walker, has just slashed $800 million from public funds. Something doesn’t add up, and I’m afraid the same might be said for other Sanders plans.

Another commentator talking about the primary in general noted that the idea of electing a woman president has faded because, he said, we think we’ve already done it. Obviously we haven’t, but Hillary ran in 2008 and seems to have been running again since 2012, so maybe in our psyches she’s already held office. She hasn’t, and I’m curious why women themselves haven’t become more vocal. I hear things like “I’m not going to vote for her just because she’s a woman.” Why the hell not? How many men have you voted for just because they were men? Oh, sure they were one of the two major parties’ nominees, but how often were you really enthusiastic about the choice? How many times would you rather have voted for a woman?

I’m not bailing on Bernie—though that would make nice Hillary t-shirt—but I’ve been looking past Bernie’s feel-good speeches and a little more deeply into his policies. I’m not sure if they hold up, or if he has a world view other than a philosophical one. Let’s take power away from Wall Street sounds good as a rallying cry, especially since 2007 is fresh in our minds. But then where do we place that power. Do we give it back to the people? Sounds good, but if we do, does that include the people who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge? I don’t like those people; in fact, I don’t like them even more than I don’t like Wall Street.

Hillary’s so-called concession speech in New Hampshire raised some eyebrows. She laid out a policy filled with specifics and strategies: she was absolutely in control, and has been since. Of course Madeline Albright did her no favors, nor did Gloria Steinem, but neither one of them was exactly wrong.

There’s a long way to go, and I’ll be doing a lot more waffling before November. But if Bernie peaked in New Hampshire—and that’s a distinct possibility—then this whole primary gig may be closer to being over than we think.

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Chuck Radda

I'm a former high school English teacher, currently a literacy volunteer and novelist. I invite your responses right here or to chuckradda@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook and on Twitter—where I tweet annually at @chuckrad45.

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