So here’s my conundrum…

WARNING: This is a very, very long and a way TMI post about US politics, serving mostly as a therapeutic discussion between me and my inner political demons. Believe me you, your safest and smartest bet it to just scroll right on by…


So here’s my conundrum…

While I never voted for Dubya, a claim I am very happy and proud and relieved to be able to make — and one which I’ll boldly make whenever the opportunity allows, a la this post — it was at the end of his disastrous presidency that I vowed I would never allow myself to cast a future vote for a member of a political dynastic family.

And that vow of the time of course included and was primarily directed toward Jeb and Hillary… then later, as we got closer to the end of President O’s tenure and the talk of a successor to his movement began to bubble, Michelle.

Of course Jeb’s genetic political ineptness removed him, thankfully, from the discussion…

But as for Hillary and Michelle, it’s not that I don’t think that either have the portfolio of experience and intellect to be president… it’s far from that: I think they would both be formidable presidents.

It’s just that as one who drank the “American Dream and Ideals” Kool-Aid long ago, I am inherently opposed to dynastic privilege and nepotism whatsoever and however slight, and regardless the political sex appeal the family member/heir to the political throne may have.

However… little did I know at the time I made this vow that the Republican Party (a party my own political solution would probably round to if I ever were to do the hard math of me [ Strong National Security(Unbeatable, Agile Military + Highly Sophisticated Intelligence Community) + Aggressive Foreign Policy + Pro Business and Free Trade Policies / Moderate to Liberal Social Policies + Strong Environmental Protection Policies = Kurt (or someone who closely resembles Barack Obama) ]) would morph into Dr. Frankenreagan’s Monster.

The only Republican candidate I would even remotely consider voting for would be Kasich, not because I agree with him — not even sure where he stands on things — but from what I’ve seen of him, he seems like a pretty normal politician; plus, I kind of remember him as a pretty good budget guy as a congressman back in the Nineties – what a great decade that was.

But, it doesn’t matter – Kasich doesn’t have even the remotest chance of winning the Republican nomination and he’s probably staying in the race now just to be someone’s (Trump’s) pick for Treasury Secretary.

So come November, that leaves me only with a vote for the Democratic nominee.

Well, you could vote for a third-party candidate, I hear you saying.

To which I reply – Hell no!

During the 2000 presidential race, because I already knew there was no way I could vote for Dubya, and because Al Gore seemed like such a stale replica of a wannabe political Everyman, I threw my vote away on Ralph Nader.

Had I known how close and dirty the vote would be, and how truly bad Dubya would be as president, I would have had no problem plugging my nose and voting for Gore. To this day, I still regret that third-party vote.

So, like I said, my vote is stuck with a Democrat, like it or not.

And it appears it is going to be… or not.

I have been following Bernie Sanders since he was a congressman — it was easy to do since he has always stood out with his outspoken attitude and exceedingly liberal ways.

If it were not for Trump, I would never even consider voting for Bernie.

To be honest, if it does come down to The Bern and The Donald… I’m not sure what I’ll do.

Which leaves me left with the political, dynastic dynamo of Hillary.

As far as my vow goes… as long as Trump is in the picture, that vow, without a second thought, is expeditiously cast out the window.

However, I am having a very difficult time fully supporting her…

For, you see, she has a lot of weighty baggage holding her down — most of which I could overlook, especially in critical times such as these.

And while I can overlook most of her weighty issues, she does have that one issue that I’m not sure I will be able to overlook.

And it’s the issue of the way she (mis-)managed her emails while Secretary of State.

Now, you’re probably thinking: Personal email servers? Come on, Kurt, forget about it… It’s Donald Trump we’re talking about!

To which I reply: Yes, I understand; however, there is something you probably don’t know about me that needs to be considered when considering this issue of Hillary’s email server problem.

And that is, not only was I in the military for twenty years, I was also a member of the Intelligence Community (oxymoron, I know…) in some capacity (military/DOD contractor) for nearly thirty years.

So the mismanagement of classified information is a pretty big deal for me, as it is for others of my military/IC ilk.

Now, based upon history, I’m sure this email server issue of Hillary’s won’t land her in jail (as it probably would someone of my lowly ilk); nor will it even derail her campaign.

But, when looking deeper into this, I find that this security issue of Hillary’s, when taking her politically dynastic family into consideration — is not just an isolated incident.

While president, Bill Clinton lorded over two serious security incidents similar to Hillary’s: Sandy Berger, his National Security Advisor, was caught removing (and by “removing” I mean stuffing them illegally into his briefcase) classified documents from the National Archives, and John Deutsch, his CIA Director, was caught with classified information on unclassified computers in his home.

Of course, as it always is with the political elite, and as it will be with Hillary, it was brushed under the rug and nothing serious happened to either Berger or Deutsch as a result.

But, it is this pattern of bad, security-related behavior of the Clinton’s and of those whom they reign over, that really concerns me.

And with this, my friends, we reach my conundrum…

As I mentioned earlier, I am proud Kool-Aid drinker of the Grand Ideals of America (while understanding that, while close, America has a way to go before reaching the complete grandeur of these ideals)…

And, to me, one of the basic tenets of this Grand Ideal is that all are treated equally under the law.

And it really pisses me off when the political elite can easily get away with breaking laws that would put us non-political elites smartly in jail.

I get livid when thinking that General Petraeus, the Iraqi War Whisperer and disgraced CIA Director – remember him: sharing classified information with his biographer/lover – has been allowed to retire with all four of his general stars, while respectably earning a very hefty salary teaching at elite universities.

Deep breath…

Big sigh…

So, yeah, considering all that is at stake right now — the soul of my country; my self-sense of integrity and well-being…

Hillary is a very big and dangerous conundrum for me.

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58 Replies to “So here’s my conundrum…”

  1. I can’t vote for Hillary…just can’t do it and not for any of your reasons mentioned, of course…mines not even based on like…important stuff…I can’t stand the idea of Bill Clinton being the “first” First Gentleman. I mean…like come on, really? He was President and embarrassed himself and the nation with his China deals and bomb dropping and sax playing…but he demonized and tried to ruin a young (not ready for the world she was in, still a grown woman) woman…and she (Hilary) stands by her “Man”. Well…he had is time in the Oval office…they are both an total embarrassment to me as a woman, a human and an American. Silly probably…but it doesn’t give me “faith” that she’s a better choice (critical thinking skills…seem to be of flexible, buyable morality) than Sanders who’s been beating the same drum for 30 years. I don’t know how it’ll work out with foreign policy(w/Sanders)…but not them, not any of the rest of them…at least we can try to get things right round again, but not with bought and paid for people, in the South we call that the devil you know. Brave post. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear ya, sister… One of my navy friends served on HC’s communications staff when she was First Lady and he said he had never been around a person of authority who was so mean, vindictive, and potty-mouthed. And remember, this is a sailor we’re talking about here who thinks her mouth was so foul.

      I’m so troubled and confused about all this…

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  2. I can’t vote for the Clinton Dynasty, which I call the Clinton Bush Dynasty, like left and right feet on the same Beast. I’m not a socialist and I don’t care if it is embodied in a kindly grandpa figure of a guy. I guess I’m going to use my vote as a protest and write in John Galt. For a long time now, I’ve been faithful to vote even when I had to choose between the lesser of two evils but if I have to choose between Trump or Hillary/Sanders…the evils I see are Fascism and Socialism and as an American who still loves our forgotten Constitution, I just can’t vote for either.

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      1. There is nothing more maddening than kabooky theatre offered in the place of some much needed solutions. I really think a wall would fix it. A big, huge, high, slippery wall around Imperial D.C. and then we just have to wait as they starve down to a managable size…

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          1. lol! Well…this old lady freaked people out when in frustration, I wrote a poem called “Hey, Mr. Tecalote'” I guess it wasn’t very joyful. Tecalote’ is Spanish for vulture and an ancient expression in New Mexico for the oppressor. The blue skies of New Mexico are dark with them and I guess my poem sounded kind of militant but it makes me feel better to say “Hey, Mr. Tecalote'” with a vow in my heart to remain independent and out last them. One thing I know for sure is they need me more than I need them. I’d like to starve them by not paying taxes but that isn’t safe so, I think a good place for right-minded-liberty-loving Americans to start is in refusing the goodies they bribe us with. We really don’t need so much ‘help’. We’ve good arms and legs of our own.

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  3. I’m not blaming Hillary for Bill’s flaws. I wouldn’t want to be blamed for my husband’s–or have him blamed for mine. I actually think either Clinton or Sanders would be okay. I’m glad we have two reasonable, adult candidates to choose from. I think Sanders is making a mistake using the word “socialist,” but I also think we voters should dig a little deeper and get over some of our more extreme reactions to that word. He’s talking about an economic system like they have in Western Europe.

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    1. Hmm… Well, it’s pretty much common knowledge that Hillary was closely involved with all aspects of Bill’s political career and was a close confidant and adviser to him while First Lady. So while she may not be responsible for her husband’s presidency, I believe she has some culpability in its execution. And Bernie doesn’t just use the word “socialist,” he identifies himself as such. Yeah, I hear ya… I like to think I’ve dug a little bit deeper than just what information’s found on the surface and I’m not completely hung up on the fact that he is a socialist or that socialism is taking over – social programs are inherent to our current system. What worries me about him is that he’s way more liberal than President Obama and the Republicans have already shut down our government over him. I cannot imagine how bad the political turmoil would be were Bernie to be elected. Perhaps it would be irreversibly damaging… Interesting points, K.L. Thank you for sharing them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bernie the socialist does have one advantage–he spent 16 years in the House and 10 in the Senate, so he does know people and he does know how things work there. Nevertheless, if you feel you will never be able to make an honorable voting decision, I heard the people on Cape Breton Island are openly soliciting disgruntled Americans to come live on their island…

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    1. Yeah, but as moderate as President Obama is, his politics are already too far left for the Republicans and they shut the government down for it. I cannot imagine what would happen if Bernie were to be elected president. Irreparable damage to our system, perhaps… if it hasn’t yet reached that point.

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  5. To me, it’s academic, being English, but it’s representing an appalling theatre for me, like a WWE match but the stakes are insanely high. Which isn’t to say that things here are any better or any more civilised. I used to believe that I had answers, but I want power simply over myself and the freedom to exercise my choices in life. I want systems that minimise the harm and maximise the opportunity, but I have no idea how to achieve them.

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    1. Write them systems into reality, I guess. I used to chuckle condescendingly at the French whenever I used to read about their national nightmare of an eternal nutjob, Le Pen… What goes around just about always comes back.

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          1. Trump speaks plainly and passionately. He’s the endgame of Republican party politics, the equivalent of the scene in Jurassic Park when the raptors figure out how to open the doors. Kasinich, Huntsman all sane and sober intelligent and thoughtful men who never get the nod. The notion of a statesman, who just does enough to keep the country running, seems antiquated now. This is the most I’ve spoken about politics in ages.

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          2. And I hope you do not stop as yours is a thoughtful and compelling speaking. Unfortunately, such thoughtfulness and intrigue are barely able to be heard over the ear ringing blather drowning all reason and sanity out these days, and when it is, it is rarely listened to… Sigh.

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        1. I’ll assume you’re joking because I simply cannot imagine anyone with even a tinge of compassion or reason – which poets typically overflow with… well, at least with the compassion – would even consider supporting the hateful and nonsensical blather that spews from Trump’s mouth.

          However, it has happened…

          Ezra Pound supported fascism… but he ended up in a mental institution.

          Knut Hamsun supported Hitler… and he ended despised and reviled by history.

          So, while my Christian upbringing informs me to “hate the sin, not the sinner”…

          I could never be accused of being a model Christian.

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          1. Wow okay. Take a breath. There are a lot of assumptions there. I will set that aside. No point in arguing.

            We have not been given perfect choices for candidates. Some that you are drawn to can not handle the office and are not that kind and compassionate just because they know better what to say in political situations. But I won’t argue because I consider you a friend. The issues are not simple and he is not a perfect man but there are some things that attract me. I will read on and decide on March 15.

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          2. I see… so you weren’t joking.

            Well, I have taken breaths, many of them; and I believe, regardless whether anyone else does, that I am being very calm and rational in my response to the political choices before me. So, with that in mind, I’m not sure where the assumptions are that you refer to.

            No, we are never given perfect choices about anything in life; however, we are given an opportunity to make them based upon our own personal values.

            Politicians lie, cheat, and steal… I get that. Perhaps we should be grateful to Trump for being so honest about his hate-filled political platform. If a platform like that is your choice, go for it. While we are free to make our choices, we are not free to determine the outcome and impact our choices have on others.

            I’ve really enjoyed and appreciated your company and support here, PS. But this is a political post and one which I take quite seriously. So, I’m sorry if you feel my outlook on things, and my response to yours and others’ outlook on things, may spoil how you regard your relationship with this site and me. I did put a warning label on this post for just such reasons.

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  6. Politics, always sordid, has sunk to new lows. A few years ago, I made big changes in my life and decided to live directly, that is honestly and as true to myself as I can. It simplifies. In terms of how that affects my political decisions, I cannot bear the corruption, the lining of pockets and and dishonesty. Integrity is where it’s at. I’m voting for Bernie. If he isn’t the nominee, I’ll hold my nose and vote for Hillary. I don’t see anyone on the Republican side (who has a chance) who isn’t outright insane and/or dangerous.

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  7. Whether she is corrupt, stupid or both, Hilary is unelectable. Every election model shows her losing regardless of the competition. Bernie is a Roosevelt Democrat – he just isn’t afraid of the “S” word, that’s all. He only seems radical in comparison to the right-winging of America we’ve been experiencing since the Kochs started throwing dough all over. Relax. Feel the Bern. Vote for him in the primary in your state or your next president is Donald Trump and we’re the laughing stock of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I don’t support your argument about Hillary being unelectable, especially if she goes head-to-head with Trump, for her negatives are much lower than his. Sad way to have to consider candidates’ electability…

      As for Sanders, I’ve made this comment elsewhere on this string but as risk of being overly redundant – I am not that hung up on the socialism thing it’s just that I think if he’s president he may do just as much damage to our nation as Trump would – though his for positive reasons. The Republicans have already shut our government down over President Obama being too liberal. Granted, some of it also may be due to racism, sadly. But if Bernie were elected I think the political war would tear us apart irreparably. I truly believe this.

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  8. Same conundrum here man. Only I might just consider a third party candidate if any of them seem capable. With both major parties so far on the left and right and much of America divided by these chasms, there is a moderate vacuum growing. Not everybody wants America to be so divided, not with unity being one of our cherished principles. The smaller parties have a golden opportunity to fill that void and get bigger, a void that didn’t exist when Nader got his 4 or 5%. It’s on them of course and unlikely to happen, but democrat, republican, left, right, liberal and conservative are terms that are greatly changing in meaning for many people. Sanders is too far on the left even for me and the European model is being put to the test so much right now by current events in Europe that promoting that as a change could backfire on Sanders; and the only consolation we’d have with Trump is that the world will finally know who really runs America (the big businesses).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said, beyondnorcal. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us. You make good counterpoints to my third-party grievances but it would be hard still for me to go that route. I’ll have to look closely at the numbers and candidates – Bloomberg? – when we get to that point.

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    1. Oh my… and we all know where Greece is now because of dysfunctional politics. This is something that should be brought up in the US by sane politicians, if there are such creatures anymore, and debated. Thank you for that awareness, M.L…. as scary as it is.

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  9. Hilary’s action as Secretary of State was not only illegal, it ruptured the safety of the American intelligence community. Her server and her emails were under the name “Clinton” which almost without exception was hacked into by other countries and because it was a personal server inside a bathroom (or barn? Who knows) there is no way for America to know what classified information was hacked. The intelligence community was scrambling because of this. I can only imagine how many people’s lives were at risk because of her selfish, life threatening and evil actions. Her one main objective was to deal with classified information and she claims she didn’t know what classified information looks like. It’s complete incompetence and abuse of power. No conundrum for me. I’d rather kick myself in the balls than put my name on a Clinton. :) thanks for sharing your thoughts. It’s fascinating stuff.

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    1. While I’m not sure I’m quite to the point of self-inflicted pain when it comes to my consideration of Hillary’s candidacy, this is what I posted to my personal fb page this morning after watching all the talking head shows…

      General Michael Hayden, former Director of both the ‪#‎NSA‬ and ‪#‎CIA‬ (the only person to ever hold both positions) was just asked by Fareed Zakaria about his thoughts on Hillary Clinton’s unclassified email servers.

      Without even considering the legalities, Hayden said if he were still the NSA Director and heard that Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Secretary, had an unclassified server in his home to manage his Foreign Ministry, he, Hayden, would move heaven and earth to get access to it. And that he would lose respect for any foreign intelligence director who wasn’t right now going through the cloud to try to exploit Hillary’s servers.

      Yeah… exactly.
      ‪#‎conundrum‬

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  10. Great post. On the third party thing, I’m old enough to remember how H. Ross Perot essentially helped Bill Clinton win the first time by pulling enough votes away from George H. W. Bush to cost him the election. If this happens, and there’s a chance of preventing DT from becoming president, I’m all for it. Bring on Bloomberg or whoever.

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  11. I live in the UK so I don’t know for sure, but I think your conundrum is a common one amongst the American people. There is an unprecedented interest in US politics in the UK at the moment, I know I’m very interested to see the result, and it’s not my country, but ultimately whomever becomes your next president will affect the UK to some extent. I kind of agree with your point about the whole family dynastic thing. I was glad to hear Jeb Bush had dropped out of the running, and I’m not a fan of Hilary. What I worry about is a president gets elected on the basis of “anyone but Trump” or “anyone but Hilary” it’s got to be the right person for the job.

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    1. So very well said, Lynsey. And to your point about having to settle… I cannot believe that as big of a country the US is that these knuckleheads running are the best we can do! It baffles and saddens me terribly.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your wisdom with us, LC.

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  12. I’m on most cars of the train you’ve laid on this track.

    I just want to scream, “COME ON, AMERICA! THIS is the best you got?”

    Lately I’m agreeing with Douglas Adams: “The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
    To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
    To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

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  13. While my own objections to the 2 likely Dem candidates are much like Kurt’s, the Dems do not nauseate me the way the 3 likely Rep candidates do. Will post 2 short specific comments separately. That will simplify the logistics, in case anybody wants to lob a bouquet at one and a squishy tomato at the other.

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  14. Trump brags about his business skills. The vision and persistence exemplified by Jeff Bezos at Amazon would indeed be useful for POTUS. Whether experience at gaming the corporate bankruptcy laws and fleecing the enrollees at “Trump University” would be useful is another question. Paranoia about germs helps sell disinfectants. Paranoia about anybody who is not a white American Christian helps sell what passes for conservatism nowadays.

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  15. Sanders says he is a “democratic socialist” and then gets professorial about the rhetoric surrounding the New Deal. Ugh. To many people, “socialism” implies that there is just 1 car maker. It is owned by the government, has no competition, and sells clunkers at a loss. What Sanders actually proposes is that the US should be more like Denmark. More like Denmark than I would advocate, but a nudge in that direction is long overdue after decades of coddling billionaires. Better to be more like Denmark than more like Nazi Germany.

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  16. I say forget strategic voting, and vote for the candidate you respect or whose beliefs you agree with – whether the candidate is a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green or something else.

    If the two major parties don’t offer you a candidate you consider worthy of your vote, don’t give them your vote until they do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, philebersole. For the most part I agree with you; however, the US being a republic, regardless how decent the candidates are, the choice will always be a compromise unless the person one is voting is oneself. :) Thank you for adding to the discussion.

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      1. Well, I am okay with “the lesser of two evils” because, by nature I’m cynical toward politics (which I don’t see as a bad thing, necessarily), and it keeps things in the proper perspective… On my bio page I state to me politics is acting for ugly people. I understand that to be a politician it takes some very pointy elbows.

        And until technology allows us to have a truly democratic system – oh what a mess that would be – or until I personally run for office – oh what a greater mess that would be – then I will pretty much always see my vote as a choice of the lesser evil. :)

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