Thursday, December 03, 2015

I just volunteered for my first Presidential campaign since 1984!

In 1984, when I was 19 and eligible to vote for the first time, I was a freshman at UT and worked excitedly for the Gary Hart campaign: Vice President of "Students with Hart" on campus, even a driver in Hart's official motorcade when he came to Austin (pollster Pat Caddell was in my back seat). I became a bit politically disillusioned upon attending the Young Democrats group meetings on the UT campus -- the majority of students in attendance that political season were for Hart, but the "lifers" finagled the campus endorsement for Mondale.

Since then, here's who I've voted for in the main Presidential election:

1984: Mondale (non-excited)
1988: Dukakis (non-excited)
1992: Clinton (excited!)
1996: Perot (protest vote against Clinton's sucking up to Defense interests; would have voted for Clinton had the election been forecast to be close)
2000: Gore (I voted for Republican McCain in the primaries)
2004: Kerry
2008: McCain (I voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the primaries)
2012: Obama

In 2016, I'm supporting Donald Trump. AND volunteering for him.

Why Trump?

Because illegal immigration is a problem. When Trump pointed out the problem, he was vilified by the media as being "anti-immigrant." When in fact, he'd just noted the need for border control for ILLEGAL (not "legal") immigrants. (As has also been pointed out since then: The United States immigration policy is more liberal than that of most other countries, including Mexico's.)

Because Trump blustered against corporations taking their jobs outside the USA and threatened to penalize those that did so. (I say "blustered" because it's not clear that a President could actually stem the flow of US jobs to foreign sources...but, as an editor who lost a job to outsourcing 10 years ago, I'm grateful to him for pointing out the problem.)

Because Trump is utterly independent. Candidates like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush who stand for nothing and who are backed by corporate moguls make me sick.

Because Trump was sane enough to decry the idiocy of Bush's post 9/11 overthrow of Saddam Hussein, pointing out, correctly, that Hussein did NOT have "weapons of mass destruction" and that, had Hussein remained in power, he would have kept a lid on Islamic terrorists like ISIS now operating freely out of the country.

Because, over the summer, when I argued with my boss about Trump, she said, "Do you really want someone like that dealing with foreign leaders?" And when I thought about it for just one second, I came up with: "YES! Yes... A tough, extremely competent sonofabitch is EXACTLY who I want dealing with foreign leaders like Putin, et al. And EXACTLY who I want negotiating trade deals for our country."


Alessandro Machi said...

I did the same thing in 1996. Bill Clinton wanted a plus 50% mandate and I wanted him to win but by not too big of a margin so I voted third party, I think it was Perot. However, if it had been a closer race I definitely would have voted for Bill Clinton.

Beth Austin said...

Alessandro, thank you! I felt weird for even thinking that back in 1996, much less saying in 2015 that I felt like that! :) Of course, I know that little "protest votes" don't actually matter (or do they?), but at the time, doing so made me feel positive and, yes, a bit righteous.