I had another topic prepared for today’s blogomation, but something else came up. Pissed me off, it did …
… as so much of what I read in the local daily newspaper does.
(I will not identify by name the local daily newspaper to which I refer. I know people who work there and I’m sure it’s not their fault the paper that employs them has degenerated into little more than a series of car dealership ads and fawning puffery for a local community college football team. Besides, a newspaper editor I once worked for gave me the advice that it is unwise for one newspaper to publish derogatory statements about another, neighboring, newspaper, in that no one wants to see a newspaper insulting war break out. Although I no longer work for a newspaper, I still consider myself a journalist (of a sort) and will behave accordingly. The identity of the local daily wouldn’t mean anything to the throngs of out-of-state Mr. Cope’s Cave followers I am hoping to attract, anyway.)
It was in Thursday’s paper, this item that pissed me off, embedded in an article about how pessimistic Idaho voters are that no matter who wins the presidential election, nothing will change substantially and that whatever they are unhappy with in modern American politics will continue.
If I interpreted the article correctly—which was a little tough to do since it jumped subject matter from paragraph to paragraph like a frog randomly hopping from lily pad to lily pad, in no discernable pattern—exactly what Idahoans and Americans in general are most unhappy with are the political divisions that have grown ever wider over the last three decades.
Or, it was about how much everyone in Idaho dislikes the candidates currently running for President. I frankly couldn’t tell, since the ostensible focus of the article—a recently-released Washington Post/Survey Monkey poll of 74,000 voters that rated the states as to how pessimistic they are—was interrupted by observations from a (local) political analyst, a professor of political economy (?) at a small, private (local) college.
(I will not use the professor’s name or the small college’s name, in case I get a hair to go back to school and get a degree in political economy anytime soon … whatever the hell that may be.)
What I mean is, I’m reading merrily along about where Idaho ranks on this list of the most pessimistic states (1st, should you care to know), when, with no warning, this professor is telling me how much Idahoans dislike Hillary Clinton. And I quote the quote I lifted from that local daily I was telling you about: “Nobody in the state likes Hillary Clinton,” he is said to have said. “Not even the Democrats. We saw that in the caucuses. Bernie won overwhelmingly here.”
So sayeth the professor.
Now look, I realize that every news outlet in a local market feels like they must have a professor on stand-bye whenever a matter of local politics arises. We see it every election cycle, particularly on the local television news. I imagine it gives our jolly anchor people as well as our struggling print reporters a sense of enhanced authenticity if some poly-sci guy from the university down the block comes in and fills us dumbshits in on what it all means.
Further, I suspect the author to the article in question (whose name you shall not get from me, not even under threat of torture) thought it a good idea to strain the poll through this professor’s learned brain and get his take on what it says about the collective mood of Idaho voters.
Still, I believe it a tad over-stated to claim “Nobody in the state likes Hillary Clinton. Not even the Democrats.” In fact, it goes beyond “a tad over-stated” level and enters the realm of This-professor-guy-has-his-head-up-his-ass! And had the reporter done a thorough job of reporting, he might have interviewed a local Democrat or two to see if it is indeed true they don’t like Clinton.
I am willing to acknowledge the professor might be following the old go-along-to get-along strategy to holding on to his professorial gig. After all, the (un-named) small college that employs him is situated in one of the most conservative of counties in one the most conservative of states, and were he to have acknowledged that not every living soul in Idaho loathes Hillary Clinton with a passion, he might have been looking over his shoulder for the rest of his teaching career for a College Republicans purge.
But I feel no such pressure to stick with the script that wants us to believe Democrats are just as unhappy with Clinton as traditional Republicans are with the beast with the golden fleece hair-flop. I, personally, am exceedingly happy with Hillary as our party’s choice. My wife (another Democrat) is happy with her, as is my daughter (yet another Democrat.) Down to the last one, my Democratic friends—those I actually know personally—are happy with Hillary. Every day, my recently-acquired Facebook page is jammed with entries from my other “friends”—those I don’t really know—and, except for one lone voice still out howling at the moon about how Bernie should have been the nominee, those entries reflect how happy they are with Hillary. Happy … happy … happy!
The point being, in my experience, there are a whole passel of Idaho Democrats who are not only happy with Hillary, but are proud to stand with someone so intelligent, so dedicated, so experienced, and so incredibly prepared to be President of the United States. And I have no doubt they would feel the same way even if the opposition wasn’t offering up a deranged fraud for the position. Had Cruz come out on top, or Rubio, or Bush, or any other one of that pathetic line-up of half-men Republicans paraded before the voters for the last 18 months, we would still be enthusiastic supporters of Hillary Clinton. You see, as adults who understand that the office demands an extra-ordinary level of complexity and sophistication, we are not looking for someone we would want to sit down and have a fugging beer with.
We are looking for the next leader of the world. And we believe we have found her.
It makes me wonder if yon professor has even talked to a Democrat in the last four or five months. His only stated piece of evidence purporting to prove we don’t like Hillary is what happened at the anachronistic Idaho caucuses last spring. Just under 23,000 Democrats and non-Democrats (as the caucuses were open to everyone and anyone) are a damn thin slice of Idaho’s (estimated) 213,000 Democratic voters (estimation based on the number of Barack Obama voters in the 2012 election). And even if those 23,000 caucus attendees were the entire population of Democrats in Idaho, Hillary came out of it with over 5000 votes.
Yeah, she got beat. But that doesn’t mean—as the professor would have us believe—that, en masse, we don’t like her.
You know, if I ever do decide to go after that degree in political economy (that I’ve been thinking about for at least 20 minutes now), I believe I’ll look for a poli-econ department (whatever the hell that is) with professors who are a bit more precise and less hyperbolic when filling us local dumbshits in on our own political mood.