Bernie Sanders for Write-In Candidate 2016

If Bernie Sanders doesn’t win the Democratic primary I cannot conscionably vote for Hillary Clinton, and no way in hell would I ever support Trump. I have yet to cast my primary vote in California and am hoping for a miracle that Bernie wins the Democratic nomination, but if he does not, I will be writing his name in on my ballot in November and supporting my local candidates who I agree with.

I didn’t vote for Hillary in 2008 and I chose to vote for Obama because I didn’t agree with her foreign policy record then. Her foreign policy record now seems to be even worse. She has a history of supporting regime change and policies that have a history of backfiring on our country. She may backtrack and say she made a mistake back when she made her decisions, but Sanders has a better track record on not supporting hawkish policies from the git-go.

I realize when I critique her foreign policy that she was part of Obama’s administration and I am critiquing him as well. The fact is, I don’t think Obama was the best president, especially in his first term with Clinton as Secretary of State. He capitulated too much to Republicans. We could have passed single-payer healthcare which could have saved Americans money and brought us on par with most first-world countries, but we didn’t because we didn’t want to hurt the GOP’s feelings. I actually agree with Bernie Sanders that Obama needed a challenger in 2012 to bring him to the left because he had compromised too much with Republicans and we the people have only been screwed policy-wise because of it. Hillary uses Sanders’ statements to claim he doesn’t stand with Obama while she will continue his legacy. Eight years ago she only talked of Obama’s inexperience and lack of political clout, but now she praises him. She obviously got something wrong in her judgement of Obama and unsurprisingly has changed her opinion on him now that she wants to be President again.

One of Hillary’s campaign mantras seems to be that it is her turn. But this isn’t a line for Space Mountain. You don’t just wait in line until it is your turn to be President, even though Hillary has been given a FastPass to the front of the Democratic ticket. It is hard to even consider the Democratic primary an election rather than a coronation.

The Democratic nomination process is a joke. Superdelegates favor Clinton to Sanders 520 to 39 according to Google at the time I am writing this, and the pledged delegates are at 1682 and 1361 respectively. This gives Sanders 44.7% of the peoples’ votes and only 7% of the party insiders’ votes (though these votes have not been cast definitively yet). Sanders is polling evenly nationwide as of late and has won by “yooge” margins in the Western US and held it close nationwide, so it makes you wonder how he doesn’t have even 25% of the superdelegates. Does that seem Democratic to you?

The Democratic party presidential nomination is rigged and if the party insiders won’t take independent candidates seriously like the DNC is doing with Bernie, we wont be supporting your party for much longer. The likelihood Republicans take over after a Hillary Clinton first term following the shenanigans in the Democratic party is also a pretty glaring outcome if Republicans can regroup by 2020 with an unpopular incumbent. She is one of the most disliked presidential candidates in American history, and if the DNC doesn’t open their primaries by 2020 then a Tea Party-esque fracture of the Democratic party is a real possibility.

We who registered to vote as Democrats despite being independents to partake in the elections want our voices heard. If our voices won’t be heard by the DNC, it may be time to form a truly progressive party. We have sided with and voted for Democrats for years because they have similar views to us, but we will not have any faith that our voice will ever truly be heard in the closed primaries held by your party. And that’s what it is: your party, not the citizens’ you represent.

I’m more afraid of a Clinton presidency than a Trump presidency, because the GOP is already fractured and giving way to more Democratic friendly environments for legislation but we can put it all down the toilet if she makes Democrats regret they elected her. I will not be coerced into voting for a candidate I vehemently disagree with because I am afraid of Trump. I do not believe Trump has any chance of winning the presidency, especially now with Ted Cruz out of the race and Republicans supporting the true conservative candidate in this election: Hillary Clinton. She is a Republican in Democratic clothing on everything but social issues. If she loses the election I will feel no blame as the DNC ignored the candidate that had the best chance to win the election.

Hillary Clinton is the only candidate that can destroy the progress the Democratic party has made since 2008, and with her voting record it is not hard to see it becoming reality. You might say a vote for Bernie in November is a vote for Trump, but you’d also be a bit daft if you said that. A vote for Hillary is a vote for neo-conservatism and I will be casting my vote for progressivism in November.

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Changing Places

Everyone’s specific experiences in life are influenced immensely on the particular surroundings they are living in. To an extent, we are able to change our surroundings based on the decisions we make as we age, and in doing so, the experiences we make available to ourselves. Decisions such as: where we choose to live; what we do for work; how we interact with others; how we let our relationships with family, friends, love interests, and random people take their course. Without opening your world to new experiences and perspectives you will only limit the growth you are able to achieve in your lifetime. Your world is what you make of it, and I believe life is about opening yourself to new experiences by changing the environment you are in.

When I was a freshman at the University of Oregon I struggled with being fairly introverted other than with those I knew prior to college. One of the best friends I made was actually someone I had hung out with occasionally in high school. Had it not been for reconnecting with him while taking Geology 102 in Willamette Hall, greater than half of my best memories would not have existed. Another of my good college friends I met in Accounting 101. I was looking for a seat in class on the first day and spotted an open seat next to a guy who looked a little Persian to me. I simply walked up to him and asked if he was Persian, and we’ve been friends ever since. He introduced himself, shook my hand and ended up being my roommate a couple years later until he graduated. I am sure I would have met other great people and had an amazing college experience without these two friends, but by opening myself just to the experience of studying these two subjects I was interested in I built lifelong friendships and memories.

College is a great opportunity to meet people from different walks of life, and you begin to realize how much people have to teach outside of the classes you’re taking just to get your degree. I put my introverted nature behind me to learn lessons from my fellow students in life. In some respects, I learned more about life outside the classroom during college than I ever really did in it. Big loud parties weren’t my cup of tea. I tried going to them but as a fairly shy person around new people, they just weren’t my thing. I preferred hanging out and talking about life over a few beers, playing some video games, or going for longboard rides down by the paths next to Autzen stadium and hanging out next to the Willamette river. Some of the best nights I had in college were nights spent with friends just playing Wii Sports for hours followed by a late night quest for delicious food at Burrito Boy or Dough Co.

Sophomore year, I lived in the Walton dorms on campus, which was a nice change from living slightly off campus in the Barnhart dorm building. When you go to school in Oregon, you tend to want the least distance to travel in the rain, and being on campus definitely offered that (my attendance rates were much better than freshman year at least…). Our specific dorm wing was a mix of international students and transfer students and was really close to everything. I made friends from Japan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, China, Malaysia, South Korea, as well as students from all over the US. The only thing that kind of sucks about meeting so many great friends who are from around the globe though is that when they graduate, most of them move back home. I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to meet these friends and share time together however, and look forward to the days I can see them again.

The next few years, I reconnected with a friend I played Little League baseball with and met a great group of people through him, had classes with three different Super Bowl winners and other NFL players (LeGarrette Blount, Spencer Paysinger, Jeremiah Johnson, Walter Thurmond, Jairus Byrd), and just enjoyed life until graduation.

After graduation I had to figure out what how to be an adult. The obvious first step as a “millenial” was moving back home with my parents and being unemployed. I applied at a bunch of jobs in the field I studied only to be told that I lacked the experience for an entry-level job. It wasn’t a great time for jobs as our country still lingered in recovery from the recession, so I gave up looking for work with my degree and did odd-jobs. Worked on the family orchard for while, sold cherries in a stand with fruit from our trees, took care of my grandma for a while as her chef and company, and just lived life day to day. Things got boring though. I didn’t feel like I was growing as a person and felt stuck in the midst of prolonged stagnation without any motivation. Out of nowhere, an opportunity arose to pack up all my things and move to Los Angeles for a job. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

Today I am living on the edge of Los Angeles county. I packed up my bags and left all of my friends in Oregon two years ago. I live in a small town at the edge of the Angeles National Forest, where mountains tower in the horizon and the amount of green foliage defies the ominous drought we are experiencing. It hardly feels like I live near LA (besides the smog), but I am still fairly close to the big city and within fifteen minutes of Glendale, Pasadena, and Burbank. It’s all a very big change from the lush green forests of Oregon I came to know growing up. I barely know anyone and am starting out even more on my own than when I went to college, but I didn’t leave everything I knew back home because I would be comfortable; I left to change my surroundings, experience new views on life, and grow as a person.

Don’t be afraid to change your your environment. Don’t be afraid to experience new things, meet new people, or go new places. Even within the seemingly monotonous routine of daily life, every new person you meet in that routine can offer a multitude of lessons you had never even considered and change your world view. Study things that interest you, try new foods that you are afraid to mispronounce, genuinely ask someone you don’t know how their day is going, hold the door for someone instead of rushing through and on with your day, ask someone who looks like they are struggling if they need help. Every experience you come across is a learning opportunity, and every single person you meet is a teacher. If you don’t change how you interact with your environment and who surrounds you in it, it will be harder to grow as a person and you won’t learn as much during your shared time on this planet with the rest of us.

What is Normal?

In the beginning of time, Blank begat Person, who begat So-and-So, who begat Such-and-Such, et cetera, et cetera… The beginning of a long line of same shit, different day consisting of trying to be “normal” in society: make a living, fall in love, make money for retirement, grow old, and well, you know, die eventually. It’s been like this for centuries, and even more so since we stopped having to worry about being chased by lions, tigers, and bears (oh my). At least I am prone to believing that it was a lot harder to think about a career or retirement in primitive and early human history…

What is normal in relation to living a life?

I work two jobs, as an apartment manager and at a sandwich shop for a total of 60+ hours a week. I also own a very small business, and just signed up to drive for Uber to help grow my savings on my free time. Is that normal? No, probably not, but it’s my normal. I have my own place to live, a wonderful dog named Azzurri, and FIFA 16; at this point in my life that’s all I really need.

The reality though, is that most of the people in America are working multiple jobs 40 or more hours a week to try and save money to enjoy their life the way they desire. I include myself among this group, and the odds are that you are also one of the tens of millions of people in this country doing the same in trying to break through the lower class and into the middle class. Trying to break through your worries of being able to pay your rent or mortgage, your utilities, your cable, your internet, your phone bill, your car and insurance, your medical needs, gas, and lest we forget about food, and those of these that apply for the ones you take care of as well. Not to mention paying for emergencies… The list goes on.

How are we supposed to find the ability, drive, and motivation to break through when we work so much just to survive? So many of us are already working so hard to provide for the level we are already at that we hardly even have time to plan for the future.

Some politicians say that if you can afford cable TV, a gaming system, and other “luxury” items then you aren’t really doing that bad for yourself. Well, all I have to say is they likely haven’t ever lived a day in shoes even closely resembling the average American citizen.

My degree sits menacingly on my desk, reminding me that I could pursue a career in accounting, but the field doesn’t inspire me right now. People tell me it’s a good field and pays well, but I’m 27 going on 28 and sitting in a desk all day is not how I’d like to spend my next few years. With my job as an apartment manager I get my rent and utilities covered and get to spend all day at home with my dog and make his life better than if I was at an office all day. That makes me feel a lot better than if I had the money to do things I want but didn’t get to experience his life with him. It hurts enough having to leave him at home when I am at my other job as it is, because I know how much he loves me and misses me every time I leave him.

There is a lot of pressure to pursue a career though right now. Not necessarily coming from anyone, but from the knowledge that I know I am not wanting to work two jobs for my whole life and the reality that I can’t manage an apartment building forever.

When people find out I have an accounting degree at the sandwich shop most of them ask why I am even there. I feel a little let down every time I answer, because I know how it sounds when I say I have an accounting degree and I am working in a sandwich shop, but I just tell them the same thing with a smile: I work two jobs and my apartment and sandwiches are free, so I am just trying to enjoy my twenties with my dog for now, and I give them the best damn sandwich I can make in the process because I take pride in my work, a job well done, and happy customers.

Is my life normal? No, probably not, but it’s my normal, and I’m happy to be where I am. At least for now, of course.

Tell me what your normal is and what you think it should be in the comments!

I want to hear what others’ experiences are and your thoughts on the subject of what is normal in society. One of the best ways we can try to understand the world is through others’ experiences and any chance I have to hear about someone’s views I am open to their perspective.

What this Blog is About

When I created this, I wanted to make a blog that shared different music I had been listening to. I was in college at the University of Oregon and was discovering a lot of new music as I met and hung out with new people. Naturally, I wanted the share various new artists on my playlist including, and definitely not limited to: Nujabes, MF Doom and especially his collaboration Special Herbs under the name Metal Fingers, CYNE, One Be Lo, A Tribe Called Quest, Dynospectrum, Del and Heiroglyphics, and so, so, so many more.

Having a love for many other genres than just hip-hop I guess you could say I had an eclectic mix of genres that I liked. So, the name jumped out at me immediately. But I just made the blog and left it sitting as enjoying life and college took priority to it.

Until one day…

It was during the NBA finals of 2011 and the Dallas Mavericks were going against the Miami Heat with LeBron James the year after Lebron left Cleveland. Seemingly every single person on Facebook (who cared about the NBA at least) was obsessing over the Mavericks beating the “bandwagon” team Miami because of the traitorous LeBron James who dared to leave him former team to have a better chance at a championship and dynasty. And I couldn’t take it any longer. I had to write. But nobody on Facebook wants to read a rant about that and I don’t want to offend my family and friends who may really dislike LeBron, so I logged into my account here and unleashed my thoughts in a post and left the blog sitting again for a long slumber.

Life went on: I got a dog; finished college; moved back home to Beaverton; started a t-shirt company; applied for jobs; moved out; applied for jobs; moved back home; applied for jobs; moved to help family in The Dalles at the family orchard; moved back home; moved to Los Angeles for a job as an apartment manager, and that’s basically where I am at now.

So why am I blogging again? 

Mostly a combination of loving to write, experiencing new things as I have only recently moved to Los Angeles after growing up in Oregon, and a tinge of boredom.

What is this blog going to be about?

I simply want to share on various topics, whether it be songs or artists on my playlist, how much I love when it rains in Los Angeles, recipes of dishes I find delicious, a rant on a probably fairly random topic considering the eclectic nature of the blog, and probably at least once a post about my dog Azzurri. My life and experiences have been opened up and enriched by the things that have been shared with me, and it is my hope that even if this blog only encourages one or two people in the history of the world to listen to any of the musical artists I shared in that first paragraph my mission has been accomplished.

Also, I find typos in the media to be really annoying so I will probably post at least one time about that… I mean how do these newspapers and media publications pay editors and still have glaring typos? My dream job would be to be a freelance editor so I could just correct grammar all day, but don’t worry, I don’t dig through Facebook comments to correct people individually. Those people are not chill. I just think media productions that pay people to edit and post their material can’t catch simple grammatic and spelling errors.

Alright, I’ve digressed enough…end rant and post.