The End Of Politcs As Usual?

May 2, 2016

People with good minds can be very passionate. Take the case of the current Presidential election cycle. We hear from people of all political persuasions who are quite sure that we are being blatantly unfair, usually about Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. Now don’t get me wrong – when the Massachusetts primary rolled around I voted for Bernie. I had announced that I would because I believe that journalists have a responsibility to let their audiences know where they are coming from. I have interviewed both Bernie and Hillary on the air so I am very surprised at some of the vitriol we have heard about the station’s alleged “position” (we never take sides) in favor of Hillary. I try to be fair on our daily Roundtable panel. I have explained that I think Bernie is right on the major issues. I have also explained that I believed Hillary would capture more of the centrist voters and be more electable.

Of course, I immediately heard back from many Bernie supporters who sanctimoniously told me that Bernie does better in head to head matchups with the various Republican candidates. Not wanting to get in a fight, I acknowledged that was true but suggested that the Republicans were directing most, if not all, of their fire at Hillary, assuming that she would be the candidate. I also think that the Republicans, knowing what they know about the voting demographics in the United States, would prefer a Bernie candidacy because they could then call the announced socialist every dirty name in the book. They will dig into his socialist affiliations and maybe even obtain and leak his FBI file, something I have never gotten around to doing for myself.

If you listen, you know that both Rosemary Armao and Libby Post are Hillary supporters of the first order and they certainly get their share of tough mail excoriating them for supporting Hillary rather than Bernie. I have seen people take them to task for saying that if Bernie is the candidate, they will vote for him despite having been for Hillary. Some members of the Bernie camp suggest that if Hillary is the candidate that they will NOT vote for her. I personally have some issues with that logic.

Since both Bernie and Donald Trump are regarded as outside candidates and disdained by the two major party establishments, most of the regular politicians who we interview all the time are in favor of Hillary. Many of them are so-called “super delegates” who get to attend the convention and vote for the candidates without having to run for their delegate positions.

We get a lot of mail about how unfair this is but most of these super delegates have been elected to Congress or the U.S. Senate in their own right. Nevertheless, we have probably heard more about the super delegates than anything else. This may well turn out to be an election in which the insiders are terribly threatened by the outside candidates. That is certainly why both Bernie and Trump are doing so well. Voters see our U.S. politics as owned and operated by establishment, including the lobbyists and those who invest the most money in the campaigns. That is one reason why Bernie Sanders has raised so much money from individual, small money contributors in contrast to Hillary Clinton.

In any case, this is a very passionate time. We have heard from a few people who suggest that they will never give any money to the radio station because they didn’t like some of what they heard from Rosemary or Libby or me. We have also heard from others who, upon hearing these threats, immediately sent in money to make up for those who vowed not to give.

One day in early April all the candidates on both sides showed up and our wonderful news division was taxed to the max. They did a great job and showed what they are made of. No matter what, I really love this job.