The Primaries Come to the Boonies

This is truly an unusual primary. Usually New York
State conducts its primaries quietly in solitary splendor. In general, the
Empire State does not play a deciding role in selecting a general election
candidate for either party, even though we have a lot of delegates. The New
York primary is so late that the early states have already settled the issue.
So it is really quite bizarre to have the candidates
I have been writing about traipsing around even the most out-of-the-way places
in NY, such as my city (Syracuse), Utica, Rome, Dexter – Dexter!
It started two weeks ago with Hillary. She met her
public in a large roofed shed usually used by crafters at the Farmer’s Market
on summer weekends. I thought I would have to stand in a long line for hours,
and I did stand in a longish line for about half an hour, before I walked
through the metal detector and slid my shoulder bag over to the secret service
so they could pat it down.
I did see Hillary. She looks nice in orange (SU was
in the Final Four) and, when I left, when the concrete floor got too hard to
stand on any longer, I still liked her and wanted to vote for her. I took a few
pictures. One is of Adam (no last name) who was in line by me for a while. He
is in the teacher’s union and had on his AFT tee shirt.

The second person is called Jovan (John to us), an
eighty-four year old man who came to America from Macedonia and still has a
thick accent. (He worked in Bldg. 7 at GE, my Dad was in Bldg. 5.) His children
have done very well, one graduating from an Ivy League school, one a doctor
trained at Johns Hopkins. He wants nothing to do with socialism even if it does
have the word Democratic in front of it. Jovan has boundless confidence. He
wended his way to the very front of the rally.

My third picture is of Hillary and was taken by the
tall man in front of me – the one I had to sway back and forth to see beyond,
taken with my camera. We yipped and cheered and raised our arms in the air and
even did a slightly disorganized wave. No signs were handed out but I don’t
know if the concerns were for security or cost. I bought three Hillary buttons
on my way out.

Since then John Kasich came to town, Bernie Sanders
has been here, then Ted Cruz, then Donald Trump, then Bill Clinton. I don’t
think we have ever, in my lifetime been romanced by so many politicians in any
election season. I did not go to any other rallies – I watched them on TV as if
they were happening somewhere else. There are only so many concrete floors I
will stand on in any two week period. But my spidey sense felt them buzzing
around and I wish I could have hovered comfortably overhead, or been the
proverbial “fly on the wall”. (I have no idea where all these bugs came from.)
It was interesting to see that Ted Cruz held his
Syracuse rally in a northern suburb, Cicero, where a group of locals publish a
newspaper called “The Patriot”, full of some well-known right wing conspiracy
theories from which I culled the phrase “Luciferian Church of the United
Nations”, because Agenda 21 and the UN plan for world domination.
Dexter – Donald Trump went to Dexter – a small rural
town west of Watertown, NY on Ontario Lake, a town full of campers, hunters, fishermen, aging hippies, and
farmers, and these days, very few factories. Fort Drum is nearby though, so
perhaps he attracted a lot of soldiers and their families. That would have to
be fact-checked. I’m sure Dexter is still in shock having rarely been singled
out by such a famous (infamous) personality. It’s been a helluva* two weeks in
the North Country (*also, until recently the name of a local cheese company).
It’s sort of fun feeling like the hot center of America for a while. We can use the
excitement. Primary day is Tuesday, April 19th and then the
entire circus will move on. Most candidates have left already. I think Donald
Trump will be the last one out.
By Nancy Brisson

Ted Cruz and Scott Walker

It probably will not surprise you to learn that I
would not favor any Republican for the Presidency right now. Rand Paul shows
poorly in these days when the right wing is so extreme. He doesn’t really fit
anywhere and he cannot find his footing. He does not seem to have the
confidence, or is it just the chutzpa,
to be Presidential. Chris Christie is just a bully. Teddy Roosevelt spoke
bluntly but he was not mean with it. Chris Christie does not have the patience
to be the leader of our nation. Mike Huckabee is too much of an evangelical to
get elected. Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, and Bobby Jindal are too politically
clueless to get elected. Jed Bush I could probably listen to if I absolutely
had to without constantly shaking my fists at the heavens.
The potential candidate I feared most until now was
Ted Cruz. Now I can add Scott Walker to that list. I have not seen any reason
to believe that Ted Cruz has any policies in his repertoire that a Democrat
would find palatable. He is morally stern and unbending. He seems to always be
sneering at us peons. He mistakes compassion for communism. He is an educated
man who supports ignorance and dogma. He is a son of a refugee who feels
superior to immigrants who may have come to America for almost the exact same
reasons Ted Cruz’s father did.

I cannot imagine what laws America will pass should
he reign (and it will feel like we have a monarch). He seems to have a passion
for Federalism which does not bode well for a strong central government.
Because Republicans know that Democrats fear him it is highly likely that they
could elect him from spite, although they will not enjoy his policies any more
than the rest of us will.
However, now that Scott Walker has arrived on the
scene I have another opportunity to worry. I don’t think he has been around
long enough to be elected President but Republicans do love the havoc he has
raised in Wisconsin. They are thrilled to let us see “the new world order”, a
truly privatized society with all aspects of our lives controlled by business
and corporations. Republicans will enjoy electing whichever of these two men
upsets us most and it remains to be seen what tactics will be brought into play
to convince the undecided or sway the discontented.
I hated when right wing talkers used Hitler
references when talking about Obama but I cannot look at Scott Walker without
thinking of Hitler. There is just something about the way he looks and acts. Scott
Walker, however, does not seem like someone who makes policy; he actually seems
as if he enjoys enforcing policy. He also seems able to make people fear him
more than they love him.

I don’t know which man would make me more nervous
were he to be elected our President in 2016. I know, with all my heart and soul
and mind that I don’t wish for either one of them. Usually they say “don’t wish
for what you want because you might get it; in this case I am worried that the
universe might be perverse enough to change that to “don’t wish for what you
don’t want because you might get it.”
By Nancy Brisson