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February 17, 2016

The Democrats debate didnít change my vote

Tom McLaughlin

Kuching, Malaysian Borneo – We finally settled down to watch a Democratic debate here in the "Land Below the Wind." We call it that after a British writer, in the 1930s, wrote a book with that name. We are below the wind, meaning, the typhoons always hit the Philippines but stay well north of here.


I had heard of Bernie Sanders, but I had not heard him speak or debate. CNN via London carried the broadcast from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It aired at 10 A.M. our time. Being a liberal Democrat in the spirit of George McGovern, Hubert Humphrey, Barbara Mikulski and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I had more than a passing interest in the gentleman from Vermont.


God he looked old! I was expecting somebody about two thirds his age, and he reminded me very much of my father about 10 years before he passed. I guess I expect everyone who is liberal to be young and gay like that Marco Rubio fellow who kept repeating himself when pushed by Chris Christie. They must have locked him (Rubio) in a room somewhere with headphones playing those lines over and over again.


I couldn't believe how much energy Senator Sanders had. He was smart, battled Hillary Clinton point by point, and most times he got in the last word. He seem to be yelling through most of the debate, but I realized it must have been his way of speaking.


He said his entire campaign was financed on millions of $27 donations. Ms. Clinton countered that if she took pact money, she would not let that influence her. He countered by asking how stupid she thought the American people were. If they gave her a million dollars, they must want something in return. A very good point.


Then they went around about how Ms. Clinton could get things done. I just wish she had helped President Barack Obama more instead of being secretary of state and making money the past four years. She could have assisted him in pushing something, anything, through that fractured, dismal bunch we call Congress. Another point for Senator Sanders.


On foreign policy, she could not see the forest for the trees. She could tell you about the intricacies of Libya, Tunisia, Syria and Iran, but she could not back up and see that they were all crazy. Once you realize they would be candidates for a mental institution, (not the Malays or Indonesians, they are cut from a different fabric) then you could understand the whole situation and move from there. You try to find a marginally sane one and move from there. Believe me, I know because I lived in Saudi Arabia for three years. Another point for Mr. Sanders.


As for the economic policy, I get the feeling that Mr. Sanders would bulldoze the stock exchange, burn the tax code, gleefully dismantle the banks and start from scratch. He offered free medical care and free college. "Where would he get the money," Mrs. Clinton asked. From the changes he would make in closing loopholes and making the 1% pay their fair share he countered. "How would you pay for it," he asked her, and she said she would get it from the same place. But, I watched closely and I don't think she wanted anybody to hear her as she stepped away from the microphone. Another one for Senator Sanders.


As for black/white relations and problems, the only thing that will help that is education, a good education. They also need to legalize all drugs. If they want to stick drain cleaner in the arms, then so be it. When you take the profit out of something, then it won't be as attractive. Let them put the drugs at controlled stores, tax it and then use the money for education in the primary schools and hospitals later in life. But that is my opinion, not theirs.


Yes, Senator Sanders won the debate as far as I was concerned. He touched all bases that I hold dear. The problem is I don't think he could get anything done with that abysmal Congress. Unless people want to change that circus, I personally think he would be screaming and yelling until an angina overtook his wonderful life.


As for now, and things could change, my heart's for Senator Sanders but my vote's for Mrs. Clinton.


...Life is good. . . . .


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