So I generally shy away from politics as a rule: I won't discuss them, I don't usually give my opinions on various candidates and issues, and keep my voting very close to my chest. This year's election is different-ish, for two reasons.
1) I'm not sure if it's because my child has reached voting age, or because the interconnectedness of the world has dramatically changed the landscape, or if I'm (heaven forbid) starting to finally resemble an adult, but I'm pretty excited about The Whole Process this year, to the point where I even put the primary election schedule up on our refrigerator at home. Perhaps this labels me as a Wonk, but I'm following things much more closely this year than ever in years past. I suspect, though, it's mainly because of
2) A certain candidate who has managed to evolve from harmless blowhard to punch line to actual potential candidate. I won't mention his name, but it rhymes with "rump" and "dump" and oh I can barely even joke about it. I personally skew on the liberal side of the ballot, but hey! I live near San Francisco, California after all. It's practically required. And I will admit to a certain amount of smugness in the early days of the process, as if anyone could seriously consider such a toxic, bigoted, self-absorbed, pandering egoist as He Who Shall Not Be Named. A little disarray can be healthy now and then. But what nobody counted on, I think, is the breath and strength of the disorder. The populist appeal of a demagogue in a supposedly well-connected, well-informed America. But he's playing the media like a fiddle, and the media happily dances to his tune, because it's great TV.
And somehow, inexplicably, inexcusably, he continues onward. It's no longer funny. It's become a train wreck, watching this self-inflating wind sock of a candidate flap around in whatever direction the breeze is blowing. And during those rare quiet moments, he manages to puff himself up and generate his own breeze. It's an ugly wind. It stinks. No matter what your political inclinations, it's blowing up trouble.
Now we're on the cusp of "Super Tuesday," a day when major decisions are made in several states, determining the future of many of the campaigns. I'm a little sad that California's primary is still way out on the calendar in June. There's a certain feeling of being last to the buffet line, after everything has been picked over by the rest of the country. But this year more than others, I'm despairing at the choices being left to us.