Friday, July 29, 2016
Eight divided by forty...
Here's another: twelve divided by forty is .30, or thirty percent.
Where am I going with this? Next week I turn 58. Optimistically, I have only 40 years left on the planet. (And whether or not that's optimistic is the subject of another post.)
I had a conversation with a Bernie Sanders supporter this week about the upcoming election. And, if I understood him correctly, he didn't see the urgency in voting for Hillary in order to prevent Trump from attaining the White House. Again, if I understood his argument, there wasn't enough of a difference between Hillary and the Republicans in the first place, and if Trump were elected it might actually pave the way for a better president in four or eight years, much as the disaster of W.'s administration led to the election of Obama.
It's an interesting idea and one in which I'll bet many "Bernie or Busters" subscribe. (It's also a little Marxist: blow up the current system in order to achieve something better.)
And that's where my little math problem(s) come(s) in.
I'm currently reading The Coming of the Third Reich, by Richard J. Evans, above. And, in the last thousand or so years of German history, the twelve years of Nazi rule were really just a drop in the bucket. But if you were, say, 58 years old in 1933, the next twelve years were thirty percent of your remaining life. (That's assuming, of course, that you lived to be 98 -- or lived through the Nazi years at all.)
And my point is that I don't have eight -- or even four -- years to squander on a Trump presidency. In the best case scenario, two terms of the Donald would be twenty percent of my remaining life.
And this is also why, I think, people don't necessarily get more liberal or more conservative as they get older; they get more pragmatic. When I was young I wanted to change the world and create a libertarian society. Then, as I got older, I realized it was a pipe dream and that the problems of today need to be solved today (or soon). I don't have fifty or a hundred years to wait.
If Trump really does get elected and "blows things up," which I don't doubt he would, I'll be 66 years old when he leaves office. I'll need Social Security, Medicare and, oh, a functioning country at that time. Now the next president who follows a Trump mess (and it would be a mess -- yikes!) might be the Second Coming of Obama, but that would be too late for me.
So I'll vote for Hillary in November. I think she'll continue the legacy of Obama and maybe -- who knows? -- even improve on it a little. But the most important thing to me is keeping someone so obviously unqualified for the office as Trump out of that office.
And Bernie Sanders will still have plenty of influence on Clinton as a senator from Vermont (and a possible challenger in 2020).
To paraphrase one of our Founding Fathers, "Give me incrementalism, or give me something close to it!" I'm with Her.