There are a couple of old political tropes. The first is one that I have heard for my whole life:
If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain
I do understand this one and and 50 years ago it might have made sense. Liberals were seen as younger and idealistic and conservatives were people with a family, a mortgage, 2 cars, a couple of kids and dog dealing with taxes and other expenses. As I got older and got these things I felt the draw to the right, but it never solidified for me since over the last 20 years I feel that the conservative movement has focused too much on corporate interests and those that are extremely wealthy. The group that the republicans seemed to be interested in changed to those with extremely high salaries and wealth. The problem is that the groups that the democrats seemed to be interested in were those that were extremely poor and those with extremely high salaries, since they needed the same cash flow that the right is interested in. I do not know which party is interested in the the middle class and that is a problem.
Those in the middle class have seemed to have chosen a side based on a very limited number of criteria. For me, I chose to stay on the left for the social issues that are so prevalent today. I have chosen a side, but I am not registered with that side because I do not see that side doing anything to benefit me as a middle class person trying to make it on a day to day basis. For example, I supported the new healthcare law because I liked some of the things I had heard, but when I was put into a situation where I could possibly have benefited from the law, I realized that it did nothing for me. Premiums seem to be up, choices are down and in a lot of cases if you have a plan that is subsidized by the marketplace, most doctors wont see you since the limitations, guidelines and payments are not sustainable to small businesses like doctors offices. I do not think it is a coincidence that since the law has passed almost every doctor I go to is now part of a much larger group where just a couple of years ago they were all their own businesses. Talking to a couple they said that new requirements have made it nearly impossible for them to stay in business for themselves. Good times.
I am considering my own business and I have been told by these former small business owners they they envy my position and wish they were back in that situation, but it was impossible. A couple making the comment that I should do it now before the possibility of any small business becomes almost an impossibility.
The parties are so opposed to each other and any one who dares to reach out to the other side is considered a traitor to the cause. Compromise is nearly impossible. Where does that leave us. Back to the trope about liberal at 25 and conservative at 35… how about veterans? If you are in the military, it would seem your interests tend to be closer to the right. What happens when you leave the military and you are living off of your vet benefits or if you are on disability? Will the right help you or do you all of a sudden become another hand out looking to take from the government. Has the right helped with vet benefits?
We are looking at a year of ugly presidential politics. I am leaning to Bernie Sanders because he seems to be the only sane one in the bunch. Even though I feel that I could be pulled to a more traditional conservative stance of smaller government and lower taxes, there is a reality of today’s American and with how I look at things there is no one on the right I would feel comfortable with. I do think the republican party is really no longer a thing. Chaos is winning the day and there will be a reckoning soon. On the left, though, we have Hillary. We need some new names in the game and we need some people who are looking out for the middle class. I do not think the right or most of the left care about the middle class. The only one who seems to be somewhat interested in Bernie Sanders. We have almost a full year to go. We’ll see. I am uncommitted this far.