Our April primary calendar, borrowing from Kiss Me Kate, musical version of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. I've adjusted a song from that show about a travelling band of players/entertainers. What else is our own travelling band of politicians? A video version of the original song follows.
We open in
We next play
Then on to
Lotsa laughs in
Cremonain New York City,
Our next jump is
That dopey, mopey menace,
Mantua, then PaduaConnecticut, then Maryland
Then we open again, where? In Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
So...primaries and travelling players trundle on, all the while pundits, columnists, bloggers and commenters becoming ever more decidedly partisan. That was to be expected, in any election year, but especially in 2016, with two candidates opposing the establishments of their chosen parties. Not only do we have the usual Democrat versus Republican election game being played (prematurely, because we're still in primary mode), we have Hillary versus Bernie, and Trump versus Cruz (and/or Kasich or A. N. Other).
I have only memories of the 2008, 2012 and this election seasons (+ mid-terms), so have not wide experience from which to compare 2016 with long-gone election seasons. The internet has been a great cyber playground available in all US elections of my own experience, with increasing importance as years have passed. This is a good thing, a very good thing, because it unites groups of supporters, aids candidates, highlights untruths - but there's always a dark side.
My own internet reading this time has been confined to websites known for being, at least left-leaning if not exactly progresssive (some might call themselves progressive, but they're truly not and have proved it this time). Feuding between Hillary's and Bernie's supporters, including genuine and planted commenters, has become more unpleasant by the day. This is a side effect of Bernie Sanders' campaign's unexpectedly strong showing. Not much more than a year ago it was expected that Hillary Clinton would be a shoo-in for the Democrats: it was "her turn", "she is a female, the glass ceiling of the US presidency should be broken - it's past time"... etc. When that kind of propadanda began to show cracks, bad feeling began to erupt first from one side, then from the other.
Something I've discovered more clearly this time is which websites and blogs are truly progressive, i.e. they support Bernie Sanders. They are few. The rest are either overtly or covertly supporting Clinton and openly or snidely damping down potential Bernie support from readers. Columnists, and some bloggers, I've respected and enjoyed reading in the past now have been mentally given black marks, never again to be trusted. Yep - I'm as partisan as the next person - in the privacy of my own mind and my own blog.
As commenter "Newton Finn", under a piece at Alternet at the weekend wrote:
[we]have come to the realization that many of these comfortable liberal - primarily concerned with personal or social issues instead of hardcore economic ones - are not comrades in the struggle but rather share the mindset of what Marx called the petite bourgeoisie. Moving forward with a true democratic revolution that fundamentally alters status quo concepts and structures necessarily entails leaving these third-way liberals behind, shaking the dust off our feet, and instead reaching out to the exploited and increasingly desperate working class, so many of whom have lined up behind Trump because the left has often ignored them and looked down on them. There is no better voice to listen to in this regard than that of the late great Joe Bageant.
The 2010 piece at the link is a very, very good read by the way.
I'm conscious of the fact that my support for Bernie has lost me at least two former commenters, two I could ill-afford to lose in this Facebook infested world - yet that's the way it has to be. I couldn't feel right sitting on the fence on such an important issue.
All that remains to be said today: GO BERNIE!