I mean, this is fun, right?
And I don’t mean fun in the same way that the slow motion train wreck of the Republican primary is kinda fun, if really scary, to watch. Honestly, I’m not a partisan voter. I want to hear proposals on how issues can be solved. So there are a couple Republican candidates who occasionally rise from the blustering whom I can kinda-sorta respect even if I don’t agree with all of their policy leanings. But on the Democratic side of things, it feels like it’s 90% policy discussion. Vox’s breakdown of the most recent debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton underscored that point.
Bernie’s appealing because he’s delivering Jeremiads against a broken system and failing domestic policies. Hillary might be the best qualified candidate in a while, with her years and years in various areas of public service. I think neither candidate is perfect, but they’re both ready to take meaningful action. Also, they both get pretty good scores from independent fact checking sites like FactCheck.org and PolitiFact, which is nice. I mean, via Politifact, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are flat-out spewing falsehoods 40% and 60% of the time, respectively, with less than a third of either candidate’s checked statements rating out as at least “Half True.” By comparison, Clinton meets the “Half True” threshold 71% of the time, and Sanders 68% of the time, with neither eclipsing 16% of “False” or “Pants-on-Fire” statements. I think 16% is still way high, but at least it’s not nearly/over half the time.
That’s why I’m having so much fun with this primary. There are two candidates who have defined ideas about what ought to happen in the U.S., and they’re talking about why and how to achieve their ideas in (mostly) realistic terms. (No, I don’t think public college will or should be tuition free, and no, I don’t totally believe that you can take over half a million in someone’s money and completely ignore their interests.) But it’s an exciting political race of ideas, and I’ll be happily watching throughout the primary season and into the general election…where I imagine things will get messier by several orders of magnitude, no matter which candidates end up with the nominations for each party.