Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Still Not Feeling the Love for Hillary

Lately I've been getting attacked pretty frequently on Facebook by a few people who insist I vote for Hillary Clinton. When they get really upset, they start telling me how stupid I am. I'm unfamiliar with high school civics. I don't understand how things work. What about 1972? Didn't we lose in 1972? Sanders is Ralph Nader. He's a spoiler.

When you tell them that Sanders has pledged to support the Democratic nominee, they are not happy. It doesn't matter. Sometimes they accuse me of supporting the Republicans. If I don't vote for Hillary, I'm supporting Donald Trump. How do I feel about that?

They don't seem to understand the meaning of democracy. If, in fact, I want to vote for Donald Trump, I can. I don't, but still I have reasons not to vote for Hillary. For one thing, I voted for Barack Obama the first time he ran. I was pretty horrified as he enacted the worst education policies I've ever seen. I regretted my vote, and when he ran for re-election chose Jill Stein from the Green Party. So when Hillary said she would close schools that weren't above average, I decided that was enough for me.

But she followed this up by saying we would never, ever get single payer. Evidently those of us who think America should have universal health coverage are wild-eyed dreamers. Now I've been sick, and even with excellent health insurance I recall wading through complicated, virtually incomprehensible bills, and spending hours calling my medical insurance company, and my hospital insurance company, and actually visiting the hospital to try and clear things up. This was a process that took months.

But that's nothing.

Sometimes I play fiddle in bluegrass bands. It's kind of my hobby. One Saturday night, I was playing in a Pennsylvania theater, in a band that opened for someone who was fairly well known in our circles. It was a pretty nice gig. We had a dressing room, and the theater sent us to a nearby restaurant for lunch and dinner.

I remember I ate with the banjo player from the main band. He ordered a Reuben sandwich, and so did I. I don't remember much of what we talked about. I do remember, though, that he was the only member of the other band who looked under 300 pounds. That's why I was pretty surprised to hear that he dropped dead the following Tuesday.

Evidently he'd been having chest pains and didn't want to go to the ER. After all, an ER visit can cost 3,000 bucks, and that's after the negotiated discounts your insurance company has. This banjo player had none of those discounts, and in case you didn't know, banjo playing is not generally a well-paying job. I'm not even sure if he was the regular banjo player. But banjo players, regular or not, like all Americans, deserve better than this.

My friend's father had to sell his house to pay his wife's medical bills. He moved into the basement of his son's house, where one Christmas Eve he blew his brains out with a gun.

America needs universal health, not excuses from self-serving politicians who care about nothing but winning the election. And for those of you who want to lecture me about the Supreme Court, if Hillary needs my  vote in NY State so desperately it's that pivotal, she is toast anyway.

You vote for who you like. I'm voting for Bernie in the primary, and I'm not voting for a reformy politician who wants to fire me, or any of my brother and sister teachers.
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