Even though it no longer matters and our votes are meaningless, as they always are, New Jersey voters will go to the polls tomorrow to express their presidential preferences.
The Curmudgeon, a registered Democrat, will vote for Bernie Sanders.
Although he does not want Bernie Sanders to be president. Heaven spare us from such a fate.
When Sanders got into the race last year, he wasn’t running to win. His purpose, because Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t do it, was to remind Hillary Clinton of what being a Democrat is all about and to push her to the left.
And he has succeeded. Sanders made a lot of people pay a lot of attention to a lot of issues that otherwise would have been ignored on the campaign trail, and while his proposed solutions to those problems ranged somewhere between gibberish and non-existent, they got the job done: they raised the issues, which was all that mattered.
Without Sanders, Hillary would be plodding safely down the middle, buoyed by all that Wall Street money, her ambition so great that she forgot why she wanted to be president in the first place. Except for the insanity, her candidacy wouldn’t have been all that different from Donald Trump’s.
Trump, in case you haven’t figured it out, is really a Democrat in Republican clothing. A bizarro Democrat, to be sure, but a Democrat nonetheless.
But because of Sanders, Hillary had to address issues she would just as soon have ignored, and now that she’s addressed them, or at least started to address some of them, they’re likely to become part of the campaign dialogue for the next five months – including times when she’d really rather they just went away.
And so for Sanders, whose success in the campaign surprised everyone – including himself – it is “Mission Accomplished.”
And that’s one of the two reasons The Curmudgeon, who has cast only two or three “message” votes in 40 years of voting, will vote for Sanders tomorrow: to thank him for a job well done.
The second reason? To remind Hillary of what Democratic voters expect of her. Now that she’s locked up the nomination, she should take every primary vote cast against her as a personal affront, and that’s good: she needs a reminder that for a lot of people, the jury’s still out on her and many of us are pretty skeptical.
And if she takes it that way, as The Curmudgeon hopes she will, then he, too, will have earned a “Mission Accomplished.”