I very rarely talk politics. Least of all with family because I know better. I’m one of the few Democrats in a sea of Republicans. I tried talking politics with my loved ones once and it wasn’t great for family harmony. I’ll discuss politics with like-minded individuals, or Carolyn, who’s known me since we were 14, because we both seek to understand each other’s positions, not beat each other over the head.
But last night my daughter came to me and asked me to watch some videos of Bernie Sanders, who she’s leaning toward supporting. She wants me to support him too, I can tell. (I can just hear my entire family groaning now.)
I have a hard time arguing against a politician like Bernie, who’s been saying the same things for 30 plus years, who wants to even the playing field, who wants to bring the middle class back, who was raised pretty much like I was.
His popularity seems to be increasing. Even at work, there’s a resident squirrel, who everyone’s taken to calling Bernie Sanders. He’s adorable, but has an unfortunate addiction to stale almonds.
The real Bernie seems to have something a lot of politicians don’t have — integrity, a healthy sense of humor and a real-ness you almost never see, along with a wife who is not picture perfect. I kind of like that about her. A lot of people are calling Bernie a number of names: Socialist, Communist, etc. I’m not interested in labeling him, or anyone, I just want to see what his ideas are and whether they’ll work.
I’d love to have faith in politicians again, but I’ve been burned by others, who lured me in, then let me down like a bad boyfriend. Our country has never seemed more divided with rich versus poor, black versus white, business owners versus workers, gun owners versus non-gun owners, Republicans versus Democrats. I hate it.
I think everyone decides whether they want change based on their own situation. I’m certainly not where I thought I’d be at this age. I know the recession has contributed to me and millions of others losing our jobs in 2008, and never finding an equal replacement. I know so many people my age in the same boat, it’s more than a little scary when I think of the future.
But fear isn’t going to get me anywhere.
So I watched the videos and, like a stupid romantic, started inching toward getting my hopes up. I so want to believe that there’s someone out there who’ll actually come through on his or her promises. I want someone smart and honest, who’s done the research, who knows that nothing in the world is black and white, that everything is a compromise.
I want someone who’s willing to roll up those sleeves, work hard and give it his or her all, using charm, intelligence, and a good sense of humor. I want a government of senators and representatives willing to compromise and move us forward, instead of locked in stupid partisan politics, where the other party just digs in their heels, so the party in power can accomplish nothing.
And the thing I will never understand is why people insist on bringing in an outsider, someone who is not a politician, to do a politician’s job. It’s like running a hospital and saying, “Dang it, these doctors aren’t doing a good enough job, let’s bring in a plumber.”By the time the plumber is up to speed, all the patients are dead and everyone is wondering why the plumber didn’t work.
I want the same things in a president I want in a prospective mate, which is why it’s so scary to let my heart be won by yet another politician. It’s like love — the same soaring affection and belief, that leaves you giddy with optimism — then burnt to a crisp when things don’t pan out.
This year, I’m taking my time. I’ll try not to let my heart overrule my head, which it usually does. I’m going to be more careful and not to get too carried away by promises, charm, and a handsome face (which, thank God, I don’t have to worry about in this race.) And maybe by spring I’ll let myself be vulnerable enough again to believe.
How ironic that one of the websites my daughter showed me was called Feel The Bern. http://feelthebern.org/
Man, I hope not.
And now, in keeping with being a Californian, I’m posting a recipe for Granola that my friend, Dawn shared. It’s very good sprinkled on Greek Yogurt and you can mix in peanuts, almonds, dried cranberries or raisins — whatever you like. This makes me a certifiable, granola eating California liberal, which I’m sure is horrifying my family as much as last week’s virginity story. Sorry guys.
Peanut Butter Granola
2/3 cup Peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
Cook the two together until they bubble
Add 1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Mix well. Then add:
4 cups oats
(Optional: 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds)
(Optional) 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
Once the honey – peanut butter mixture bubbles and you’ve mixed in the rest of the ingredients, pour it over 4 cups of oats in a large bowl.
Spread it on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes, turning it every ten minutes. After 35 minutes, turn the oven off.
Dried fruit of your choice — figs, raisins, cherries, cranberries
Coarsely Chopped almonds, walnuts or peanuts
Then add the nuts and the fruit and leave it in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes. Let it cool in a dry place. When it’s done and at room temperature, store it in an airtight container.
BernieFebruary 12, 2016 at 6:55 am
His philosophy is good until those who are paying the bills run out of money. Socialism has never worked in any country.
Sent from my iPhone
Chas MadonioFebruary 10, 2016 at 11:12 am
My clear choice in this election is………none of the above.
Michele HooverFebruary 9, 2016 at 9:40 pm
Spelled my last name wrong in my reply Fran! It’s Hoover and I’m a friend of Bernie. (but I think like you!)
Michele HoovetFebruary 9, 2016 at 9:34 pm
I liked what you said Fran. I’m an Independent and can’t believe what I’m seeing in Washington. To say your confused is how a lot of us feel. Love your blog and sent you another Italian from Youngstown your way!!
Fran TunnoFebruary 9, 2016 at 10:09 pm
Thank you so much Michelle! And thanks for the referral, I so appreciate it! Yeah, these are trying times. I’m not sure where my vote will go yet, but it’s nice to know I have company in my indecision and angst!
lafridayFebruary 9, 2016 at 8:36 pm
I was a rabid McGovern supporter in 1971. And I voted for Bill Clinton. Twice. Now that I am (much) older and wiser in the ways of the world and how governments work (or don’t), I realize my youthful idealism was too naive. That is why I can never be “burned” again by a politician. I don’t believe ANYONE’s soaring rhetoric. In the end, politicians are mere mortals. Ask yourself what a candidate has ACCOMPLISHED. Not what they voted for, or against, but have they had enough influence to actually change the game? I actually started writing this comment to DISPROVE Bernie’s bona fides, and then found this: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/10/6/1428616/-Bernie-Sanders-What-the-Hell-Have-You-Done-for-Us-Lately.
In spite of the glowing things this article said, I DO know the ill effects of socialism on the people whose government’s have operated (and collapsed) under that political philosophy. I don’t believe that Bernie could (or should) be able to enact all his campaign promises. We give away far too much in this country and it has depleted initiative. As a daughter, I know you are proud of the work ethic your parents instilled in you and the disdain you have for people (I will not name names) who are lazy and sit as life (and hard work) pass them by.
My daughter EARNED good grades and got academic scholarships and THEN worked four jobs while staying on the dean’s list to make up what was financially lacking. She went to a private university and has often said that she valued her education far more than her friends who had wealthy parents who paid for everything. And she has parlayed that initiative and hard work into success after college–with MORE hard work.
As grand as it sounds to give everyone a “free” college education, not everyone has earned that right, nor will they work hard for something handed to them. And the thing that people never understand is that it is NOT free. And it is not just the taxes of billionaires and corporations that fund everything. There are plenty of small to mid business owners who are heavily taxed to pay for the lofty things that progressives want to “give” to everyone.
The world is NOT fair. Some people have writing and voice-over talent, and some do not. We are not born equal, but this country grants us the opportunity to rise above our circumstance. The best argument I ever saw against financial parity was when Stanford students, preaching financial parity (the government should give everyone a college education, a house, a car, etc.) were asked if they would be willing to give up some of their GPA points for more academically challenged students. To a person they said, “No. I EARNED my grades.” And that is the fundamental flaw with politicians who want to eradicate disparity across the board–some people have EARNED and ACHIEVED and others feel they should be entitled to what others have without any of the hard work. Entitlement is the DEATH of personal industry and initiative.
I was a single-mother for most of my daughter’s life. We were far from wealthy, particularly compared to most of my friends. Just about everyone I dealt with had far more than Kate and I. I did not begrudge my wealthier (and very wealthy) friends anything. And it did not stop me from encouraging my daughter to have far bigger dreams than I had been able to achieve. I instilled in her that same intangible gift bestowed upon you by YOUR parents: hard work will win the day.
Whomever gets your vote, Fran, make sure they understand personal responsibility and accountability. Sadly, the death of these traits is what is really wrong with America. When we return to the virtue of self-determinism and eschew the victimization of whatever our specific “group” is, we will be a stronger and less divided country.
Fran TunnoFebruary 9, 2016 at 10:06 pm
Holy smokes Linda, wow. Excellent points well made. I will be reading all I can so I can make the best decision with the choices we have! Thanks for taking the time to write!
ChuckFebruary 9, 2016 at 6:15 pm
As usual, you’ve stated your feelings eloquently and passionately, which isn’t easy to do because they are too often contradictory. But I agree with you, especially the older I get. I changed party registration to Democrat a couple of years ago, although I was never a party loyalist. But during the past 8 years the Republicans have been just too unreasonable to the point of being dangerous. But I am going to try making the granola! Then I can be a certifiable, granola-eating NY liberal!
Fran TunnoFebruary 9, 2016 at 10:04 pm
I think you’ll like the granola Chuck. The candidates…well maybe, but I’m more sure about the granola. Enjoy!
Bob, not BernieFebruary 9, 2016 at 7:59 am
Fran. All I ask is to get an informed view from all sides and look to meat and not the gravy of the candidates proposal i.e.read opposing websites. If you cannot articulate a candidates’ position quantitatively and without emotion you don’t know enough about them. PS. Who bought the almonds that Bernie the squirrel is eating? What a fitting analogy!
lafridayFebruary 9, 2016 at 8:40 pm
And THIS is very good advice!
Fran TunnoFebruary 9, 2016 at 10:03 pm
I will definitely be reading up. I trust no politicians anymore.
ToadFebruary 9, 2016 at 4:52 am
You and me both.
Fran TunnoFebruary 9, 2016 at 9:59 pm
Thank you. Short and sweet!