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Voting For Bernie Sanders Today Via Absentee Ballot

February 2, 2016 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy 7 Comments
Vintage photo of the former offices of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners. From my collection
Vintage photo of the former offices of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners. From my collection

Absentee voting begins today in Missouri.

I’m a regular voter who rarely misses an election, but eight years ago I didn’t vote in Missouri’s Presidential Presence Primary, held on February 5, 2008. I have a good excuse for not voting though — I was sedated in the ICU at Saint Louis University Hospital. The afternoon of February 1st, at home alone, I had a rare hemorrhagic stroke. The next morning, 15-16 hours later, a worried friend found me.

Three weeks later I was awake again and starting physical therapy. Friends told me they joked about telling me it was already November and Mitt Romney had been elected — McCain hadn’t yet won the GOP nomination.

John McCain had won Missouri’s 2008 Republican Primary with 32.96% of the vote, with Mike Huckabee 2nd and Mitt Romney 3rd. In Missouri’s 2008 Democratic Primary Barack Obama barely won — with 49.32% to Hillary Clinton’s 47.9% — so close they evenly split Missouri’s delegates.  The 2008 Iowa caucuses were held on January 3rd that year. My father had died on New Year’s Day, so I wasn’t paying attention to politics.

I was home for the conventions, but I don’t recall having any strong feelings about Obama vs Clinton. After both parties nominated their candidates and running mates were selected, I became excited about Obama-Biden. After 2011 I my downtown loft got redistricted from the 6th ward to 5th ward — changing my polling place. At first it was ok, Patrick Henry Elementary on 10th Street.   Then it changed to a community center that was closer — but harder to reach. I was using my power wheelchair more and driving less, so access was an issue. I began voting absentee.

I’d like to see early voting in Missouri.

You might think I’m a recent Bernie Sanders supporter — swayed by the recent surge in the polls. No. By June 2015 Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley had all officially entered the race for the Democratic nomination.  Before then I’d been leaning toward Clinton, but I had to do my due diligence. Initially I was impressed with O”Malley — and I liked his youth. After Obama was elected in 2008 I told myself I’d only support someone born in the 60s or later. But as I researched these three the oldest candidate stood out as the best candidate.

I took the ISideWith.com‘s detailed quiz and Bernie Sanders was my top match on the issues. His long record, passion, and energy won my support. He also won the support of my husband — a millennial voter. For months now we’ve been following the issues & campaigns and still see Bernie Sanders as the only choice in the primary. This is my 8th presidential election as a voter  — I’ve never been as excited about a candidate.

On Sunday February 27th marches in support of Bernie Sanders will be held coast to coast — St. Louis’ will be downtown — details are still being finalized.

In Missouri, the last day to register to vote in the primary is February 17th.   The primary is six weeks from today: March 15th. In the sidebar (desktop) I have links to various county election boards in the region.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. Mark-AL says:

    I’ll bite. IMO, Sanders appears to be an honest, well-intentioned candidate, but I just don’t feel that way about H. Clinton (but I think I’d vote tomorrow for her husband, especially if Palin or Jeb or even Donald were running on the Republican ticket!). But, IMO, Sanders-socialism is just un-American, both in practice and especially in spirit. We all know our US economy is built on a corporate-centric capitalist society, and every single economics class I’ve ever taken convinces me
    that institutionalized socialism will not work on the GRAND SCALE that Sanders is promoting (operative words: grand scale). Institutionalized socialism will raise the safety net and in the meantime encourage more Americans to rest on that net. Fewer US citizens will pull their own weight, and they’ll retain fewer of their hard-earned and well-deserved dollars (a result, in most cases, of years of academic preparation and plain ol’ hard work–the 6 AM to 7 PM daily grind!) It’s un-American, from where I stand, to foot someone else’s medical bills or to pay them the same salary that I make…..just because. Similarly, it’s un-American to arbitrarily (operative word) pay a pancake flipper more per hour than some of our elementary and secondary teachers earn.

    • gmichaud says:

      I generally avoid political discussions, but I just want to comment on a few things. The capitalism America is operating under is not classic capitalism. It is monopoly capitalism and I would have a hard time believing anyone, left or right, would deny America has descended into a massive system of bribery of government.
      There is a vast difference between local capitalism and monopoly capitalism, where the logical conclusion is one company owns the world.
      I agree government needs to stay as small as possible, but I also believe Bernie Sanders is the right person to elect President. Government has to do the right thing.
      Certainly our forefathers didn’t envision an American future where the majority of the citizens were subject to the whims of the corporate elite through their government.
      That is the difference between Bernie Sanders and the rest of the presidential candidates. I believe it is a necessity the American people get a handle on this before it is too late.
      One small example, the Koch Bros along with their many front groups are trying to suppress alternate energy. Monopoly capitalism as practiced does not innovative. If it was up to the Koch Bros we would still be using buggy whips as long as they made a profit. There is a built in resistance to change with monopoly capitalism. It is not the innovation America needs. It is why the whole corrupt system that has taken over has to be challenged, otherwise it will destroy America. Bernie Sanders is the only one doing this, business as usual is not a solution.

      • Mark-AL says:

        You say that the America’s economic system has morphed into a form of monopoly capitalism–a massive system of bribery. And so your solution is to elect a candidate who advocates an economic system at the opposite extreme, which I consider to be institutionalized socialism. Monopoly capitalism is not inherently evil! Being a single-seller is not necessarily good or bad. It depends on how one obtained that single-seller status–by economic competition, or by political pull. If such status is gained by competing in the free market, then the monopoly–the successful business–is good. Since political intervention is outlawed under capitalism, a harmful monopoly is really impossible. If it exists, then “capitalism” and “monopoly” aren’t the culprit, but the political system is! If one considers a monopoly by definition as intrinsically evil, then only businesses that obtain their market share by having their competition outlawed can be called a monopoly. Businesses who gained their status by competition shouldn’t be so branded.

        While a devoted Republican, my dad maintains that nothing will ever get done in Washington–by either party– as long as the two-party system exists. I don’t agree, necessarily. So the objective is to elect a candidate who can inspire others to roll up their sleeves to the end that the majority are benefited. This sounds like totalitarianism, but it is far from it. I question if B. Sanders–because he branded himself as

        • gmichaud says:

          You’re making up rules as you go, no one is saying doctors or nurses should work for free or the same salary. You are distorting what socialism does and what it means. For America it would mean something different entirely than other countries, but throwing up bogus examples gets no where.
          And please, everyone works hard, there are always people that game the system whether poor or wealthy
          As a combat veteran, Vietnam, I have always wondered why so many in America freak out about the word socialism.
          War made me realize that what I could die for was the right and ability of Americans to discuss everything: communism, socialism, democracy, conservatism, anything. The idea of America.
          Instead labels are used to shut down discussion.
          I have also been concerned about America’s inability to learn from successes of other nations.
          I know Finland fairly well. Every new city I go to anywhere I try to visit the slums to better understand the city (or rural area), in Helsinki and greater Finland I could find no slums and barely a vacant building.
          Are Finns smarter, more prosperous, what is it? America seems to have an inability for anything but slogans, certainly not serious discussion.
          Finally I mention frequently a book David Pass, Vallingby and Farsta, the building of suburbs of Stockholm.
          What is interesting about the documentation was not only the range of government representatives involved, communists, socialists, democratic, conservative and more if I remember right. And what also stood out was the role of government negotiating with business for success (directing transit to certain areas and so on).
          The government represented the peoples interests, business worked with government to find successful solutions.
          That is a far cry from America where business is dictating to government, irregardless of the harm it does to America.
          Trade bills are a good example.
          Your hard working people can’t find jobs because they have all been sent overseas. This means policy does not protect the interests of America but rather of the large capitalists who write the laws (in secret as with the recent TPP trade agreement)

          You sound like you are a little better off than most people and I suppose you don’t think any of this will impact you. One thing you find out in war is that anything can happen. I don’t know if I would be so certain of your position if the abuse of power that is going on is unchecked.

          • Mark-AL says:

            Yes, you’re right. I reject “socialism” because the very concept is contrary to every fiber of my fabric. And I question your statement that “everyone works hard.” I am spending quite a lot of time recently in Mobile, working on some preliminary details for a new bridge over Mobile Bay. As a favor, I was asked to look at a perceived structural problem in a government-sponsored/financed home (similar to Hab. For Humanity) currently under construction in an adjacent municipality. While looking around the property, I watched the on-site government-paid workers milk the system. Unfortunately, they’re not hard workers, but they do work hard at avoiding hard work. I agree that not everyone is a milker. But I believe that, when government removes the incentives, many among our working force will be occupying space on the milking bench.

            Socialized medicine will destroy our entire medical structure. If gov’t tries to place profit limits on pharmaceutical producers, for example, you and I will likely eventually suffer because pharmaceutical research and development initiatives will be discouraged and therefore limited. Do you realize the costs associated with developing a new drug, then taking it through years of clinical trials, only to have it (almost) arbitrarily rejected by FDA? Pharmaceuticals don’t recover those costs if you pay only 2 cents for a bottle of 100 aspirins (the actual cost of the product, including the cotton and the bottle!). And if you limit the incentives associated with research, why would a young person decide to study pharmacology or bio-chemistry or micro-biology when he won’t make much more than the person whose job it is to clean the lab in the evening?

            Maybe Bernie needs to clearly outline his perceived socialistic program, rather than just talk about bits and pieces. Maybe he needs to clearly explain how it will affect the workplace, our health-care coverage, our schools, etc. He hasn’t done that. We got snookered last time when we arbitrarily accepted a neighborhood organizer’s empty promises of “CHANGE”. At the time, most of us naively assumed he was promising ‘change for the better’.

          • gmichaud says:

            The word socialism is not the problem. It is actions that are undertaken and their impact we should be looking at.
            In the case of health care. Many Countries around the world including Canada do healthcare better and cheaper.
            But the facts be damn.
            And you act as if only certain people work hard and use government workers as an example, yet Medicare administrative costs are lower than healthcare insurance providers
            But the facts be damn.
            Listen if you want to support a world where a few wealthy people call the all of the shots in their interest, have at it. For me I prefer to avoid that world in the interests of my children and yours.
            Capitalism has failed miserably, except at the local level. It is all about money and power. Those with the money buy power, government and policy.
            If you can’t see this happening then there is not much I can say.
            Bernie Sanders is the best person for president. It’s time for the bullshit to stop.

          • Mark-AL says:

            I’m actually not bothered by the term, “socialism.” Call it anything you like! It is the concept and implementation of socialism that bothers me. In practice, I believe it destroys personal initiative and tends to create niches in which those who tend toward laziness might hide.

            Does Canada do healthcare better and cheaper? I’ll agree, Canadians may do it cheaper….but I wonder why so many Canadians travel to the US for major (and TIMELY) surgeries and treatments. When my wife worked at Barnes before we left St Louis, she personally witnessed the high numbers of Canadians who sought (competent) medical services in the US. I suppose if the USA adopts socialized medicine, US citizens can elect to travel to……….Mexico. There, one can undergo open-heart surgery and have a transmission repaired, simultaneously and probably in the same building. What a deal!

            I don’t recall using examples of government workers in my post, unless you consider teachers to be government workers. In a sense, I suppose they might be, but certainly not Federal workers, since they typically work for the state or municipality, depending on the venue. The discussion is about a Federal election, not about state, city or municipality. And certainly, iron workers, carpenters and plumbers are not government workers, unless they’re hired by the local or Federal government to maintain government buildings, but I wasn’t referring to gov’t construction workers. And you can be certain that I wasn’t referring to government-hired doctors and nurses in my post. God forbid that should ever happen. A quick glance at the fiasco created by out government-sponsored veterans health care programs should remind us all to keep government as far away from health care as possible in the US. And ObamaCare certainly hasn’t attracted many supporters, has it?

            Capitalism has been good to me and to my family. Why? Because I work hard to do my job thoroughly and efficiently, just as many in the US do. I’m paid a salary that I think is fair. Should I ever feel otherwise, I would move on to another position with another firm. In a capitalistic structure, I–not some overpaid clerk sitting in Washington playing the role of a deistic moderator– control my own destiny. Socialism would limit my possibilities.

            Bernie is a nice guy, someone I’d like to sit next to at a tavern and share conversation over a few scotches. But I don’t think he’d be good for our country because he is off-base and too divisive, just as Trump is, although Bernie is totally non-abrasive and much more genteel.


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