The presidential primaries are here and we are reminded daily. As a political junkie I love it. My father was active in the union and had meetings in our house to change the union’s leadership. Politics were always a topic at our home and so I thought to be a candidate would be cool.
My first endeavor was in junior high school. I ran for Student Body President. My opponent was my best buddy, Bobby Bedolla. We both played softball, baseball, touch-football and basketball on the same team at the local neighborhood playground. I became a candidate, because I thought I could change some things. So did Bobby.
We spoke to the assembled student body in the auditorium. All I remember was that as I was speaking into the mike, my right foot started stomping on the floor. I mean really stomping! At least I thought it was. I glanced down at my right foot as I spoke. It looked perfectly still. I couldn’t believe it! My mind told me my right foot was stomping so hard that I couldn’t hear my voice. The audience didn’t seem to notice. I hurried my speech in the hope that nobody would see my unruly foot. Would I be able to walk back to my seat without falling? When my speech ended, my foot quit stomping. Bobby won. I still believe I would have won if I hadn’t been betrayed by my right foot, but Bobby and I remained buddies.
Not to be discouraged, I ran for Student Body President in high school. I ran under the title “Honest Herm.” I borrowed the “honest” from “Honest Abe” Lincoln’s campaign. My right foot behaved and I won.
Following my high school presidential victory, I enrolled at UCLA and sought a degree in Political Science. It didn’t take me long to conclude that the title was deceiving. Politics is not scientific. It is a process by which leaders obtain the power to lead others. In our country the process is without bloodshed. We call them elections. I won’t bore you with my other losing campaigns as a candidate.
This year we have a variety of candidates for President of this nation. The Republican Party has still standing seven males and one female candidate. The men include a multi billionaire, a couple of US Latino Senators, both sons of Latino immigrants, an African American surgeon, a couple of governors, and one ex-governor who is the brother and son of former Presidents. The woman is a former CEO of a major company.
The Democratic Party has two candidates. One is a seventy-four-year-old US Senator who describes himself as a Socialist. The other candidate has served as US Senator and as Secretary of State. She is also the wife of a former President. I have followed the debates very carefully trying to decide which candidate to support.
But I missed the last debate, because I attended a joint birthday party of two of our grandchildren. Nathan celebrated his eleventh birthday and Hannah, his sister, celebrated her eighth birthday. I sat with family members and friends as Nathan and Hannah took turns opening their respective gifts. I smiled as I observed their happiness and joy. Then it hit me! At eighty-two years old, my vote for President cannot be about me. My vote has to be for my grandchildren’s best interests! They inherit the country that we leave them.
I smile as I think about the political analysts after this year’s election. They will analyze the numerous voting blocs by gender, race and age and reach conclusions about each voting bloc. I bet political analysts won’t know we seniors voted for what we believe is best for our grandchildren. That’s the view from the pier.
Copyright 2016 by Herman Sillas. Herman is a San Clemente attorney and resident, may be found most Saturday mornings fishing at the San Clemente Pier. He may be reached at email@example.com. All photos are in the public domain.