[updated February 12, 8:45 p.m.]

I keep waiting for Teddy Roosevelt to rise from the grave and run for re-election.  I keep waiting, but he keeps breaking my heart on that one.  Just another political disappointment.

But, considering the state of things, at this point I’ll gladly vote for a dead, bloated armadillo baking in the sun on the side of the road if it’s on the ticket opposing Trump. Even more so if someone has taken the time to put a beer can between its legs and a cigarette in its mouth.  I just can’t help but think there’d be more integrity in an armadillo America.  Bill Maher nailed it when he described the hollowing out of the American institutions is akin to cable channels no longer representing their names. (ex. MTV doesn’t actually play music and the History Channel doesn’t actually have any history) The Senate has lost its credibility thanks to McConnell, as has the State Department, the Justice Department is sliding as fast as they can convince good attorneys to quit  and the list goes on. But, this is exactly what you should expect from politicians who openly say they don’t like government. These are people who are actively working to hollow out democratic institutions from the inside so they become toothless in order to complain that the darn things don’t work and then hand the keys over to a strong man to rule.

Well at least a tough guy on Twitter. Walk softly and carry a big tweet.

Americans are shallow. They don’t research and the current media environment saturates them with disinformation. Too many get their political insight from memes and are far too cozy with conspiracy theories. Those with ideological motivation typically have tunnel vision and are unable to empathize with anyone else anyway. The right has already done the job needed to turn a democratic socialist into a plain ole socialist because nuance is oh so last year’s fashion. So for those on the right, there’s nothing to discuss. Emperor Trump is their lord and savior. Jesus and morality have nothing to offer them.  I’ve seen that first hand.

For me, any Republican claims of morality or being pro-life are as hollow as Mitch McConnell’s Senate.  I’ve seen it for what it is.  I’ve seen it on the border illuminated by white crosses memorializing dead children.  I saw it when they rallied around Trump instead of taking the high ground.  They have nothing left to offer me.  Kinda like Jesus for Franklin Graham.

My concern is even with all that, Bernie won’t be able to pull from the center. I’ve talked to too many moderates who just don’t like him that much. It’s not even necessarily his policies that bother me. I’m smart enough to get what he’s saying and agree with most of it. It’s the messaging that’s coming from his base that’s off-putting. And too many of the other candidates are trying too hard to appeal to the far left and it feels like a different version of what I’ve come to detest about the far right. You can’t be left enough or pure enough.  I keep hearing things like, “The moderates have to come to us!”  I’ve heard that before.  It was just on the right.  Then as now, it’s condescending.

At a point you realize that nobody really wants to make room for you at the table.  Or at least listen to what you might have to say.

The moderates simply want to know that they can work hard for something and have a path to success. They don’t mind paying taxes as long as they’re getting a fair deal. They don’t want free anything. It’s the stoic ideal of the obstacle is the way. Things are worth more if they’re hard. What they don’t want is to work hard only to have that path blocked completely. And those blocks are really easy to define on both the far right and far left. It doesn’t really matter how accurate those definitions are, it’s easy to point to a thing and say that’s what’s to blame. The right blames immigrants, minorities and taxes. The left blames corporations, fundamentalists and wealth.  The left used to get that until they didn’t.  The right still seems to get it to a degree and aren’t afraid to lie to us and promise they’ve tried fix it but those pesky dems and their socialist, affordable healthcare, Benghazi ways just keep messing things up.

But, the right always wins because they stick together and aren’t afraid or ashamed to game the system. Trump has illustrated that. Principles be damned as long as they stay in power. The new left isn’t willing to play hard enough or smart enough for fear that they’ll alienate the more liberal of the spectrum. As a result they regularly eat their own out of principle and lose another election. It seems they’re more interested in being martyrs than leaders.

The dems don’t just have to win the presidency, they have to win the senate if they hope to accomplish anything at all. McConnell is simply too smart and too ruthless for anything to get accomplished if he’s still in power.  All the Republicans and Russians have to do is split the vote on the left.

Nobody is listening to me but, I figure the only thing any of us should be wanting now is functional governance because you can’t build on the broken.  You want to win?  Start by building a stronger foundation and start reaching out to those on the moderate right who’ve been feeling pretty icky about this whole Trump business.