Heaven help us if we allow the Presidency to fall into the hands of the GOP. The dysfunction of that party is so great and the quality of the candidates is so poor, that I would fear for the country if one of the members of the clown car made it all the way. I also tremble at the GOP entourage that would accompany the victor into office ... neocons in the Defense Department ready to start up yet another war, bankers in the Treasury Department ready to unleash another financial disaster on Wall Street, insurance professionals ready to dismantle Obamacare, and radicals in the Supreme Court ready to roll back a whole range of advances that we progressives have worked so hard to achieve over the past several decades.
Having said that my personal example of Republican ineptitude is actually a US Senator who is not running for President. He is Jim Imhofe of Oklahoma, a man who has personally vowed to expose man-made climate change as a hoax. Who can forget Senator Imhofe bringing a snowball into the Senate chambers last winter as his proof of the fallacy of global warming. He followed that up by threatening to embarrass the United States by disrupting the climate change talks in Paris. This is the man that the GOP put in charge of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Now how scary is that?
If we turn to the GOP Presidential candidates themselves, the man who frightens me most is the person who is likely to become the Republican candidate for President ... Mr. Donald J. Trump. This man literally "out-Trumps" the other candidates in his rantings directed towards ethnicities other than whites, genders other than male (the one that comes to mind is female), religions other than Christianity (especially Islam), and people other than Americans (literally everyone in the world except possibly Mr. Putin). As President, the tactless Mr. Trump would be the State Department's worst nightmare; we would be living on pins and needles awaiting yet another bellicose statement that could propel us into war or terrorist reprisals.
We Democrats can be heartened in that we offer three people to the American people who would do well as President. At this point, two of them, Hillary or Bernie, would actually be favored to win the Presidency. Our club members are split in allegiance to these two, but when one or the other is nominated at the National Convention, it will be our duty to reconcile our differences and go all in to get that person elected.
We in the Democratic Club of Camarillo have our work cut out for us. We must do our best to help all of our candidates ... including those down-ticket who would most impact our local decision-making. We have to focus on the race for the Board of Supervisors in District 3. This person will take over from the experienced and pragmatic Democrat Kathy Long who has announced her retirement after years of superb service to the County. There are several prospective candidates in the race right now, and it will be important to narrow the field and arrive at the very best person to represent our party and our ideals. Otherwise, this seat could very well be lost to the Republicans.
We need to ensure that Julia Brownley, Hannah-Beth Jackson, and Jacqui Irwin continue to represent us in the US Congress, the State Senate, and the State Assembly, respectively. Julia is especially vulnerable and will really need our support. It is important that we continue working with her to ensure that she represents all of our progressive values. We are in a relatively comfortable position to retain the US Senate seat for the Democrats held for so many years by the redoubtable Barbara Boxer who has been a shining light in the eyes of most Democrats, myself included.
During my first year as your Club President in 2015, we focused on issues impacting our community and nation including our water problems, the dangers of allowing oil trains to run through Camarillo, the economic shortcomings of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, health care issues including the successes of Obamacare, the SOAR initiative, and many others. This year we need to shift our sights to the practical logistics of getting our candidates elected ... people who will represent our progressive values on a whole host of issues ... people who will serve with the best of intentions, competently and honorably. We will need to vet the contenders and then endorse the best and brightest to become our official Democratic candidates. And then we will have to do what it takes to get them elected.
We have a lot of work ahead of us ... and not much time. The fruits of our labor will became apparent in ten short months from now when the November elections tell their tale. Let's make sure that we know in our hearts that we have done what it takes to be successful.
We have to get it right this time!