Post-convention identity politics

Post-convention identity politics

We Oklahoma Democrats who stayed home and held the fort so to speak were firmly riveted to our TV screens every evening through Thursday this past week.  Even though it happened in Philadelphia, PA, it is not every day of the World we get to see such history in the making.  Nominating the first woman as a major political party’s candidate for President of the United States most certainly qualifies as a “first in a lifetime” event.  It was one which filled many of us who still believe in that ethereal and often elusive American Dream with an overwhelming sense of pride and purpose.  What made it especially memorable was watching personal friends and members of the Oklahoma delegation casting their votes during the 50 State Roll Call on Tuesday.

Oklahoma DNC Delegation

Former Secretary of State and Senator from New York Hillary Rodham Clinton accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for President on Thursday evening along with her chosen running mate Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.


Admittedly, Mrs. Clinton was not my choice to represent the Democratic Party in 2016.  I am proud to have been associated with the Tulsa for Bernie Sanders group and to have contributed to the effort that won the Vermont Senator a majority of Oklahoma delegates in the primary.  I did feel a sense of unity and perhaps a bit of relief when Senator Sanders delivered his endorsement of Mrs. Clinton this week.  I am acutely aware that did not sit well with many of his followers.  Many of them are so upset by Mrs. Clinton’s nomination they are pledging to vote for anyone but her.  I remember this sort of reaction by Mrs. Clinton’s supporters in 2008 when now President Barack Obama defeated her in a very spirited primary and sent them reeling.  When you leave all your heart on the field and for whatever reason fail to achieve victory the pain is very real and I totally get it.  It presents a situation which must be worked through but in the end we all much accept reality, that being the 2016 GOP alternative is not acceptable.  I can speak as a Democrat and as such I will crow the party line that I have embraced.  We all fall in love with our candidate for whatever office.  We all fall in line behind our nominee, whomever he/she may be.  In the words of Mick Jagger and the Stones, “You can’t always get what you want but sometimes you get what you need!”

Veterans for Clinton

In the run up to Mrs. Clinton’s acceptance speech there were speakers who buoyed her nomination and in grand fashion unloaded mightily on her GOP opponent.  What does it say about a Presidential candidate when senior military veterans come out of the woodwork and come down heavily on the side of making the case against them?  Former JAG chief retired Rear Admiral John Hutson delivered a scathing rebuke of the GOP nominee.


Given the GOP nominee has made the assertion on several occasions that he knows more than the generals, a retired four star Marine Gen. John Allen in the company of several other retired senior military officers delivered a very eloquent case against him.

Mr. & Mrs. Khan

The coup de grace of the evening though was a very original and emotional speech by the immigrant father of a U.S. Army soldier who was killed in action in Iraq.  Mr. Khizr Khan and his wife are members of the Islamic faith as was their deceased son.  Mr. Khan’s query to the GOP nominee if he had ever read the U.S. Constitution was the highlight of the build up to Mrs. Clinton’s speech.  I’m sure most who are familiar with the document have been quietly wondering that very thing given that so much of the bombast and hyperbole coming from the candidate’s mouth does not square with much of it.  I would like to extend my personal thanks to Mr. Khan for his grace and honesty.  It is nice to know I am not the only fan of the Constitution who walks around with a copy of it in my pocket.


We are now one hundred days away from the General Election on November 8th.  Most voters have already made their decision as to who will receive their vote for President.  That leaves a few who are undecided or who may change their mind in the interim as more facts about the candidates are revealed.  More importantly, in terms of down ballot campaigns, it leaves a lot of time to make the case for ridding our state legislature of incumbents who have crafted and/or supported policies that have done some very real damage to our state and to many of its citizens.

I do realize that there are many voters in Oklahoma and elsewhere who would not vote for any candidate with a “D” next to their name if their life depended on it.  Fair enough but allow me take a page from the playbook of the Gipper himself  and pose a question to all Oklahoma voters:  Is our state better off now than it was four years ago?


We now have results from the policies our all-Republican state government put in place in 2011 and not even the best campaign spin doctors can make them appear rosy.  The revenue and subsequent budget failure loom large over the next legislature.  It is getting increasingly more difficult to make the case that Oklahoma public schools are thriving and their classrooms are attracting homegrown teachers who can earn a living wage as career educators.  The refusal to accept federal Medicaid expansion has not well served our indigent citizens, their healthcare providers and many rural hospitals and nursing homes.  One industry has been allowed to violate the environment with seeming impunity and those who complain about it are simply dismissed as “collateral damage.”  Anyone who drives an automobile on any state road can vouch for the less the stellar shape of much of our infrastructure.  I will double down on a wager of all the cash in my wallet that a significant segment of the Sooner State’s voters identify with or at very least agree with one or two of the preceding examples of the results of all-Republican governance.  A reasonable question is what does the GOP Presidential ticket and its down ballot affiliates have to offer John & Jane Q. Oklahoma Voter?  Last August I posted on this very blog The Appeal of a Narcissist in which I detailed what the GOP nominee’s supporters saw in him and why they identified with his character.  All that analysis still stands.

Vote Democratic

When you and your campaign are down to using fear and division as your primary tools to win voters then you are devoid of ideas.  That likely is in part why the GOP nominee has not articulated any specifics on any point of policy.  In spite of all that the coattail effect does not bode well for us Oklahoma Dems.  I will go out on a limb here and predict this election will come down to who identifies as a “temporarily embarrassed millionaire” and who simply identifies as “not an asshole.”  I know those are not the nicest of choices but then again this not the nicest of election years.  All I can say going forward is choose you this Election Day and choose you well as we all must live with the consequences.



  1. Route66Kid
    Aug 1, 2016

    Andy, the Evangelical vote may very well be a wash given the increase in the Hispanic population. President Bush carried 30% of the Hispanic vote in 1988 then 25% in 1992, Bush 43 received 35 then 40% of the Hispanic vote, both McCain received 31% and Romney garnered only 27% of it. Trump is currently polling around 14% among Hispanics. There is a reason his idea of building a wall on our southern border is winning him votes among white middle class voters.

  2. Andy Radler
    Jul 31, 2016

    Here’s my thoughts on who is going to win this election. I’m predicting Trump, as you know. This is not an endorsement. Here’s why. One simple thing. The evangelical vote. True, they didn’t turn out the last couple elections, but things have changed. Gay marriage came in and let’s face it, all religions are discriminatory on the gay issue. Look up calif SB 1146. Christian institutions are getting threatened. The evangelical crowd will turn out in record numbers this time, and will probably deliver pretty much the entire south. Fla and 2 rust belt states wins the election at that point. Hillary has completely alienated the entire evangelical vote, where as Trump is delivering Supreme Court justices, and will try to repeal the amendment that would once again allow churches to talk politics without losing their tax exempt status. This group put Reagan in office in 1980, and although it’s smaller, it is still a strong voting block. There is enough to push swing states in the south to Trump, and possibly push Florida over. This election will be decided before the polls close in California. One way or the other.