General Question

Jonsblond's avatar

Have you ever felt passionate about a presidential candidate?

Asked by Jonsblond (5956points) February 12th, 2020
74 responses
“Great Question” (6points)

Or have you always voted for the lesser of two evils?

Many of you know I’m passionate about Bernie. Please leave me out of your response. I’d like to hear about you and your experience.

Thank you.

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Caravanfan's avatar

I’ve been on the hateful end of vitriol for people looking for ideological purity from both the Trump right and the Bernie left. So I am wary of passion—I prefer reason and thoughtfulness and I value wisdom and nuance.

filmfann's avatar

I worked for John Anderson’s Presidential campaign in 1980. I got to meet him, and really felt he was the man for the job.

Zaku's avatar

Just one… Bernie Sanders.

Sanders only really got my attention in 2016. Before that, I don’t think I’d ever heard him speak. When I first heard him on a TV appearance, I was struck by the sincerity and clarity in how he talked, and also at how I agreed with what he was saying. When he came to Seattle, I went to see him (the first time I’d ever been to such a rally), and ended up having to spend all day to get in and see him, but I was very glad I did, both to be among so many people who were excited about him and noticing they seemed like really good people, and also to see him speak in person, where he seemed again to be consistently strikingly sincere and saying all things I strongly agreed with.

Jonsblond's avatar

@Caravanfan Those are the very reasons why I’m passionate about the candidate I support. Reason, thoughtfulness, wisdom. Speaking of being on the hateful end of vitriol, I feel your pain.

JLeslie's avatar

Not to the point that it’s them or no one. Idolizing one person to the point that they can magically transform the country to be some sort of utopia is a scary thing to me. That sort of worship makes me uncomfortable.

The closest I came was Hillary, especially the first time when she ran against Obama. I had hopes that she would reduce the deficit, as her husband had, which I care about a lot, and I felt strongly she would work hard for women’s rights, and for healthcare options. It would have been her chance to complete the goal her husband she started regarding universal healthcare. Her second time around I felt her experience as Secretary of State was very valuable for understanding our situation geopolitically, and could help women in other countries, which I believe can help transform the world.

I was passionate about Gore I guess, but again my “passion” is not to the degree of what I see from so many Trump and Bernie supporters. My passion for Gore had more to do with being afraid of Bush. I was in a depression when Gore lost. I wasn’t afraid of McCain or Romney the way that Bush made me feel when he was elected.

cookieman's avatar

Passionate? No.
Hopeful? Once.

All the rest have been “Meh”.

hmmmmmm's avatar

Well, as a leftist, there has been only one candidate in my lifetime to speak to the passion and anger that I have felt most of my life. As a New Englander, I’ve been aware of Bernie for decades, and to actually be at a place where actual left issues are being represented by a presidential candidate translates into something I would call passion.

Note: He’s not perfect. I’m far to the left of his proposals across the board. He’s a compromise – but one that I can make with confidence…and passion.

elbanditoroso's avatar

1976 – Ford was running against Carter. Ford had become president after Nixon resigned in disgrace.

I was a passionate Carter supporter. He won. And then we had all the issues – fuel crisis, Iran hostages….and he lost in 1980

si3tech's avatar


stanleybmanly's avatar

Bernie was the first person I’ve EVER been passionate about, and the proof is that he is also the first and only candidate for anything to whom I have given money. Passion? Say it with cash in America!

janbb's avatar

I’ve been thinking about this since it was asked. I feel more passionate about ideas and goals than a specific candidate usually. It’s very unlikely that the candidate I support will get the nomination but I will fully support whomever gets the Democratic nomination because I am very passionate about defeating Donald Trump and giving a voice to those in need who may not have one.

tinyfaery's avatar

I was so into Bernie in 2015/16, and now I can’t even remember why. I thought he could save America (at heart I am a Dem-Socialist) and create a better future, but now I see all his faults and I’ve lost so much respect for him.

I now know that America can’t be saved, we will never have a political revolution. All we can hope for is the incremental change toward progress that has worked in the past.

Jonsblond's avatar

I think one can have passion for a candidate while recognizing their flaws. It doesn’t mean one thinks the person is perfect and is going to save the world. I would also not equate passion with worship. That is not what I mean by passion.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Our last federal election here in Canada I disliked all three front runners ALOT!
First time in my life I voted green but I knew they didn’t have a chance in hell at any big win, but I still voted.
So yeah first time like I voted for the lesser evil.

Strauss's avatar

I have been at, different times, just about everywhere on the spectrum between passionate and indifferent. My first political activity was as a youth with JFK’s campaign in 1960. (Yes, I’m really that old!)

It was a no-brainer for me, since I had been raised a strong Catholic by a family that was extremely pro-labor. It was youthful idealism at the age of 12.

I was away at school for the ‘64 elections, and i was in the navy in ‘68, so I didn’t campaign; The voting age at that time was 21, so I couldn’t even vote for president until 1972. I campaigned passionately (and voted) for McGovern, and was so disillusioned by his loss that I swore off politics for a long time.

In 1976 and 1980, I supported and voted for Jimmy Carter, although I don’t remember doing any campaigning.

The ‘80’s found me preoccupied with my own needs, trying to make it as a musician. I was too involved in music to afford any time toward the politics of the time…and I nfelto passion for eitherMondale in 84 or Dukakis in 88.

1992 was a little different. I was growing weary of the previous 20 years of Nixon-Reagan-Bush Republican policies. (As bad as it was, IMHO, it would have been worse without the carter years)

I heard Bill Clinton speak, and I was hopeful again. Although my idealism had been tempered by the political social and economic realities of the times, I still felt that he spoke to my hopes and dreams for this country.

Newt Gingrich’s obstructionist congress (not to mention the other impeachment), was the start of the political polarization that we feel today.

As for today, well, I haven’t seen a Democratic candidate that inspires the passion, other than to say I am passionately against another term for Trump. I never liked him even before he got into politics, and I sure don’t him as President.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Now that was a tale of passionate idealism

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mazingerz88's avatar

Passionate. Inspired.

Bill Clinton because he is a Democrat. Obama because he was the first inspiring black Presidential candidate and I adore the story of his grandparents who loved him and woke him up early in the morning to practice reading.

Hillary because she is a woman and I admire deeply the pioneering efforts of those American women who fought to get the right to vote. Still would have been inspired if Hillary was a Republican but definitely will be less passionate. Lol

Picture these three remarkable individuals and then picture GWB and TV host trump. Yuck.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was pretty passionate about Obama, especially when it came to his second term. I was in the damn hospital, dying, but I made Rick help me figure out how to vote anyway. I kind of remember that.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Nope. There have been some I liked a lot more than others. I loved Obama. I would love to see Bernie win, he gives me hope and I’ve been a fan since day one, but I agree very much with @JLeslie in that I tend to feel uncomfortable with the extremes that a lot of people go to in idealizing candidates and I’ve never been so passionate about one candidate that I believe they were the one. I just don’t think that’s how my brain operates. Like many others, I’m inclined to vote for whoever I believe can win and most closely represents the things that are important to me not necessarily who I am most passionate about. In fact, that’s what happened last election, I ended up supporting Clinton even though she wasn’t my first pick because I felt she had a better shot at winning and I felt (still feel) passionate about keeping Trump out of office.

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Jonsblond's avatar

This question isn’t to debate passion or Bernie. I wanted to know if you’ve ever felt passionate about a candidate. Thank you to those who have stayed on topic. I will be flagging the others.

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ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Nope, never. It has always been the lesser of two evils.

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gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan ”...people looking for ideological purity from both the Trump right and the Bernie left.”

For me it’s not about ideological purity, it’s about purity with regards to the source of a candidate’s funding. Full stop.

Obama was the first candidate I ever had passion for. I loved his progressive policies, and his presidential demeanor. I believed him when he said that he was going to fight for universal healthcare. He was telling voters what they wanted to hear, but taking money from health insurance companies, big pharma and Wall Street. He had a supermajority and decided to push moderate policy. Republicans would never do that. He also staffed up with many of these political insiders.

That’s when I decided to never support a candidate who was taking money from these sources—because I can’t trust someone will follow through on what they’re saying when they’re being bribed to do the opposite.

Bernie is the only other candidate I’ve ever been passionate for. It started when I found out he only takes from small dollar donations and Labor/Public Interest PACs (such as the Sunrise Movement). The more I learned about him, the more I realized he’s authentic and incorruptible. I don’t agree with him on every issue, but I know he’s not going to immediately compromise on his policies the first day of office. He probably won’t get everything done that he’s fighting for, but I know he’s actually going to fight for it, and for me that makes all of the difference.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Yes. I try my best to shut up about it and keep it to myself so no one can bother me

Demosthenes's avatar

Nah. I don’t necessarily think it’s a good thing to become passionate about a candidate. People who do that often seem to surrender their rationality. If it didn’t seem to me that passion so quickly turns to devotion and conversely to blind hatred of anyone who’s not your candidate, maybe I’d look more positively on it, but at the moment, it doesn’t seem like such a good thing. I can get passionate about issues. But not about individuals, especially when it comes to the president because of how much of a figurehead they often are.

SergeantQueen's avatar

^You can be passionate but still rational. Yes, lots of people today aren’t but it is possible to be both. I agree with you, it does seem like when it comes to presidents people can turn to hate every differing opinion, but I’ve met less of those than I’ve met more open people.

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LostInParadise's avatar

Passionate may be a bit too strong a word, but as a would be academic, I have an affinity for candidates with strong academic records. I was disappointed when Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign stalled. I have watched videos of Elizabeth Warren talking about economics before she entered politics. She did a great job of giving life to statistical data. I have yet to hear much from Pete Buttigieg. I am hoping that this Rhodes Scholar also expresses himself well and is not afraid of appearing scholarly. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is no academic. I like him personally and would be glad to have him as my senator, but his style of speaking and general bearing could use some improvement. Am I being superficial? Maybe, but there is something to be said for style as well as substance. The two are not that easy to separate. Just look at Trump as an example.

Demosthenes's avatar

@LostInParadise I am biased toward academics as well. I guess I am a little bit of an elitist. I would at least relish the return of an articulate leader.

Jonsblond's avatar

I’ve really enjoyed reading your answers. Thanks everyone!

Jonsblond's avatar

My husband will be turning 49 this coming Saturday and he has never voted. He believes the process is corrupt and most politicians are liars. He has now changed his mind and passionately supports Bernie. He will be voting for the first time in an important swing state, Wisconsin.

He was discussing Medicare For All with two Trump supporting coworkers the other day without mentioning Bernie’s name. My husband shared Bernie’s plan and these men liked what they heard. Once my husband mentioned Bernie’s name they were surprised but willing to listen and even support the man.

This is Wisconsin. We need passionate supporters who are willing to fight against Trump. My husband and I are doing our part to help.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jonsblond Hopefully, they vote Democrat even if Bernie is not the guy who wins the nomination. Does your husband’s company offer health insurance? I’m just wondering if all of these employees have no coverage.

Jonsblond's avatar

We all have coverage. With Medicare for All we won’t have deductibles we can’t afford. This is the selling point. Many of us go without healthcare because we can’t afford the deductible. My son can’t get therapy because we can’t afford the deductible. My husband needs medical help but can’t receive it because we can’t afford the deductible.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jonsblond Do you mean the premiums?

Jonsblond's avatar

No. Deductible.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jonsblond So, do you mean you’ll have to pay for care anyway because of the high deductible so why pay for insurance?

Jonsblond's avatar

Because we have to. This is why Medicare for All is so important. We’ve already gone bankrupt due to medical bills. We can’t afford it again.

Jonsblond's avatar

Don’t get me wrong. We do receive some services with our insurance but they are minor. Anything truly important has to be met with our deductible before it is covered. Our deductible is $2500 per person. We can’t afford that so we go without.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jonsblond I don’t understand your answer.

My husband didn’t want to buy insurance when we were self employed because both it was very expensive premiums, and the deductible was so high it was the same as having zero insurance unless, God forbid, we had something catastrophic that would have used up our deductible.

Now, that he is working for a big company again, our premium is much lower, but our deductible is the same.

Medicare for all would mean a tax to pay for it, but the high deductible part would go away I think. From what I understand people on Medicare sometimes still pay for some things, or they buy some sort of gap insurance. I don’t know how that works.

Jonsblond's avatar

There will be no premiums or deductibles with Medicare for All. Taxes will be higher but nothing compared to the expenses we now pay for medical care and you won’t have to file for bankruptcy due to medical bills like millions of people do now.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jonsblond I understand the tax will be less than the premiums we have today with private insurers, I’m just saying people today who pay nothing, and just hoping to not get sick, will now be taxed. They will go from zero to paying something. Except the very poor I guess? It depends how they do the tax.

I’ve been in favor of socialized medicine forever, so you don’t need to convince me to be in favor of it, but plans around the world vary, and I’m not sure which I like best. I’ve never really studied Medicare, I need to look into it.

Maybe it’s just medication under Medicare that people need extra insurance for? I think my in-laws pay for medicine. I have limited knowledge, because my parents are covered under military care.

janbb's avatar

I think there may be some misconceptions about how Medicare for All might work. I am on Medicare. You do pay a monthly fee based on your income level. There is a low deductible. Medicare has set limits on what they will pay for certain medical services so if you want nearly full coverage, you can pay additionally for a private medical supplemental policy. If you are on Social Security, the Medicare fee is deducted from you SS check each month. I believe in Medicare fo All but just realize it won’t be pie in the sky when you die.

I recently got the Shingrix vaccine series against Shingles and had to pay in full for that because Medicare doesn’t cover it, and the ssupplemental drug policy deductible wasn’t fulfilled yet. Also, when I broke my ankle in California, I had to pay privately for the skilled nursing care stay because the surgery was done in a day stay surgicenter. All the rest of the fees and home help were paid between Medicare and my supplemental policy which was great. But I do pay a fairly hefty monthly fee for my insurance.

Healthcare is a mess in this country and it will not be sorted out simply by a slogan.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The key to affordable healthcare IMO is to fight the high costs at the source and not finding ways to simply cover those costs. No candidate is really willing to go there from what I have seen so far.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb Thanks! I did some reading and Bernie’s site talks about no premiums, no deductibles, no copays, and a cap on out if pocket for medication. Here’s the link.

So, what I’m wondering now is, when other candidates talk about Medicare for all of their definition is different than Bernie’s?

@ARE_you_kidding_me I agree that is a huge part of the problem. Gouging and also they should be dealing better with fraud in the system, but there has to be either caps on pricing and a ton more regulation, or the government just needs to take it over. Free market doesn’t work well enough in healthcare. Patents mean no competition for years. Limited availability to services in some markets give facilities a monopoly position. No time to evaluate options because you’re sick puts the patient at the mercy of the doctor.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie “when other candidates talk about Medicare for all of their definition is different than Bernie’s?”

I don’t think there are any other candidates talking about Medicare for All at this point. I guess technically Warren is, but her plan is to run the healthcare gauntlet to get a public option into law first and then in 4 years (i.e. an election year when nothing gets done) she’ll push for Medicare for All, which is a sneaky way of saying you’re for it, without actually meaning it.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@JLeslie I agree, it’s not like car insurance after all. Between greedy lawyers, health insurance companies and big pharma Americans are getting scammed out of both their money and their health. I fail to see why we’ll step in and regulate simple things like gas or grain prices but not healthcare. It’s beyond absurd. I’ll be the first to tell you certain critical things need to be either outside the free market or heavily regulated. Most things are highly regulated already but not healthcare, not the way it should be anyway. People often mistake my lack of support for some of these healthcare ideas because it would coming under the umbrella of socialism but that’s never been the case. I’m against most of them because the sky high costs are not being addressed and I’m not willing as a taxpayer to flip the bill for such a corrupt system.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me “I’m against most of them because the sky high costs are not being addressed”

Take a second look at Sanders’ proposal. He intends to negotiate pricing under his plan (especially on drugs). Furthermore without the administrative overhead, marketing costs, and bonuses being paid out to executives that occur with private health insurance, there is a lot of savings to be had. Medicare’s overhead percent is like 2–3%; private health insurance is 12–18%.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws What exactly does negotiate mean though? From what I can tell it means drugs that can do the same thing competing to be the first line recommendation. If there are three drugs to treat high cholesterol, the government will make doctors recommend the cheapest one first. What if there is only one drug? It only gets prescribed in extreme circumstances? Insurance companies and the government already do this to some extent. It does take some of the decision making away from the doctor and patient.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie ”...exactly does negotiate mean though?”

From Bernie’s site:
“Cut prescription drug prices in half, with the Prescription Drug Price Relief Act, by pegging prices to the median drug price in five major countries: Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan.”

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Sanders says a lot of things, I’m not hearing the kind of reform that it’s really going to take.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me You said:

“No candidate is really willing to [fight the high costs at the source and not finding ways to simply cover those costs] from what I have seen so far.”

I provided a link to Bernie’s proposals designed to do that. I understand that you may not think it’s achievable, but you have to admit Sanders has put forward a plan to address your (very legitimate) concerns about reducing the cost of healthcare.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Bernie says a lot. I wish I could believe what he is saying. I get the impression that a Sanders presidency will be pretty lackluster to be honest.

JLeslie's avatar

I doubt Bernie could get everything done that he talks about, I would say that about all candidates. It’s what makes me more comfortable about Sanders actually, because he is too extreme for me, but I am in his direction, so if he accomplished only some of it I do think at least it moves the country in the right direction.

My fear is I don’t believe he necessarily has all the money figured out, none of us can foresee all the consequences of a huge government plan, and so I like to have a huge cushion built in for the unforeseen consequences. Did Obama know all the problems that would happen with ACA? I don’t know if he did. Maybe he was willing to except the negatives, because he thought the good outweighed the bad?

What I really don’t want is a social system that relies on young people paying for older people. I want it to be a well balanced plan that has revenue coming in that pays for the expenses going out in the same calendar year, or better yet with a kitty of money, but I think (not sure) government programs can’t have a kitty of money, which is a problem if that is true.

It’s the idealism that scares me. Communism sounds great on paper, but it’s always a disaster. I’m not calling Bernie a communist, I’m just using it as an example.

hmmmmmm's avatar

Yeah, moving to a single-payer M4A system would save more than US$450 billion and 68,000 lives annually, but for some reason it’s worth maintaining an industry that profits off human suffering and death. It’s considered a “moderate” position to accept that thousands of people will die or go bankrupt while private insurance industry profits.

If you’re not fighting for single-payer right now, you’re the problem.

Many people who express doubts about the inability for a Sanders administration to achieve M4A aren’t necessarily making merely descriptive statements about the state of democracy and the injustice of it all. They are stating that it won’t happen and it shouldn’t happen.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Saying what you would like to do is cheap. Saying what people want to hear is free. Getting that stuff done is very resource expensive. Those resources don’t exist for Sanders. He could in theory only get one or two of his proposals done and with quite a bit of compromise if at all. If he would focus on healthcare I think it’s possible to get some things done but I believe he is just paying lip service to it like most of the other things on his enormous wish list. I don’t think that people are saying it ”shouldn’t happen” they’re just calling out the fact that Bernie is full of shit and probably knows he can’t do all this.

This election I’m voting on a couple of issues and healthcare reform is the biggest. I have yet to see any candidate propose a viable solution and also have a detailed plan for follow through.

JLeslie's avatar

@hmmmmmm I’m for socialized medicine, I’m just reluctant to say it would be perfect and exactly how the experts estimate right off the bat. Being over confident is a red flag to me.

Like Pelosi said, let’s pass it and see how it works. She was right! But got torn apart about that statement. Like everything, when you put it out there it often needs to be tweaked later. That will be most likely true with almost every plan.

You’re so sure everything will run smoothly as proposed, and I’d bet money it won’t. I still want healthcare socialized, I just want the people leading the way to think it through fully. Did Obama realize wealthy people would be able to get government subsidies with ACA, and that insurers would increase premiums more and more to take more tax money? Maybe. I prefer he did think it through fully, but I don’t know.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@JLeslie: “Did Obama realize wealthy people would be able to get government subsidies with ACA, and that insurers would increase premiums more and more to take more tax money?”

Of course. This was a right-wing plan written by the insurance industry. Why would you bring up this in the context of single-payer?

You seem so concerned that eliminating private insurance will not result in “everything” running smoothly. But we have a shit system now that seems unfathomable to the outside world. People are dying and going bankrupt just so people can profit. You don’t seem that concerned about this.

If we were designing a system from scratch, could you justify inserting private insurance companies into the mix?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The middle man is the main problem.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie “I’m for socialized medicine”

I’m not.

I want the payment socialized, but I’m totally ok with private hospitals, clinics, and independent provider groups. That’s a big difference.

For the non-believers: Here’s an example of how ridiculous our system is:

We have a patient who has active venous-stasis ulcers on both of her ankles (don’t google search that while eating). She is in pain and can’t work. She needs vein surgery to heal the sores. We can’t do the vein surgery unless she has compression stockings (they are required for the surgery to work). She can’t fit in standard compression stockings and needs custom stockings that are like $350ish. Her private insurance won’t pay for her custom stockings until she’s been seen at a lymphedema clinic. The waiting list is like 6-months long to get into one (because reimbursements are so low that nobody wants to get into that specialty).

So now the patient will need 6-months of weekly unna-boot changes costing something around $150/week for 6 months while she suffers in pain, unable to work—all to save $350 on stockings, which they’ll eventually end up paying for and then the surgeries to follow. It makes no sense, and you can’t talk to anyone. Everyone is so restricted by their own guidelines and nobody has authority or the concern to help a fellow human being who is suffering. It’s gross.

We don’t have these issues with Medicare. Tricare is the most generous with regards to authorizing cutting-edge treatments. Private insurance is the least. People think they’ve got awesome insurance, until they try to use it, and realize they don’t. Really, who the hell wants “choice” in their health plan? They want to pick their healthcare provider and get the treatments they need when they need it. Full stop.

The real differences between these private plans are the kinds of things you would find on page 834, section 2, paragraph 3 that lets you know that they’ll only pay for one vein procedure per leg per lifetime (despite the fact that many people have many veins that need treatment). Nobody reads that until they’re trying to get the help they need and get denied.

JLeslie's avatar

I couldn’t agree more that people think they have great insurance until they need to use it. Moreover, people with “great” insurance, often have no idea how we (all) are being ripped off! Great means they barely pay anything, but for sure a ton of money is being paid out somehow here. This is where the Republicans are right, if you pay nothing or a low copay the average person doesn’t question how much their insurance paid out. If their employer paid the bulk of the premium, the average person is clueless how much the premium really is.

We are all supposed to be so happy the insurance company negotiates prices, but I can give examples of self pay being much cheaper than insurance prices. It is a totally fucked up system we have.

I grew up in military health care, I consider that to be socialized, and I think it was much better. My dad uses military and VA. Mistakes are made like all of healthcare, but overall he’s very happy, and so are most military men and women I know.

If you want to leave the care in the private sector and just have the government collect the fees and pay the bills I’m certainly willing to try it.

It will need oversight though. Medicare has a shit ton of fraud, I see it daily where I live.

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