Charles Kenneth Roberts

Politics, History, Culture

Monthly Archives: February 2016

2016 Super Bowl

Since 2011, I’ve hosted a Super Bowl viewing party and included a prop bet/bingo game. Now, for the first time, I make the 2016 Super Bowl Party Game (perhaps the most tasteless theme yet) available to the wider public.

For your reading pleasure, here are the surviving past versions of the game:

2011

2012

2013

2014

2014 (World Cup)

2015

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Two brief thoughts about 2016

To me, the most interesting storyline from the 2016 presidential race is the Democratic establishment and media’s enormous distaste for Bernie Sanders and his supporters. There’s the whole idiotic Bernie Bros thing, of course. But look at the way that Hillary Clinton supporters treat the young people supporting Sanders. Is it any surprise that young voters don’t engage in politics? When they do and they, quite reasonably, turn away from the pro-war, pro-Wall Street, establishment neoliberal in Clinton, they get sneers and pooh-poohs. Somebody with more time should go back and check if pundits who have criticized Bernie’s young supporters have also complained about young people not participating in politics. You’d have thought winning the overwhelming majority of under-30 and under-40 voters in Iowa would have changed things, entirely and irrefutably proving Sanders has greater appeal for young voters, but it seems to have made it worse.

The response to Sanders reminds me of the way that Republicans responded to Ron Paul. You’ve got this older guy who, for a variety of reasons, connects with young and committed voters. Instead of working with this, the party establishment pushed Paul/Sanders away, because their critiques get to the fundamental corruption of the party itself.

Speaking of Ron Paul! With Rand Paul dropping out, I think the second most interesting story of the 2016 race is the total failure of Rand Paul to learn the lesson from his father. If anything, he’s learned exactly the wrong lessons.

Ron Paul’s principled small government appeal was marred because he’s kind of a crazy person, and he is prone to start talking about monetary policy and the Fed and other things with absolutely no traction in a national political campaign post-1896. Rand Paul decided the lesson to take from Ron was to move toward the Republican center, courting traditional Republican constituencies. But that just loses what makes Ron’s message unique. What Ron Paul needed was to sound polished, to not associate with crazies and racists and crazy racists, and to get good at the ugly and boring parts of running for national office. But Rand has his share of kooks, clearly hates campaigning and is bad at it, and sounds only slightly more psychologically together than his dad. The result was an even less realistic shot at the Republican nomination than Ron had in 2012.