John Andrist: This Disenchanted Voter Will Vote


A combination photo shows U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) in Los Angeles, California on May 5, 2016 and in Eugene, Oregon, U.S. on May 6, 2016 respectively. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (L) and Jim Urquhart/File Photos

I still don’t know who I will vote for, but you can be certain I will vote. It’s who I am.

I turned 21 too late to vote in the primary election of 1952, but my first vote was for Eisenhower that fall, and this November I expect to cast my 32nd general election ballots and 31st primary votes.

That plus 32 city election ballots, 32 school election ballots and gosh knows how many special election ballots.

I missed one special school election. Tuesday was always my busiest day at work and I simply forgot about it.

I’ll never forget how badly I felt.

Like most Americans this year I’m counted with the disenchanted. Except I’m not upset about gridlock as much as I’m upset with voters.

I’m upset with the estimated 30 percent who cast presidential primary votes, but I’m even more upset with the 70 percent who for some reason took a pass.

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#ffffff”]When Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton boast about winning, my math tells me they each did it with the approximate support of 15 percent of us. Hardly a mandate.[/mks_pullquote]

When Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton boast about winning, my math tells me they each did it with the approximate support of 15 percent of us. Hardly a mandate.

So I’m going to take the luxury of the next three months to look for signs.

I’ve already learned more about Hillary, enough to accept the fact she is very intelligent and very passionate. I can get by her untruthfulness, in confidence that Donald didn’t get where he is without some truth skeletons in his closet.

She certainly has more experience than The Donald thinks he has. I could vote for her tomorrow if she didn’t have the power to stack the Supreme Court.

Another significant fear is her rigidity on climate change extremism and her vow to end fracking through regulation, which would be a disaster at this time — especially for North Dakota.

Regardless of how one feels about climate change the reality is that man-made CO2 emissions are going to rise, no matter what we do.

I looked at wind maps for the country last week in the hottest weather of the summer. A milion wind farms wouldn’t have fed enough electricity to run our air conditioners.

Europe has been far more aggressive than the U.S. in renewable energy initiatives. Germany gets something like 35 percent of its power from wind, I’m told. But they are struggling with electrical pricing  averaging 39c per kwh, nearly four times the U.S. average.

And they now are building coal once again, and planning to shut down 6,000 megawatts of wind power, to be replaced by 12 new coal fired plants. The science simply doesn’t pass the economic test.

Denmark too has cancelled five new wind farms for the same reason. Australia was also aggressive in renewables until it discovered the price tag hit to their economy

And fracking is the mother of low natural gas prices. Stop it and gas prices are bound to go through the roof, and gas is what utilities are depending on when the wind doesn’t blow.

It is good to harness wind power, but for the most part we need more  science on capture and storage of CO2 before rushing to judgment.

As far as Trump is concerned I’m watching for signs of more maturity.  I want to discover, if I can, that most everything he has said is theatre.

I can’t believe he is as evil as he sounds. Surely he can’t have advanced his financial billions without some measure of building bridges.

So I’ve got three months. And I’m feeling more responsible than ever after learning two-thirds of us may be just too busy to vote.

Happy birthday to me

They had a birthday party for me Saturday — number 85. I guess they thought it was a milestone, or perhaps a miracle.

When Elaine and I first talked about marriage, we sort of decided we would like to have five children.

Truth be told, we weren’t very good at birth control.

Then something strange happened. Almost overnight we exploded. Now there are 39 children, grands, and great grands — together with spouses. And number 40 is in the basket. 36 of them showed up. for the party

It helps me understand how the world, which had two billion people in it when we were young, now has an estimated eight billion.

But if you knew what a beautiful person Elaine was you would understand.