GLEN SPRINGS, CONNECTICUT — Susan Haroldson is a 64-year-old mother of three and grandmother of seven.
She is a lifelong, proud liberal progressive, and according to her she will “go down swinging” for the progressive causes of her day. Susan was also a very proud supporter of Hillary Clinton back in 2016. This time around, though she still considers herself “one of the most progressive people” she knows, Susan thinks the prospect of facing Donald Trump in the fall means she and her fellow progressives “should be willing to elect a former Republican billionaire” if they have to, in order to punt Trump out of the Oval Office.
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Though she thinks many of the remaining candidates on the Democratic side are “quite good” and could beat Trump, there is one she is extremely certain cannot. Susan doesn’t feel that Bernie Sanders — whose ideas she admits are “quite refreshing and plausible given that other countries employ them in some form or another successfully” — is electable — and he should “probably drop out” despite being the frontrunner and having just won the first three primaries of the year.
“This country will never elect a socialist!”
Susan was driving our reporter to the grocery store with her as she made her weekly shopping trip. Susan said that while she is “very pleased” that Senator Sanders entered the race because she agrees with “nearly everything” he is talking about, she “just doesn’t see how a socialist will get elected.” Susan did foresee one way that Sanders could “pull off a stunner,” as she put it.
“I suppose if everyone who said they like Bernie and his policy goals actually showed up to vote for him, he could win,” she said, then added, “If everyone who thinks he can’t win, because not enough people would show up to vote for him, actually showed up to vote for him, too. So…votes. If he gets more votes than the person he’s going against, he might win, I guess. But who’s going to take that risk?”
Then we asked Susan how she rated Barack Obama’s chances in 2008.
“Of course I didn’t think he had a snowball’s chance in Hell,” she told us, “and that’s why I was a Hillary supporter then, too. It just seemed like Obama was too, what’s the word? Black. Not for me. I’m a progressive liberal. I mean for the racists in the country he was just too black for them to get over their racism, I thought.” She took a moment then said, “But of course I was wrong and he won, thank God!”
We asked Ms. Haroldson if she switched her support to Obama after he defeated her candidate in 2008.
“Of course I did,” Susan told us, “I’m not about to let a Republican win!”
Then we asked if she’d vote for Bernie Sanders if someone else didn’t get the nomination.
“Well, now, that’s a tough one, because remember, socialism,” Susan hedged. “To me, I almost want to give the GOP what they want by not voting for Sanders even though I agree with him and his policies would help me, because again, socialism.”
Haroldson will likely stay unsure of her vote for a little while longer, she said.
“I’m still really undecided, I guess, “Susan told us as the interview ended. “Because yeah, it seems like on paper that someone who is drawing thousands and thousands of people to his rallies and gaining the support of Americans everywhere is electable, but then again…socialism. The last time a candidate ran an openly democratic socialist platform it was so unpopular he was only elected four times. So we should be really careful is all I’m saying.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.