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Official Magazine of the Denver Bar Association

My Road to Damascus Moment: An Opinion Piece ~ By Doug McQuiston

Those of you who have read my articles here in The Docket over the years have by now figured out that my political viewpoints are (how do I put this…) a tad right of the midline when compared with those of my fellow Docketeers. But, dear readers, if Marshall Snider can endorse Ted Cruz, then, I can have my own little moment on the Road to Damascus, can’t I? (For those who are a little rusty when it comes to the New Testament, a quick recap can be found at en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/road_to_Damascus.)

Let’s just throw it out there: I am Feelin’ the Bern! Not convinced? Can’t say I blame you. But let’s see if I can nonetheless try to persuade you:

Reason #1: Spreadin’ the wealth

My first job, from about age 6 to 9, was helping my older brother deliver papers on his paper route. Yes, that was back in the day when they still had “paper routes.” My job was to run alongside his bike, grab a paper, then run up onto the porches of all the customers who wanted their papers “porched.” If I did a good job, I got a dollar or two, and maybe a little help on buying my lift ticket at Loveland Basin. OK, so my brother wasn’t the best boss, but what chance did I have of finding a better job at age 6?

My point is that I have held down a job now for more than 50 years. Sure, I have climbed a few rungs since my paper route days, but the lofty reaches of Trump-ian billionairism remain maddeningly out of my reach. Bernie is promising that if elected, he is going to take all that money away from those greedy billionaires and give it to the rest of us down the ladder. So, I am going to get in line for my chance to grab some of that cash.

Reason #2: Free college

OK, maybe I have missed the demographic boat on this one, but I had to pay for my own college and law school, and my kids’ education too (because, duh, Uncle Bernie wasn’t president back then, so it wasn’t free). So, what do I hope to get out of the “free college” thing? Well, I have a plan. I am going to lobby for Uncle Bernie to pay me back! After all, isn’t it a “moral failure” (one of my favorite Bernie-isms) that I had to pay for all that myself? With that truism in mind, at least I can spend all the dough I was starting to put aside for the grandkids — Bernie’s going to take care of them, so I plan to live it up.

Reason #3: Stickin’ it to Wall Street

Like you, I took a beating in the Crash of 2008. Then, we bailed out those Fat Cats on Wall Street. They took that taxpayer money and bought bigger digs out in the Hamptons, so I want a little pay-back! I figure they owe me, and Bernie’s going to cut it out of them and maybe walk a few to prison. Heck Yeah! Where’s my pitchfork?!

Reason #4: Foreign Affairs

OK, I’ll admit it: Bernie is a bit out of his domain here. He’d look like somebody’s befuddled uncle in negotiations with Vlad Putin. Putin has chunks of guys like Bernie working their way through his digestive tract as we speak. Who cares?! Hillary, of all people, should know not to talk about her own foreign affairs record. Her frequent-flyer-miles stint as Secretary of State didn’t go so well. The little “reset button” toy she gave Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov didn’t seem to slow down the Russians in their invasion of Crimea, incursion into the Ukraine or their march through the Middle East.

And don’t get me started on Hillary’s “Arab Spring” idea. She created more failed states throughout the Maghreb and Middle East than ISIS could even dream of (cbsnews.com/news/isis-in-libya-beheads-security-officers-in-sabratha/). So, I figure a complete foreign policy simpleton is just what the job needs — Bernie might know enough to avoid meddling with it.

Reason #5: Free Health Care

More free stuff! This is great. And the best part is, since it’s all free, I will be able to spend all that Bernie-cash on fun stuff. I won’t have to spend a dime on my doctor. Did I mention it’s all free? To be fair, I have not talked with my doctor about how he’ll like working for nothing. I haven’t figured out how the hospital will be able to stay open without charging anything. But I’m sure they’ll be fine with it, since they’ll all get their fair share of free stuff, too. And besides — presidential elections aren’t about details, right? They’re all about how the candidates make me feel. And I feel pretty darn good about getting my health care for free!

Reason #6: Socialism

Let’s just go there, shall we? It’s been far too long since America seriously flirted with totalitarian socialism. Even in the thirties, all FDR did was show a little ankle — he lacked Bernie’s Trotskyite fire in the belly to go full Hammer-and-Sickle. Yes, I know Bernie is saying it won’t be all like that — that his brand of socialism is the nice, warm, fuzzy kind. He promises it will really work this time. But being a student of history, I know when I’m getting smoke blown up my skirt, Bernie. You and I both know how this ends. But your secret is safe with me. Besides — I know when I’m outnumbered, and I don’t care anymore!
A strong majority of Democratic voters polled this election cycle (politico.com/story/2016/02/democrats-poll-socialism-219600) said they believe socialism has a “positive impact on society,” so why not try it out here? Perhaps those polled have not read Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago; they don’t know how the “Socialist Movie” ends, every time it’s tried. So I say it’s time for a little “experiential learning.” Let’s take a turn in the socialism batter’s box, shall we? Maybe Bernie’s right, and it will all work out, easy as pie, this time. Or, maybe not (see Gulag Archipelago).

But either way, count me in. Better to get in front of the parade than be run over by it. It isn’t too late for me to apply to be an apparatchik in the Sanders Administration. That way, he might let me keep my house. Right?

Many of our Founding Fathers firmly believed that our little experiment in self-governance would not survive a generation. They were right in principle, but just a little too pessimistic on the timeline. It’s been a good run, America, but let’s face the facts: The last decade or so has proven to me that we no longer deserve the Republic our founders delivered to us.

Best to get the slide done fast, I say. Let’s not waste another vote on someone who will just slow down the descent for a few more years — let’s jump right on and ride it all the way down. I figure Bernie can finish us off in his first term.

See you in the breadlines, everyone — they’ll be a great way for us to finally meet all of our neighbors. D

McQuiston

Doug McQuiston has specialized in civil litigation, complex tort, professional liability and insurance law for more than 34 years. He is a member, contributing writer and past chair of the Docket Committee. He can be reached at mcquisd@nationwide.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Docket and the Denver Bar Association.

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