Clinton Hasn’t Won The Nomination Yet. And Here’s Why.

Hillary Rodham ClintonAs soon as the Democratic debate was over, it was the first thing you heard.

“Hillary will clinch the nomination.”

“Clinton remains the favorite.”

“Clinton is the front-runner for the Democrats.”

Why even bother having primaries, right? Even before the former first lady declared her candidacy, the media gave her a collection of titles like “front-runner” and “likely nominee.”

And after her debate performance, it seems those nicknames just get used more and more nicknames get used. And it’s very easy to look at the news and just write it off that Clinton will be the Democratic nomination for the White House.

But we’ve been there before.

There was an electric buzz regarding Clinton’s presidential ambitions. She was leading in all the polls by huge numbers. She had a full schedule of speeches and rallies. Nothing could stand in her way. Her only competition was a few nobodies that couldn’t come close to her energy and experience, and a virtually unknown senator with a funny name. I’m not talking about Bernie Sanders. I’m talking about Barack Obama.

It’s always amusing when the media tries to predict election outcomes. They aren’t always wrong, but they are sometimes very wrong. No matter how the numbers look, no matter good the analyses are, there is still a very big unknown factor. We’ve seen this in presidential elections time and again. The election of 1980 was predicted up to the last minute to be a super close race. The Associated Press reported: “As the 1980 presidential campaign moves to a close, national polls say the race between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan is too close to call.” In actuality, Reagan won with 489 electoral votes to Jimmy Carter’s 49—the third biggest margin of victory in presidential history.

w-eugene-smith-harry-truman-jubilantly-displaying-erroneous-chicago-daily-tribune-headline-dewey-defeats-truman

One of the most infamous photos of presidents is that of Harry Truman holding up The Chicago Daily Tribune, painted with the headline “Dewey defeats Truman,” in the election of 1948. The media didn’t even wait for official election results before printing their predictions of a certain victor. And Truman won by more than 100 electoral votes. Most recently, in the final days of the 2012 campaign, the top headlines were filled with “Obama and Romney in dead heat” and “Another 2000?” when Obama won with more than 100 electoral votes.

And if we can get the general elections that wrong, what about the primaries? It wasn’t so long ago when we last heard Clinton being called the “likely Democratic nominee.” All of the political polls showed her way ahead of this Obama character.

And then Iowa happened—the very first contest in any presidential election. Obama won the state’s caucus race—in a nearly all white state—by big numbers. It was a surprise to many. But then he won the primary in New Hampshire, then South Carolina, and all of the Southern states except Florida. All of a sudden, Clinton’s likely nominee status turned into a hotly challenged race, which then turned into Obama as the likely nominee. And we all know how that story ends.

Are Obama and Bernie Sanders the same person? Of course not. Is today’s country the same it was in 2008? Of course not. But one cannot help but notice Sanders slightly growing in the areas that eventually trademarked Obama’s campaign—very large crowds and a large support of young people, to name a few.

And it’s not just with the Democrats that we see this. When Jeb Bush threw his hat in the ring, he was instantly Clinton’s equal—the “front-runner” and “favorite” for the Republican Party. Then what happened? Donald Trump walked in banging the door down and suddenly all the latest polls had him at the top. And he’s still there.

But even then, polls are just polls, a very loose system of measuring popularity. It’s impossible for the media or anyone to correctly predict the end results. With the general election still more than a year away and the entire primary process to go through, there’s a lot of time for a lot to happen.

Luckily, it is the people, and not the media, that determine elections. And they’re pretty good at getting it right.

Luke Parsnow is a copy editor and page designer at The Post-Star, a Pulitzer-Prize winning daily publication located in Glens Falls, New York. You can follow his blog “Things That Matter” by clicking “Follow” below and follow his updates on Twitter at https://twitter.com/coolhand_luke88

Because It Does Concern You

obama-youth-enthusiasmWhen you wake up in the morning, make your coffee and maybe turn on your television, scroll through the Internet, or look at what’s in today’s newspaper, there’s a good chance you’ll see something on one of those days about the attention span of young people.

You might see some article or a news package about how young people spend too much time on their phones or how young people play too many video-games or don’t treat people with respect. And sadly, that is true for many of them.

But at the heart of that are the things that young people spend their energy and resources on, or rather, what they don’t spend it on.

I remember riding the bus home during one day of my senior year of high school. I don’t remember how the conversation started, but I was talking to someone about something that had happened in the news. After a while, she said: “I don’t ever watch the news.”

And when I asked her why, she said: “Because none of it concerns me.”

I feel like this is the greatest misconception young people make nowadays. Now, I understand why many people wouldn’t pay attention to current events. Who wants to be constantly bombarded by mass shootings, wars, poverty, famine and a divided country?

Yes, we like good things. But if we ignore the bad things, we are ignoring reality. And that is something that just can’t be done.

Since that day on the bus, I’ve attempted to steer people of my generation to care a little more about the world around them—because it does concern them. It concerns their families, their money, their very futures.

I am here to show the world that there are young people out there that do understand and care about what’s going on besides what the latest celebrity divorce is.

I am not just some crazy kid who’s going to come on here and blast you with my thoughts of our age’s most intense issues. My views will be carefully planned, well researched, politically balanced and my own. But who am I?

My name is Luke M. Parsnow. I am 22 years old and I am currently a copy editor and page designer for The Post-Star, a Pulitzer Prize-winning daily publication in Glens Falls, New York.

I have been a writer since I can really remember. I had always enjoyed stories and they were constantly around me, whether they were the books like the Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing series, A Series of Unfortunate Events or The Hardy Boys, or old radio dramas like CBS Radio Mystery Theater, The Twilight Zone or Suspense.

While many of the people my age were playing game boys, I wrote my first novel at the age of 10, a 94-page mystery. Seven novels have followed since then, all unpublished of course. They were merely for my own amusement.

I was raised in an old fashioned way, in that I listened to different music, listened and talked to elders, and learned that other people make life worth living. I grew up in a house on a dirt road in the woods with no video games, no Internet or cable still to this day, and I walked across the road every Christmas to chop down an Evergreen and drag it back to the house to decorate. Most people would say that I was “restricted.” I rather think I was “lucky.”

I was interested in different things than most people my age. I watched more documentaries than movies. I watched more Star Trek than Disney. I had barometers and thermometers all over my bedroom and kept my own personal weather almanac for a while. I wrote in a journal—every single day for almost seven years. I had a large replica of the Declaration of Independence on my wall instead of band posters. And instead of building snowmen outside during the winter, I “played” Valley Forge.

I always watched the news with my parents. I really became interested in politics and the world during the 2008 presidential campaign season, and the Great Recession that was beginning at the same time. I realized, almost accidentally, that these things concerned me, and suddenly I was hooked.

I graduated from the State University of Oswego in May with a BA in creative writing and journalism, and a minor in history with a concentration in American history. I was extremely fortunate to be offered a job just 14 days after graduation. And now, I am part of that world that concerns me and that I care about.

While you read or watch these stories about the “inattentive youth” while you drink your morning coffee, do you wonder how the young people view today’s current events that will someday be in history books? I do. Some day it will be members of my generation that run for president or run for Congress. It will be members of my generation that teach children how to read and write. It will be members of my generation that run the police, fire departments, hospitals, and make the scientific discoveries that cure diseases, find new energies and save lives.

But the only way we can do that is by paying attention to the things that matter. We live in a time where the nation is still suffering from the worst economic crisis in generations, where technology is beneficial and dangerous, where a new president will be elected in a little more than a year, where hard times keep many from going to college, finding employment, paying the bills, and pursuing their dreams. These are the things that matter in our time. These are the things we must pay attention to and nourish. Turning a blind eye and deaf ear to them will only hurt us in the end.

So there’s that. Let’s get on with it. To quote Davy Crockett on his inaugural speech to Congress, “the next time I get up before ya, I’II have something to say worth saying.”