My lifelong interest in presidential politics was sparked at the age of 10 due to a health issue. I had developed a painful inflammation in my hip—bursitis to be specific—and was convalescing on the living room sofa the night of the election in November 1968. In my immobile condition, I remained glued to the TV as election results rolled in to determine the next President among candidates Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, and George Wallace. It was a great education in US political geography, the Electoral College, and the media. It’s true that I was a captive audience. . . I could not move. But neither could I look away, so intrigued was I by this exercise in democracy being broadcast by all three TV networks into my home and every other across the country.
The experience started a keen interest in presidential elections and the fate of the nation ever since. I turned 18 in late October 1976 and voted for president a little more than one week later in November. I volunteered for the Jerry Brown for President campaign in 1992, primarily due to his commitment to protect the environment, and met him at a rally in Hollywood. I followed the events of the 2000 Bush – Gore election with a passion. It’s always been more than a spectator sport for me. I care about the kind of society we live in, and about the future. I do my part for civic humanism by teaching political history.