The Most Dangerous Voter is the One-Issue Voter

I don’t think I’m writing this for anybody but me today. I’m not promoting this entry and if you don’t like what I say, feel free to unfollow. I’m not expecting to change anybody’s mind, but I’m having the same kind of PTSD around this presidential election that I had last year when my local elections were happening. I don’t know if it’s because I was a city councilor in my town at one point, or because I covered so many elections as a journalist, or because all of that happened when I was deep into my addictions.

As I’ve stated here before, I voted for Donald Trump in 2016. It wasn’t based on any single issue, but I liked how, early in the campaign, he was thinking of running as an independent. He was a lifelong Democrat to that point and while you didn’t have to look very far to see a massive ego, show me a politician who doesn’t have a narcissistic side. When you think about it, deciding to run for office breaks down to one of two thoughts, “I want power and attention” or “I’ll save the day!” It’s probably a little of both in most cases.

I assumed that Trump would govern from the middle, something that I knew Hillary Clinton wasn’t going to do. I also believed that there were some fundamental problems with how our political world had evolved and putting Clinton in office wasn’t going to fix anything. I was also disgusted at how the Democratic Party rigged the 2016 convention against Sanders supporters. Ultimately, nominating her was just a dumb move. Voters rejected her in 2008 in the primaries. It was less that she was the best candidate in 2016, and more it was just her turn, kind of like when Bob Dole or Al Gore ran in the past.

I believe I’ve mentioned that I’m 3-3 in voting in presidential elections between Democrats and Republicans. It’s funny, because when I mention that around my friends who are diehard in either direction, they see me as some kind of traitor to the cause. The reality is, diehard Democrats and Republicans do very little to decide the direction of the country. It’s people like me, who are truly independent, that actually decide things. There have honestly been times that I haven’t decided on a candidate until 24-48 hours before an election (usually at a local or state level) and if I don’t know anything about the candidates, I won’t vote. I believe you can do more damage with ignorance than with simply sitting on the sidelines. Having a (D) or an (R) next to your name on a ballot does nothing for me.

If you’re a straight, white, middle-class or upper-class man, as I am, it makes a certain amount of sense to vote Republican. If you’re married to one of these guys, it makes sense as well. This country, after the land was procured from the Natives, was founded by Christian white men and the thread of the last 244 years among Republicans is about sticking to roughly the same set of values they brought from Europe.

I don’t understand why most women, anybody who is poor, or any minority, would vote Republican. I suppose if you wrap yourself in Jesus and the flag, or if your parents voted a certain way, you’re going to get others to follow, but it’s always shocked me how in poorer, non-white areas like the South, far more people haven’t voted Democrat. That’s not a value judgment…it just seems contradictory.

There are things I’ve historically admired about both parties and that’s another thing that gets me in trouble with friends. It seems like if you’re one of the diehards, everything about the other side is bad. The reality is, I wish these two groups recognized how much they have in common. Our government works when people compromise and compromise only begins when people first recognize their similarities. Government is also a machine wherein nobody gets everything they want, but in today’s divided world, everybody seems to have an all-or-nothing attitude.

I’ve always admired the compassion of the Democratic Party. I’ve admired their commitment to education and diplomacy. Their environmental stances seem the smartest and safest, refusing to trade the Earth’s tomorrow to make a buck today. Their positions on equality and human rights also seem like obvious choices to me. It’s also the party that sides with science more often than not.

I’ve admired the consistency of the Republican Party. I agree that government is much too large and wasteful. I don’t know how you couldn’t think that. I also think that they support individuality and autonomous decision-making from the level of the individual more than Democrats and that’s very important to me. Freedom is at the core of their belief system and it is the single most important concept this country was founded on.

While I am hardly a saint – more like a former professional sinner – up until the last few years, I really admired how Republicans had the undeniable moral high ground over Democrats. I may not have always agreed on their interpretation of right and wrong, but these were clear lines, usually rooted in the Ten Commandments. It was consistent. You could count on it.

I’ll overlook the fact Trump was married and divorced multiple times, but let’s be honest, that would have been a talking point against any Democrat by Republicans. And then Trump made the comment about grabbing women’s pussies and everything went out the window for me. After election, we learned that he paid off multiple porn stars he had affairs with. He’s had his own people attacked on American soil so he could pose with a Bible outside of a church he’s only been in one time. Since then, we’ve learned how little respect he actually has for veterans and just how much he’s lied about the COVID virus. His choices have meant death to Americans. These are not traits that would be forgiven by the Republican Party of the past… of Ronald Reagan or Abraham Lincoln’s Republican Party.

I don’t understand being a one-issue voter. Frankly, I think you’re a myopic idiot if you’re a one-issue voter. But they exist and it usually comes down to abortion.

I do not have a strong position on abortion. I think there is a difference between two cells dividing into four and then into eight and a viable, sustainable life. But then again, I see a difference between tossing a trash bag full of kittens into the river and spraying bug killer all over a wasp nest. There are contradictions in my view of abortion, as there are with many topics. I think we all have contradictions. The more hardcore you are leaning Democrat or Republican, the less you’re willing to see those contradictions. Just turn on cable news at night and you’ll see what I mean. The “mainstream media” is slanted both ways because as a business model, bashing on the other side brings in the dollars, introspection doesn’t. Fox News can’t claim to not be mainstream – yet get the highest ratings. You can’t have it both ways.

I read a blog last night from a person who I have followed for several years and who I respect quite a bit. When I was done, my respect level dropped immensely and I’m still trying to decide if I want to continue to follow them.

It started as a comparison between speeches given by two holy people. Of course, this blogger sided with the one of the religion they believe, going as far to criticize the clothing choice of the other religious person. There were political inferences because of the venues of these speeches and once again, this blogger sided with the religious person who was representing their political party. I thought it really just came off as a passive aggressive testimonial for Trump and was kind of scuzzy in the disrespect shown to the holy person this blogger didn’t agree with.

This blogger segued into a speech about abortion and how they are a one-issue voter. While they ironically mentioned other issues, they made it clear they will only support the anti-abortion candidate.

What does it mean to be a one-issue voter? It means that you don’t care enough children are still being kept in small cages at the border. It means that you don’t care enough environmental regulations have been pummeled in the last six months, making the world a more dangerous place. It means you don’t care enough about the veterans who protect our freedom, nor respect their legacy. It means you don’t care enough about explaining to your daughter why it’s not OK the president is into grabbing women’s private parts. It means you don’t care enough that now hundreds of respected Republicans are screaming warnings about our President. It means you don’t care enough about the character of our leaders beyond their abortion opinion. It means you don’t care enough about why we are losing the battle to COVID. It means you don’t care enough what countries like Russia, China and North Korea are doing under our noses. It means you don’t care enough that our education system is crumbling, not improving. It means that you don’t care enough about unsafe bridges and roads. It means you don’t care enough about the pathetic funding of drug and mental health programs and research. And it means you don’t care enough about the history of what has happened to people of color, nor what is happening now.

Being a one-issue voter doesn’t mean you don’t care about all of those things…it means you don’t care enough. It’s not just sad, but it’s dangerous for the rest of us who look across the spectrum at many issues, understanding the balance that is needed to run the free world. I don’t think being anti-abortion gives a politician a free pass on all of their other decisions, but a one-issue voter who has chosen abortion does.

I’m not going to argue for or against abortion, that’s not my point here. I respect whatever opinion you have or don’t have. I don’t however, respect when you take one topic and make it the only thing you base your decision on who should run the country.

I think that’s negligent. Voting for a horrible human being who is only pretending to be pro-life (look up Trump’s record prior to morphing into a Republican) is 100% negligent. Of course Jesus was anti-abortion, but I have a feeling even he would be voting for Biden in this next election. He wouldn’t let someone with the morals of Trump get a pass. One-issue voters shouldn’t either.  

14 thoughts on “The Most Dangerous Voter is the One-Issue Voter

    1. I went back and forth on writing this at all. It’s somewhat off-brand for me, but like I said in the beginning, I just needed to get this off my chest today. Guess the 9/11 look-back will have to wait until next year.

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  1. I think I could understand one-issue voting more if it was around an actual political issue like public vs. private healthcare. But religious issues don’t belong in secular politics, and conservative values around free choice seems to have gotten totally buried under a landslide of the Christian right. I wonder what the one-issue religious voters would think if another religion was trying to push their beliefs into federal government policy.

    And then you’ve got the 2nd amendment single issue voters jumping on the Kyle Rittenhouse bandwagon. It’s all just so bizarre.

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    1. It seems more and more that religion and politics are like sports…it doesn’t matter who is doing the actual work, it just matters that you support your team. These generals and other leaders who joined the administration were lauded as heroes and saviors, but when they woke up and saw what was really going on and left, they were decried as traitors and not up for the job. I don’t think it really even has to do with Trump. I think it has to do with the concept of non-white Christians getting more control in this country. Whoever is on that team, current Republicans will cheer for.

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  2. It seems more and more that religion and politics are like sports…it doesn’t matter who is doing the actual work, it just matters that you support your team. These generals and other leaders who joined the administration were lauded as heroes and saviors, but when they woke up and saw what was really going on and left, they were decried as traitors and not up for the job. I don’t think it really even has to do with Trump. I think it has to do with the concept of non-white Christians getting more control in this country. Whoever is on that team, current Republicans will cheer for.

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  3. One issue voters choose not to contend with complexity. IMO the “issue” of abortion is a non-issue, but it’s a way to enflame certain types of voters. Your use of the word “freedom” to describe Republicans is a little jarring. What in the world does that word mean? It’s so abstract and so personal that it desperately needs context within an argument to be at all comprehensible.

    I agree with you on the putting up of Hillary because it was “her turn.” I still don’t think the Dems realize how repulsive she is to a lot of people. That they are using her now to further their cause is kind of ironic to me. ‘Hey we’re going bring out our two time loser to help Biden and Harris.’

    I had a hard time voting for her, but having observed Trump since the 70s, I knew his values were the complete opposite of mine. So, I found myself voting for the slightly less repulsive of the two choices. I felt governing experience outweighed bombast.

    I also agree with you on the whole idea of “choosing sides” ie. declaring a party. I have, but it’s not a serious thing with me at all. It’s for now, for this election and then? I will wait and see.

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    1. You’ve got to keep in mind that when I talk about freedom in the context of the Republican Party, I’m talking about a piece of their party platform for decades and decades. Yes, it has become bastardized in today’s society, but it is one of things that historically, they have done better with than Democrats. A social platform of “Live and Let Live” would probably be very attractive to the moderate voters since both Dems and the GOP want to tell us exactly how to live our lives these days.

      I had a feeling that both Hillary and Trump had very different opinions toward the world than I did and it wasn’t a matter of “lesser of the two evils” for me. It was a matter of “newer of the two evils.” Like I said in the post I made in May when I decided I couldn’t vote for Trump, we tried a grand experiment putting a failed casino owner and reality TV star full of bombast into office. The experiment didn’t work as we hoped and it’s now time to cut our losses. My intentions of voting for him were good, but now my intentions for getting his disgraceful butt out of office are good, too.

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      1. Freedom is a philosophical idea. I think you’re talking about liberty. Frankly, I don’t see how anyone could not have seen what a douche bag Trump was/is. 2016 was a horrible moment in the history of our nation and watching that stupid ass Dem Convention and all the “first woman president” bullshit, residue from the 1970s, was sickening. And so, here we are.

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      2. Perhaps it’s liberty I’m talking about, but I think freedom is the tangible offshoot of liberty and when two people rank as equal in my douchebag book, as Hillary and Trump did, my inclination is to go with the new douchebag and politics was new for Trump. Would we be in a better place today with Hillary? Good Lord, I hope so. I made a mistake voting for Trump. I won’t make that mistake again and I think there is enough people like me that will probably narrowly swing this in Biden’s favor this year.

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