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.