I’ve voted for Republicans in the past, mostly in local elections. I’ve voted for Republican judges and Republican Clerks of Court and so on, partially because I knew the people personally and partially because in elections like that, ideology doesn’t really matter.
But I just can’t do that any more.
There used to be liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats. Democrats had George Wallace and Republicans had Nelson Rockefeller. I voted for Republican William Weld when I lived in Massachusetts over the more conservative Democrat. But you don’t find that any more. The parties have become distanced by ideology, and that’s one of the reasons we cannot get anything done in Congress.
But mostly, the problem is this: I’m not sure how I could support someone who supports a party that stands for the following:
- Discrimination against gays and lesbians
- Eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency
- Open carrying of firearms and reduction of any gun control laws
- Lowering the minimum wage
- Opposition to equal pay for women
- Tax breaks for billionaires
- Reproductive decisions made by government and employers
- Deporting of refugee children
- Denying of climate change and science
- Creationism taught in school
- Health care only for those who can afford it
- Elimination of unions
If I vote for a Republican Dog Catcher, am I thus supporting someone who believes in discrimination? That thinks my wife is a lesser person who can’t make her own decisions? Who has no sympathy for refugee children running from war and death? Also, why should I help that party at all? Every lower office run by a Republican helps the party raise money for the bigger offices.
And it’s sad that I have to think that way; I prefer reasonable people in both parties who can work things out. (And yes, there are crazy radicals on the left, too, but they don’t run the party — they are on the outskirts, like how the Republicans used to treat their crazies.)
Many of my reasonable conservative friends no longer call themselves Republicans because they cannot agree with the far-right agenda the party now promotes. They still won’t vote for a Democrat, but they also find it tremendously difficult to support the Republicans.
The solution is for reasonable conservatives to take back the party and stand up to these people. And that’s the problem — many Republicans are scared to death of these crazies, and instead of calling them out, they pretend to agree just so they can win elections. That may help them in the primaries, but all that does ultimately is send more potential voters away in the general election.
I made the same decision. This election, I don’t care if it is for sewer commissioner, I am voting straight blue. If there isn’t an opponent (common in my county) I am writing in “NO CONFIDENCE” and that includes the prosecutor I’ve known and worked with for 14 years.
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What is sad is that Dems in my county just don’t vote, or if they do they vote for the Democrats at the top of the ticket and for Republicans down ticket. They don’t seem to grasp what Michael illuminates in his blog. That voting for a local or statewide Republican candidate continues their control over things like fundraising, redistricting, suppression of civil rights, suppression of voting and the obstruction of government. It doesn’t matter if you personally like someone, it is their agenda and how they will vote that really matters.
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People in Germany were scared of the Nazis ( please, I’m not necessarily comparing Republicans with Nazis ), and were afraid to call them out from the beginning , and look how that turned out.
That’s unfortunate, Mark. While I wholeheartedly share your opinion on a broader level, my experience on Stroudsburg borough council has taught me there are heroes and buffoons on both sides of the proverbial aisle. I am grateful to have had the support of Republicans like Kim Diddio, Eric Scelza, and Joanne Kochanski to find consensus on a host of issues (including how to spend money!), and feel our town has benefited greatly from their contributions. I sincerely hope other contenders for council are motivated by a similar need to serve, and not by their party’s desire to turn a seat one color or another. Just my two cents regarding local politics…
If you don’t vote for the reasonable Republicans, the former Southern Democrats (those who became Republican in response to the Civil Rights Act of 1964) and the Moral Majority (which is neither) will take over the party. I do not just want a choice between the Christian Right and Coercive Utopians. I want people who believe in freedom and civil liberties.
“If you don’t vote for the reasonable Republicans,”, that ship has sailed. The so-called “reasonable Republicans” just want slightly less insanity than the psycho-TeaPartyNuts. I’m long past tired of the Republican majorities in state legislatures slowly strangling people’s rights in the name of fake “Freedom” and fake “Religion”. People need to stop voting for wedge issues that just inspire hate and allow these “reasonable Republicans” to steal everything for their super-rich masters. Instead stop worrying about what other people are doing for their own benefit and start worrying about what benefits everyone.
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