Why I’ve Changed My Mind About Voting Across Party Lines

Generally speaking I think it’s dumb to blindly vote for someone simply because of their official political identification. Ideally every politician should be an individual with their own thoughts and opinions- not some robot blindly spouting their official party platform- and they should be voted for as individuals. But the Republican party has gone so far off the deep end and lost enough of its principled and moderate leaders that I can no longer think of any Republican who I would ever vote for.

I have immense respect for John Warner, a senator from Virginia who retired in 2008. He was a Republican who wasn’t afraid to step away from the party’s official beliefs and show his support for civil rights for those in a same sex relationship, gun control, a woman’s right to control her own body, ending the war in Iraq, etc. What Republicans are there now who stray from their official doctrine? Possibly Susan Collins from Maine and her fellow Maine senator Olympia Snowe. It should be noted though that Snowe is retiring at the end of her term this year due to disgust over “hyperpartisanship.” On a more local level there’s Mayor Bloomberg, but he’s an Independent now.

Speaking of Snowe, it’s possible she did not wish to be considered, but at the time (and still) I found it appalling that if John McCain wanted a female candidate for vice president why on Earth not her or Collins? Picking an unqualified nutbag like Sarah Palin was a) a disgusting way to pander to the very far right and b) could have quite possibly made some people think women in general aren’t qualified for that position. I would rather see another old white dude run than a crazy lady who could potentially make people discount other more qualified female candidates.

Thankfully I think most judged Palin as an individual, not as a woman, but it seems like the majority of the women who could potentially be president are on the Democratic side. Do all the strong Republican women either keep their mouths shut or leave like Snowe?

Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but the Republican party platform is so out of step with contemporary America and shows so little respect for women (their official platform states that abortion should be banned in all cases including rape, incest, and the health of the mother), gay people (same sex marriage is described as “an assault on society”), immigrants (making English the official language, making life for illegal immigrants so miserable they’d “self-deport”), the non-super rich (vowing to repeal the affordable health care act, refusing to pass tax cuts without additional ones for the super wealthy, etc.) and so on, that I find it hard to have any respect for someone who votes for a Republican because I find it to be an endorsement of fear of and hate for all of the groups mentioned above. Even if one votes Republican for purely economic reasons I feel it still shows a massive lack of empathy for those who are not white straight males.

Therefore, until the Republican party has a massive overhaul and realizes that the majority of the electorate is no longer comprised of white men I will never vote for a Republican candidate for any office. If the Democrats go insane and put their version of Sarah Palin up for election I suppose I’ll have to find a third party.

 

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