Saturday, February 24, 2018

Maybe I Should Have Remained a Republican.

When I first registered to vote, my dad explained the process and said I could choose Republican or Conservative. I chose Conservative, thinking at the time I might learn something about politics and get involved. I couldn't have been more wrong, and at some point I switched my party affiliation to Republican, so I could at least vote in primaries.

This was the pre-Fox Republican party. This was a time when Democrats and Republicans could talk politics and remain friends . . . when Congress members on both sides of the aisle discussed issues, compromised, and voted with their hearts and brains rather than out of some misguided knee-jerk sense of party loyalty. A time when they attended the same functions and actually socialized together.

I married a Republican who never watched TV and got his news from The Wall Street Journal and NPR. Yes, NPR. To those who are surprised because you assume NPR leans left, Joe felt "All Things Considered" offered the best in-depth, balanced news reporting. I agree.

Over the years I voted more like an Independent. Contrary to what a Social Studies teacher taught my high school class, I voted for the person, not the party. I didn't vote for Clinton. I did vote for Obama. Twice. But I was still a registered Republican, and one reason was that I could have lots of fun wearing my "Republicans for Obama" button.

But when a lying, cheating, stealing egomaniac moved into the White House last year I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't take him, I couldn't take his handlers, and I couldn't take the state of the Republican party. During the years when I hadn't been paying attention, many Republican members of Congress had turned into a bunch of self-serving suck-up lemmings. I wanted to distance myself from all of them, and all of it, as best I could, so I changed my party affiliation again and became a Democrat.

But now, when it's more important than ever to keep pressure on our elected officials, I have the feeling my new voting status will eliminate any possibility of a Republican Congressman taking my opinion seriously. I think they'll very likely say, "Oh. She's a Democrat. She's not going to vote for me anyway, so I don't care what she thinks." Or they'll think I'm stating the Democratic party line. Since they don't think for themselves, but parrot their party line, they probably think everyone else operates this way too.

Life was a great deal more pleasant when I never thought about politics and related issues. But once your eyes have been opened, it's hard to close them again.


Julia said...

Women should run the country. They are more family oriented and have more common sense than the male counterparts who are more about ego and getting the job done at any cost. Women are more for peace and are used to compromise in general. They are less for military strength and wars. Women are gaining in strength and if this world is to be saved, they are the ones to do it.

Voting for the right leader is more important than voting for the wrong party. I'm with you on that one. I liked Obama and he inherited a hell of a mess that would have taken more than 4 years to fix. Being a black man must have been more challenging on top of everything. This is only my opinion from what I have observed through the media. Integrity is sure lacking in politic.

HUgs, Julia

Susan said...

It sure is, Julia. Thank you for commenting. I agree with everything you said.

Mali said...

Sorry I missed this when you wrote it. I find the US system very restrictive, in that you seem to need to be registered as one party or another. (But don't get me commenting on the US system!)

If I was a member of a political party, it wouldn't in any way be public knowledge. As I've never been a member of a political party, neither party can assume which way I vote.

Susan said...

Mali, I could have registered as an Independent. It's not unusual. In any case, if someone wanted to know which way I vote, all they'd have to do is look at my Facebook posts. :-)

Susan R said...

Bravo Susan! Thank you for your wise and thoughtful words. I used to follow you years ago (I lost a child too) and I was browsing my bookmarks this morning and came across yours Blog. I'm so glad to see that you are well and still writing now and then.


Susan said...

Susan, thank you for saying this. "Now and then" was a tactful way to phrase my 7-month absence. Several friends from the 40-words-a-day blogging we did in 2006 got together this year to challenge each other to blog daily using assigned topics and word counts. If you'd like to take a look, you can find mine here. The monthly topics are listed in the right-hand column. January's was a serial story. Mine is largely true, with some fictional details (like giving myself a car of my dreams). :-)

I'm so sorry you lost a child. I hope you're doing okay. I'm told I'm resilient, but I think we all put one foot in front of the other and do what we can. I'm able to have fun, and I'm grateful for that. But even after 17 years there are times when I still get blindsided by profound grief.