randysmith: (Default)
[personal profile] randysmith
So I'll say up front that I'm generally a couch potato when it comes to elections. On good elections I'll get someone who's put some real study of the issues (usually, shockingly, [livejournal.com profile] psongster) to give me a summary of the ballot questions and candidates, probe at the funny points, and make my decisions. On bad elections I'll wander into the ballot box wondering "Who am I going to vote for?". And I usually (again, unfortunately) vote something close to straight democratic, for all that I say enrolled as an independent; I just don't have a sense of republican candidates doing a great job of representing me, and the media sources I read and my biases leave me with a fair amount of distaste for what the republican party seems to do.

But here's the thing. The single issue I am most worried about politically today is growing partisanship and demonization. If I was to get politically active, that's where I'd put my time (it's already where I put some of my money). And people I know and respect vote republican. And the media source I think is the most cleanly biased (The Economist, and yes, I'm well aware they have strong biases) takes a fairly evenhanded view of the two parties. And the demonization and partisanship I have the most personal experience with come from the left and go towards the right. And I hate it--I think it's more dangerous for the health of this country than the Economic Crisis, than the National Debt, than Al Queda, than the War on Terror.

So if you're going to vote republican today I say: Go you. I hope the people you vote for represent your issues and values well, and if they don't, that you can over time find candidates that represent them better. And I hope that you and I can keep talking about those issues, and why we have different perspectives on them, and that your representatives and mine can do the same. And that maybe this country will find a way to actually communicate across the growing left/right divide. If we don't hang together, we may end up hanging separately.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-02 01:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weegoddess.livejournal.com
The problem, as I see it, is that people are tired of the current status and want a change NOW NOW NOW. They don't see that the current folks in power (i.e., the Democrats) didn't necessarily cause the mess that we're in right now. I've even seen people blaming Obama for policies that Bush set into place. Most people don't understand the far-reaching effects of various decisions and only know one thing: we don't like what's happening right now and we don't want to wait for things to improve. We're voting for the Other Guy.

Which is largely how Obama/the Democrats won in the first place. It's now going to bite them in the ass.

I am voting Democrat for the exact reason you mentioned: I believe that they Democrats represent my values and ethics much more than the Republicans. Actually, I would consider voting green party if I thought it would do any good, but sadly all it would do is splinter the vote away from the one party in power that I can sometimes agree with.

I'm not very hopeful, though, that people will make intelligent decisions.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-02 01:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] in-parentheses.livejournal.com
The problem, as I see it, is that people are tired of the current status and want a change NOW NOW NOW.

Exactly. "The guys I elected two years ago didn't immediately solve all my problems? Clearly we need CHANGE!" It's a very mature outlook, really.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-03 04:21 am (UTC)
ext_14081: Part of a image half-designed as a bookplate. Colored pencil and ink, dragon reading (close-up on face) (Default)
From: [identity profile] metasilk.livejournal.com
I tend to be in favor of "splintering" as it seems more truthful to me, for me -- but then, that's the order of my priorities. One of my two best friends votes using the same rationale you do. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-02 03:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dajt.livejournal.com
I'm a registered Republican so that I can vote against the true crazies in the primaries. I can't say that I actually vote Republican in the general election, and I won't until they stop being the party of gridlock and start being the party of getting things done.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-03 03:00 am (UTC)
flexagon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] flexagon
Nice. I've thought about doing that.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-03 04:19 am (UTC)
ext_14081: Part of a image half-designed as a bookplate. Colored pencil and ink, dragon reading (close-up on face) (Default)
From: [identity profile] metasilk.livejournal.com
This is lovely. I need to keep remembering it (as my partner is more or less non-liberal and I am general non-"conservative" for all I'm a conservationist). Thank you for writing it.

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