Had lunch with a good friend, who can be described as... a MostlyRepublican.
He voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004. May have voted for Obama in 2008, but only because he thought Sarah Palin was such an abomination.
He doesn't care about the social stuff... he's progressive there.
It's always been about taxes.
His taxes have been (or at least have FELT LIKE they were) crushing him and he resented like hell making 300K a year and having much of it go up like smoke.
In past elections I argued my best... we who are doing well have a responsibility to give back AND, equally importantly, if he needed a "self interest" reason to vote D... remember that we live in a business that REQUIRES there to be a thriving middle class.
No middle class, no movie tickets... no movie tickets, no movie business.
I tried the "we both have daughters and what kind of world do we want to leave for them" angle.
I tried the "Republicans aren't who you remember them to be" angle.
He just smiled and then... kindly... called me a communist.
He was going to stay MostlyRepublican and I just had to accept that.
Fast forward to today.... at lunch.
We chatted about the shit usually chat about - mostly projects and fantasy football - and then I said... tell me Obama's got your vote.
He just smiled, reached out, and quietly gave me the "terrorist fist bump".
We go back to eating but I'm trying to figure out... what changed.
And that's when I remembered... his wife... she has terrible rheumatoid arthritis.
When Mitt Romney says "I will repeal Obamacare on day one", what he's saying to my friend is: you and your wife are fucked... your ability to get up in the morning and have a chance at normalcy is fucked... the future of your family is fucked.
In the old system... or in any system where "preexisting conditions" is an issue... health care is not an option for this man and his wife and their two children.
In the old system... or any system where "preexisting conditions" is an issue... attempting to make life livable for his barely 40 year-old, fantastically smart, kind-hearted spouse would be a choice between declaring bankruptcy or simply giving up on her physical and mental state.
In the old system... or any system where "preexisting conditions" is an issue... TAXES are now the 50th thing he considers when he considers his vote.
Shorter... I'm likely still a bit of a communist in his eyes... but the Affordable Care Act... has made him a Democrat, probably for life.
And me... I hope to whomever it is that we should hope to... that his sweet wife finds something that makes her feel better.