I voted a straight Democratic ticket. I have done so since 2004 - I doubt I will, again.
Up until Wednesday evening, I had intended to vote for either Dr. Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson for President and then vote Green Party rather than vote for Rep. Diana Degette.
Mr. Anderson made a very strong case for why voting for the Democrats was the wrong moral choice for me. What is more, I agree with most of his positions and wanted to simply reward him in my small way for his courage and opposition shown during the Bush administration.
But, in the end when in the voting booth I did not.. If you care, follow me below the fold for why I didn't.
Looking back at 2008 I considered what might have been; a return to the Rule of Law; an economic and tax system reformed to encompass more universality; responsible parties actually having to suffer the consequences for their actions and face justice in a court of law; a health care system which would actually deliver health care, not simply be a profit making vehicle for the few; a return to privacy from government intrusion.
The possibilities for a true change in our nations course was there and supported by the populace. What has actually been achieved in the last four years has been the exact opposite, in my view. Do I feel lied to? Why, yes, I do.
The chance I gave to Mr. Obama and the Democrats as an independent voter four years ago was squandered, in my view, to maintain a status quo which is truly even more parasitical and a harder line national security state than it was then. Sure, there has been some improvement around the edges but I didn't vote for window dressing nor did I think I was voting for what are truly moderate to conservative Republican positions from 20 years ago.
We have moved so far right over the course of my lifetime that economic parasites are no longer condemned and taxed for being what they are but are instead praised as the way to our future. Massive fraud is accepted as if there was never a law to prevent it. The loss of any kind of 4th amendment rights is so pervasive people accept it as though it, too, never existed. The Occupy Movement was seen by those in even Democratic authority as if they were the real criminals, much like, whistle blowers today. It reminded me, again, of 1968 and Mayor Richard Daly's Chicago - which is why I generally refused to vote for Democrats except for very specific issues.
This loss of personal freedom and a national security state will continue unabated, in my view. Modifications to Social Security and Medicare by this Democratic administration will occur and there is nothing we can do to stop it, despite what might be the best efforts of Sen. Sanders and Sherrod Brown. The Democrats in the Senate will support a "grand bargain." It will be done in the lame duck, I think, much like NAFTA was passed. Ultimately, I doubt I see any change in the rightward course of our Neo-Liberal economics. My best expectation is merely a slowing in this rightward drift.
BUT, Wednesday evening over dinner I discussed my feelings and probable vote with my Lady - she, too, was very disappointed with this administration, nevertheless as a Democrat there was little doubt how she would vote. Our discussion hearkened back to the late 60's, early 70's when we in Colorado were then fighting for a woman's right to choose. Contraception (even condoms) for a teenager was hard to get. Yes, I speak of those bygone days when Sheboygan, Wisconsin would actually criminally charge people for committing Adultery. When one could be criminally prosecuted for having pre-marital sex and actually sent to jail. Indeed, sex was evil and the state had every right to tell you how, when, where or even if you could engage in sex.
The Republican position today isn't even really about abortion or rape or contraception. No, it is much deeper than that. It goes to the heart of our very ability to determine our own religious and moral beliefs and conduct ourselves as we see fit. My sexual behavior is none of the governments business much less some politicians. My religious and moral views are not theirs. I have a fundamental 1st amendment right to hold my beliefs as dearly as they hold theirs and I will be damned if I will allow them to impose their views on me.
Standing there in the voting booth - thinking of what Nancy Keenan of NARAL had to say and what Rep. Diana Degette said on Rachel Maddow's show - what Terry O'Neill had said in an interview on the Ed Show.. Thinking of Akin, Mourdock, Romney/ Ryan and their views on the Personhood amendment now a Republican platform plank .. I thought of how here in Colorado we have fought the Personhood amendment twice now. I thought of my single vote for Bennet over Buck despite my vow not to vote for Bennet and how very, very close Ken Buck came to winning the Senate seat. Would the same be true, again, for President? Quite possibly.
It didn't matter that Dr. Stein or Rocky Anderson generally hold the same positions as myself. It didn't matter they, too, would uphold a women's right to choose. They will not be elected and have no power to stop this deluge of Republican religious extremism, but President Obama and (most) of the Democrats might have the power. Rep. Degette holds a major position within Congress to protect Women's' Rights. Could I allow myself to vote 3rd party because they best represent my views? They really are the overall best moral choice for me, personally.
Voting a Democratic ticket might make a difference in this one single clear moral choice. Yes, it disgusts me to reward what I think has been Democratic betrayal on many levels. Going forward President Obama's economic plan is weak sauce for the wrong time. Democrats generally do not represent my views, except for some notable progressive exceptions. However, this group of Republicans absolutely do not represent anything I believe in and they may gain the power to foist their repellant views down my throat - our throats - once again. Will my vote really make a difference? Did I want a Ken Buck type in the White House? That is really how close this election might be in Colorado; except, I think, the Hispanic vote going towards Democrats is significantly under polled here and in other parts of the Southwest.
In the end, standing there in the voting booth - I did think this will be defining moment for our Nation, knowing the Supreme Court may be at stake. I felt it important to stand once, again - with my mother, my wife, and those young women (and men) from long ago and try to make some little difference. So, despite my intense desire to vote for someone or something I actually believe in, I voted a straight Democratic ticket.
I know of other pro-choice independents who are in fact voting for Romney, apparently in the belief the Republicans would never do such a thing as adopt the Personhood amendment or for the court to overturn Roe v Wade and possibly Griswald vs Connecticut, too. They are wrong.
I didn't think I'd ever be single issue voter, again, but there it is. I hope others who may have been thinking voting 3rd party consider my reasons and their own future.