As I post my first ever diary, I want to make a couple of declarations. 1) I loathe Donald Trump. 2) I will be voting a straight D ticket in November and for the foreseeable future. I felt it important to prime anyone who is accidentally reading this diary and to assuage any belief that I may be trolling.
So, here goes nothing…..
I found DKOS as I was trying to make sense of what happened in 2016 and I’ve been lurking ever since. I’ve been reading DKOS diaries, listening to right-leaning friends and family, reading about authoritarian psychology, history, and political opinion…. lots and lots and lots of political opinion. I’ve been slowly sorting out my political position and trying to crystallize just where, exactly, I fall on the red-blue spectrum. I’m not the type to pledge absolute fealty to any person or ideology, so I’m beginning to think I may be an independent. Its popular these days to declare that there are no true independents and perhaps that’s true, but I’d like to explore that declaration and sort-out just exactly what it means.
Allow me to start with a quick biography. I was born into a Republican household, was brought up in a Republican community, and currently remain a registered Republican. I cast my first presidential vote for Regan. Since that time, I’ve voted mostly republican, automatically at first, but later because I believed the rhetoric about small government, personal and fiscal responsibility, stern opposition to communist regimes and crimes against humanity, and the rule of law.
There were some seeds of doubt, though. I never bought into the “pro-life” anti-gay, Christian fanaticism. It always seemed antithetical to the “small government” ideal and just a little too, well, couldn’t put my finger on it, maybe too pious and impervious to logic. But, I felt no need to panic, the core beliefs were solid…. at least in my opinion at the time. And, anyway, Bill Buckley always seemed to say smart things.
…… but then came Sarah Palin. Her particular brand of willful stupidity (maybe not willful) mixed with her inane, childish insults were unbearably nauseating. And much to my dismay, she became a conservative HERO. I saw thoughtful conservatism beginning to erode into fanaticism. I voted for Barry. I stuck to republicans locally, though, thinking that the fever would pass. Then the veil was further lifted…. the gas-lighting, the hyperbole, the obvious misrepresentations and blatant lies, the stonewalling, the racism. The right was no longer legislating; they were no longer relying on reason to argue their positions. They became unrecognizable. I’ve grown to despise all that they now represent. I’ve voted straight D ticket ever since and my binary view of politics has changed.
The way our country looks now, I can’t imagine ever casting another R vote…… but I suppose it’s possible. While I find today’s Republicans to be intellectually bankrupt and morally repugnant, it doesn’t mean that I have pledged undying allegiance to the Democrats. I really don’t like the “free stuff” mentality. Nothing is ever truly free and ignoring that reality is tantamount to ignoring science. I hate cruelty at the border and welcome new arrivals, but I really don’t think unlimited immigration is a viable policy. Income inequality is currently on course to destroy our way of life, but full, government-enforced economic equality would be just as catastrophic. I see capitalism and socialism as coexisting on a sliding scale. They are each simultaneously useful and demonstrably harmful in too large a dose. In fact, I see that nearly all political issues operate on a sliding scale where shades of gray outshine black or white extremes.
So, do my political proclivities and current commitment to left-leaning policies place me squarely into the blue pool? Am I a (much reviled on this site) democratic centrist? Or am I an Independent?
Regardless of the answer, as a recovering Republican, I will unequivocally resist the GOP and I believe it’s important to realize that standing together, even with centrists and independents, may be our only hope.