If you haven’t read many of my posts here on the Everblog, you might not be aware that I am a classic “yellow-dog” Democrat. I’ve never, not once in my nearly three decades as a registered voter, voted Republican.
I’ve contemplated moving Left of my Party more than once, and if there were viable state and national options in that direction I would have probably given them my vote in recent years. That’s not my point here. What I want to announce is that I am willing to vote Republican.
Yes, you read that correctly. I would happily vote Republican …
If … a Republican candidate could be trusted to protect the right (yes, right) of my daughters, my wife, my sister – all women – to control their own reproductive destinies.
If … the modern Republican Party were not in thrall to economic policies that haven’t worked outside of Ayn Rand novels.
If … the Republican Party’s Congressional Leadership were not made up – entirely – of white males.
If … the Republican Party’s national platform were not so concerned with who my neighbors can marry.
If … Republicans were thinking of immigration reform more in terms of human decency and less in terms of rebranding their marketing.
If … Republicans were as concerned about billionaires paying a reasonable tax rate as they are about local tea party groups maintaining 501(c)4 designations.
If … Republican House members seemed less sure that universal (and universally affordable) health insurance would destroy the fabric of American competitiveness.
If … Republican elected officials at all levels seemed more alarmed about the epidemic of gun violence in America.
If … Republicans were less-hostile toward traditional public education.
If … Republicans weren’t so certain that privatization can cure all ills.
Yes … I would happily vote for a Republican candidate if even most of those conditions were met. But they’re not. They haven’t been. For my entire memory as a voter, R’s have been convinced that overwhelmingly male legislative bodies know what’s best for women’s bodies. They’ve consistently promoted policies of “trickle-down” economics that have damaged our national character. They’ve resisted placing women and racial minorities in positions of authority. They’ve been obsessed with who people are allowed to fall in love with. They’ve opposed reform in immigration. They’ve insisted that it’s OK for tens of millions of Americans to walk around uninsured. They’ve shifted the tax burden from the wealthy to the middle-class. They’ve flooded our streets with guns. They’ve starved public schools, from kindergarten through graduate education. They’ve funded private prisons, private schools, etc. at the expense of existing functional and efficient public programs.
No … Democrats are not perfect on any of these issues. They are, in my opinion, moving past the center and to the right on too many issues. I want my Party to do better. But the alternative is entirely unacceptable.
And this doesn’t even scratch the surface. I didn’t mention Social Security or Labor or a variety of other issues close to my heart.
Wouldn’t it be great if I could vote Republican? If a fine, upstanding candidate could win my vote without me worrying about party identification? Yeah, it would. But in today’s political climate the facts tell me that checking the “R” column gets me exactly the opposite of what I hope for America.