In 1988 I turned 18 and was able to vote for the first time. Like most young, first time voters, I really didn’t know a damn thing about the politics of the time. Quite honestly, I really didn’t care. I was 18. I only knew what I heard around the house, or the very little information I got from tv. All I knew was that everybody friggin’ loved Ronald Reagan and that the Republican nominee was his Vice President, George Bush. (That’s George Bush, without the H.W., because before his son became President nobody cared about that ‘middle name’ bullshit.) As I lived in Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis was a name I had also heard many times. Unfortunately, it was usually in a negative manner. I couldn’t tell you now what that negative info was, but I knew I had heard it. Therefore, it was very clear to me that I was going to help keep the Reagan train going and give my support to the Republican nominee. Bush got my vote based on this very naïve criteria. Low and behold, he won the election and I thought I was a genius. To this day, I am still happy with that vote.
In the year or so leading up to the 1992 election my knowledge about the politicians was definitely better, but hardly good. I was somewhat satisfied with Bush, but as a 21 year old I was finding him a little old and not completely in touch with my way of thinking. Then along comes this younger, more charismatic politician, who I could relate to more. Popping up on a new MTV show called Rock-The-Vote, he was talking to young people about what was important to them. Wait? What? You want to know what I think? How cool. The next thing you know he is playing the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show. Holy shit! This dude is awesome. Of course, it is completely ridiculous to base a vote for President solely on whether you think a candidate is ‘hip’, but at 21 years old it was definitely playing a major factor. I had officially decided the man for the job was Bill Clinton, and he got my vote. Low and behold, he won the election and I thought I was a genius. To this day, I am still happy with this vote
4 years later we were at it again. This election was hardly what I would call a difficult decision. The Republican nominee was just another old white guy with a messed up hand who talked weird, and the incumbent was the ever so cool William Jefferson Clinton. (Oh yeah. He had earned middle name status by now.) There isn’t too much I can say about this one. Clinton had my vote all day. Low and behold, he won the election and I knew I was a genius, and yes, I am still happy with this vote. ;-)
As the election of 2000 drew near, and the nominees were set, I had fully planned on using the same formula I had used for my very 1st election. Keep the Clinton train rolling and vote for Al Gore. However, something strange happened on the way to the election. I didn’t really like him. He seemed like a nice enough guy, with great ideas, but he was so damn dull and boring. Meanwhile, the Republican nominee was kind of a ‘one of us’ type of guy. He was a little dopey, but he was also witty and normal. Again, someone a little more relatable for the average citizen. When it came time to cast my ballot, it went to George W. Bush. (This is when all the ‘middle name’ bullshit started) Low and behold, he won the election (because of his brother, Jeb) and I was again, a genius. I am still happy with this vote………barely.
Then came 2004. The country was still recovering emotionally from the events of 9/11, and the man who had been President during the whole ordeal had acted exactly the way every American wanted him act. He took the fight to the bad guys, and put the world on notice that “If you weren’t with us, you were against us!” We applauded him for being a little bit of a cowboy, because we all wanted revenge. This was his badge of honor (and we fell for it. Hook, line and sinker). To me, it didn’t matter who the other guy was (Kerry), I was voting for the badass who was taking no shit. Low and behold, he won the election and I thought I was a genius. I was not. I am not happy about this vote. Not one bit!
Now we get to 2008. The year of Hope & Change. As much as I was pissed about the Bush years, I was still willing to at least give a Republican a chance to redeem the party…….barely. Admittedly, I was pretty confident that I would vote Democrat in this election, but I wasn’t completely closed minded about it. As much as I liked Barack Obama, I was also skeptical of his experience. He was smart as a whip, and said all the right things, but I still had my reservations. That was until the Republican nominee, John McCain, picked his running mate. Sarah Palin? Are you fucking kidding me? I would have been a better choice than this woman. This, in my opinion, is the day the train officially went off the tracks for the Republican party. I don’t care what bullshit story they want to tell you, this choice was made solely as an attempt to garner favor with all the female independent voters who were disappointed when Hilary Clinton didn’t get the Democratic nomination. This was the single biggest factor in decision to vote for Obama. Low and behold, he won the election and I was a genius yet again. Although I am not completely thrilled with all his decisions, I am still happy with this vote.
Then comes the most recent election in 2012. An election that I am fully up to speed on. I know the candidates. I know their platforms. I also know the distain that now exists between the parties. Nobody wants to help anybody. Although I believe Mitt Romney to be as good a man as a politician can be (let’s face it, they all suck), he has unfortunately been hijacked by the extremists (Tea Party) of his party, and is running on a platform that is completely dictated by an utterly out of touch group of morons. For crying out loud, his incumbent opponent passed the most comprehensive health reform law in history, based almost entirely on his own successful plan in Massachusetts, and after applauding the bill he was forced to rail against it because showing any confidence in President Blacula was against EVERYTHING the Tea Party stood for. For 4 years the Republicans spent every waking moment trying to find a way to make Obama a one term President, instead of actually doing their jobs and trying to make the United States a better place. In the end, all the mud slinging and scandal creating just made the Republicans look weak. As did all the religion based ignorance towards abortion and gay marriage. Naturally, my vote went to re-elect President Obama. Low and behold, he won the election. An election, that in my opinion, was a far bigger victory than becoming the first black President. This victory said that most Americans DID NOT believe all the bullshit that was coming from the right, because if they did he would have NEVER won. Instead, he destroyed Romney, and I am a genius yet again. Do you see a pattern here? I am still extremely happy with this vote.
Now you might ask yourself why I spent so much time describing every election I have had the chance to vote in. I did so to make the point that I have ALWAYS been an Independent voter. In case you didn’t notice, I have voted in 7 Presidential elections and my votes have gone R, D, D, R, R, D, D. I picked all the winners by the way. How many of you out there, who constantly talk shit about Obama, and how he is the worst President ever, can say they have voted half their elections for the Democratic nominee? Probably not many. Well guess what? I support our President, and with the exception of the 2004 re-election of George W. Bush, I have zero problem with the votes I cast for previous Republican Presidents. However, as long as the Republican party continues down the road they are on, I will NEVER vote for their party again. Furthermore, I will tell you exactly why they will not see the White House ever again if they don’t wise up. The reason is simple: Civil liberties.
Virtually every American agrees that our government is broken. We spend too much on shit we shouldn’t, and we spend too little on shit we desperately need. The deficit is crazy. The budget is crazy. The fiscal cliff is crazy. Everything to do with money is crazy. Both parties agree on this, and both sides have differing opinions on how to fix it. It makes no difference what ‘team’ your on, all Americans want these problems fixed……..immediately! But here’s where the real problem is for the Tea Party run, Republican party. Listen close, righties, because this is the only info you need if you want any chance of winning a Presidential election ever again. Forget about all that budget shit and start getting yourself on the right side of the civil liberties issues, because this is the main reason you are losing in the big dance. No matter how much a candidate, or party, thinks they have the solution for budget or deficit issues, most of the American people really have no idea who’s plan will really work. This is because it is far too big for any average person to understand, and people just end up endorsing the plan set forth by ‘their’ party. However, the one thing the average American does understand is when one party wants to deny their gay uncle the right to get married, or their wife/daughter the right to an abortion. These are real world things that average Americans DO understand and DO base their votes on. Until you start getting on the right side of the issues that real Americans can relate to, you have no chance of holding the highest office in the land ever again. Stop letting ultra-rightwing, religious nuts, dictate your platforms. I have always appreciated being an Independent voter because I have never been bound by any one party. This is the way every person in this country should be. To me, anyone who considers themselves a staunch Republican or Democrat, is only a staunch moron. No party has it right all the time. Sometimes one side has the answers and sometimes the other side does. But while voters are trying to decide who has it right in 2016, the one thing that can be a deal breaker is when you are promoting something that most Americans understand completely and don’t agree with. All the rest is just white noise. I would greatly appreciate it if you would get your heads out of your asses, tell the Tea Party to fuck off, and start getting back to debating the things we all need to understand better and just agree to agree on the things that most Americans already want in the first place. You are your own worst enemy right now, and I am tired of having only one choice.