Can we just go ahead and have the election now?
I mean, the conventions are done. You either watched them with rapt attention, or you shunned them like the plague. Or maybe you watched them, but fell ill with the plague in the midst of watching talking heads on cable news blather on with their asinine opinions like religious zealots.Is anyone undecided at this point? I haven’t met anyone who has admitted to being undecided about how they’ll vote in November. Is it wrong to call undecided voters “stupid”?
Come on, it’s pretty easy to decide which side you want to be on. You either want sit with the cool kids at lunch, or the brainy kids. One table is more fun. The other table will graduate.
Ah, I kid.
But in our boiling hot political climate, one in which we claim the other side wants to “destroy America,” it’s easy to forget one thing:
You are voting for a person, not a color.
Political Parties Are Like Beer
If you are like most Americans, you’ve been checking one animal or the other for most of your voting life. Like brands of beer or cars, political parties earn our loyalty early on, and we rarely change, either because we are stubborn or just not paying attention.
Unfortunately, political parties do change. They betray and change their platforms, and hope the voters don’t change or pay attention.
If you had lived long enough to vote over the course of the entire 20th century, would you really have been able, according to your current political beliefs, to vote for one party the entire time?
Let’s take a little quiz:
Who Would You Vote For?
Teddy Roosevelt (R): Probably the first “green” President, who introduced environmental conservation to America by turning millions of acres over to government control. Also, exerted massive government control over private business to break up trusts and create safety standards. Doesn’t sound very “R” by today’s standards.
Woodrow Wilson (D): Failed to keep America out of WWI. Then he tried to create a global “super government” called the League of Nations to prevent a world war from ever breaking out again, which failed, because super governments don’t usually work. He also invaded Mexico, and segregated many federal departments. Tsk, tsk!
Herbert Hoover (R): Inherited an economic disaster. Couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything about it.
Franklin Roosevelt (D): Beat Hitler. Good. Tried to create a lot of jobs. Also good. Also sent many Japanese to internment camps, and tried to add three extra Justices to the Supreme Court to make the court his personal rubber stamp. Bad.
Harry Truman (D): Dropped the bombs on Japan, and declared America to be the protector of freedom all over the world and the enemy of communism everywhere.
Dwight Eisenhower (R): Desegregated schools, and built the national highway system.
Lyndon Johnson (D): Inherited the Vietnam War, which he escalated. Passed the Civil Rights Act, fueled by the memory of John Kennedy.
Ronald Reagan (R): Beat the communists by escalating an arms race.
You Aren’t Voting For an Animal
Of course, there are many that I skipped. But as I’ve studied and been fascinated by Presidential history, some things have become increasingly clear to me:
Presidents on both sides have a lot of victories…and a lot of embarrassments. They have all tried to increase their power. Some of them betrayed their voters. Others just proved that their policies were crap and they ran the country into a ditch.
You would have to have the most wildly swinging political beliefs to vote straight down the party ticket and be happy with your candidate for a century. The Presidents may share a letter after their name, but there is no way two Presidents from opposite ends of the century would agree on much of anything.
Voting isn’t about supporting a color, animal, or party. It’s about being on the right side of history. How many times have you actually voted on the side that accomplished something great, and not just the side that won? If you ask me, every voter in this country should be registered independent.
Incidentally, in blind taste tests, most people (who think they are brand loyal), can’t distinguish Budweiser, Coors and Miller from each other. That’s because, like most political promises, they’re all crap.
What do you think? Could you vote for every President on one side or the other and be happy? Name a President who wasn’t in your party of choice, who you wish you could’ve voted for.