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lifelong democrat (?)

always. always. straight ticket.

except once. one vote for a republican, just once. it was for sheriff of alachua county, gainesville, fl. i was talked into it by a woman i carpooled with–her husband was on the force, she knew both candidates, and swore she wasn’t steering me wrong.

well the republican sheriff must have worked out fine–at least he never arrested me, so that’s something right there.

otherwise, all democrats. every time.

but now i’m wondering.

believe me, i understand the value of pragmatism. i’ve been pragmatic in much of my voting, believe it or not. i’ve several times voted for someone who had a position i detested, because on the whole they had positions i agreed on.

there are some republicans i could vote for. maybe i could vote for john mccain. i could vote for colin powell, except he’ll never run. i could have voted for lowell weicker. i could vote for lincoln chafee. i just never really had what i’d consider a decent republican to vote for.

so i ended up voting for democratic candidates, because years ago i lived in florida where at that time the republican candidates were all pretty much either fringey lunatics or tools of the moral majority or someone you’d never heard of that it was clear had been put up to run so that line on the ballot wouldn’t be vacant. there wasn’t much of a republican party in florida back then. and by the time there was a bit of a republican party, i was living in liberal parts of the state–gainesville, south florida, etc., and the republicans running were still idjits.

then i moved to new york city, where it’s all about democrats. maybe all this explains why this election befuddles me so. i’ve never lived in enemy territory.

anyway, i’ve always voted for democrats. and i’ve often held my nose and voted for the democratic lesser of two evils. and this time certainly was no exception. boy did i hold my nose and vote for kerry. i never admitted it, partly because i didn’t start blogging until the very end of the election and partly because i didn’t want to seem disloyal at a crucial moment, but i really had problems with kerry on the gay issues. in fact, i spent a large chunk of spring on the johnkerry.com website, making posts that blasted his wimpy-ass pragmatic position on gay marriage, in the hopes that someone might read them and change things. the problems i had weren’t enough to make me not vote for him, but maybe they should have been.

i guess i could have written in rev. al sharpton (there’s a blog i have to remember to write!), but i didn’t.

i’ve never been a one-issue voter, but i may have to become one. and that may preclude my lifelong registered democrat status. there’s talk already of the democratic party “throwing off the yoke of gay rights in order to become more centrist.” blame the victim, right? if that happens, i am so out of that party.

so here’s my warning. here’s what i’m looking for.

scorched earth.

i don’t want any more accomodationism. i don’t want any more pragmatism.

i want to see the government shut completely down, completely completely down, when bush nominates some right-wing nutjob for the supreme court. i want absolutely no legislation passed that puts in a national sales tax, or lets you put your social security in the stock market, or sends another dime of homeland security money to wyoming or south dakota, or limits the right of a woman of any age to choose an abortion, or any of a number of other things.

and i don’t care what you have to do, or how many toes you have to step on, or how many “centrist swing voters” you have to alienate to do it. i want it done. i want it done–bush gets nothing. he gets no mandate.

and if he does get one single thing, i am out the door and registering as an independent, or as a green, or as a working families party member, or as a communist, or i don’t know what yet.

but i sure the fuck am through being pragmatic.

and if i’m giving the republicans exactly what they want, a splintered democratic party and the keys to the kingdom, so be it. the democrats did nothing, nothing, nothing, less than nothing for gay america. they sat around and fidgeted about swing voters and offending middle america and did nothing, nothing, less than nothing when my rights as a gay american got taken away. taken away in the ballot boxes of 11 worthless states i will never never never set foot in again until those hateful laws are rescinded.

at least i’m not in the 23% of gay and lesbian americans that voted for bush. there’s a cluelessness that i will never understand. is it stockholm syndrome? what would make you vote for the man whose sworn intention is to deprive you of your civil rights?

but, although a vote for bush was much worse, i’m not so sure my vote for kerry was much better. yes, he “probably” would have been fine as regards gay rights, or at least not as bad as bush will be, and the pragmatic thing was to ignore what kerry was saying about gay rights because he had to say them to get elected. but, again, here i am voting for the lesser of two evils.

never again. if i can’t vote for for for for someone, i’ll just not vote in that race.

my vote now has to be earned. we’ll see if a future democratic presidential candidate can earn it back.

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