Who am I?

Who am I?

I am an independent voter. Sometimes I vote Republican, sometimes I vote Democrat. I always read about each candidate and evaluate him or her on the basis of published opinions and track records, not whether or not there is a donkey or an elephant next to the name.

Thirty years ago, I worked in the Washington office of a Republican Senator. Back then, being a conservative meant wanting government out of people’s lives, having the goal of a balanced budget, and standing up to the USSR. Conservatives marched for choice and the ERA. There was no inherent contradiction in being a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.

Since then, US politics have been a fast moving sidewalk – you have to run to stay in the same place, as the Republican party edges closer and closer to theocracy and intolerance. Abortion and marriage rights should be conservative ideals – keep the government out of people’s lives. The Affordable Care Act is actually more conservative than Nixon’s proposal for health care reform – it’s overwhelmingly similar to the Republican shield they used to fight off single payer for years, and almost a matched pair with the Massachusetts health care system developed under Governor – and Republican Presidential Candidate – Mitt Romney.

Partisan divide has become the only game in Washington. Positions are decided by party money – it costs millions to be elected to Congress, and individual candidates can’t do it without party funds. So instead of policy and philosophy, we have party platforms with no internal consistency, which Congress members defy at the risk of their campaign dollars.

In many elections, I have been unhappy with the nation’s choice for president. Sometimes, when I’ve voted for the winner, I’ve regretted it in the next four years. But never before have I been so afraid for the future of the country. Never before have I so distrusted the President-elect and Congress. Never before have I thought that they were actively, deliberately working against the interests of the nation.

The Reluctant Activist

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