Friday, November 23, 2012

[TheBlackList] I Voted Republican

I Voted Republican
I have never voted Republican before, but in the recent presidential election, I voted Republican. I did not vote for Mitt Romney. I voted for the other Republican, Barack Obama.
  • I did not want to vote for a president who followed and executed the abhorrent war-mongering George Bush foreign policy, but I did.
  • I did not want to vote for a president who extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, but I did.
  • I did not want to vote for a president who uses drones to flagrantly violate the sovereignty of countries and indiscriminately kill innocent people without remorse in pursuit of suspected terrorists, but I did.
  • I did not want to vote for a president who was very careful to distance himself from every black leader, but I did.
  • I did not want to vote for a president who reneged on his promise to close, or even fight for the closing of, Guantanamo Bay prison, but I did.
  • I did not want to vote for a president in whom I placed such hope but was left feeling so betrayed, but I did.
I did because I was terrified to vote for that tax-dodging, job-exporting,  racially-insulting, millionaire-backed Mitt Romney alternative.
At a meeting of my Democratic club after the elections, the room was filled with euphoria from the victories. The guest speaker reveled at the victories of some prominent Democrats. To be sure, some deserved praise, but many were 'wishy-washy' Democrats who are only tepid on many traditional Democratic issues. Although the very eloquent speaker was from Prince Georges County, she failed to mention one of the most courageous Democrats in the country, Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Prince Georges County.
"Are we to be Democrats in support of George Bush war-mongering polices?" I asked during the question period. The room did not seem receptive to my question. Many progressives have abandoned the club over the years leaving it more and more conservative, leaving its proud progressive traditions behind. I felt very alone. Then the realization hit me as I looked back at recent meetings. My once proud progressive Democratic club had become Republican, albeitt moderate Republican not tea-party Republican.
"Make the Democratic Party the kind of party you think it should be", was her reply. I was not satisfied with her response at first, but upon reflection, I think it was a very good reply. I intend to do just that. I renewed my membership that night.
Why should I be so alone? In the membership, where are the union members, the environmentalists, the anti-war activists, the civil rights and civil liberties activists. Occupy Wall Streeters should be occupying the Democratic Party. The Arab spring is actually a failure because the protestors did not occupy the political system. That is where change is made. We cannot change the Democratic Party back to its traditional progressive values from outside it.     
Let us invigorate the party. Let us have a real choice for presidential candidates in 2016.  I don't want to vote Republican again. I refuse to strengthen the Republican by voting for no-chance-of-winning third party candidate. Let us immediately begin work on selecting a Democratic presidential candidate who reflects true Democratic values. I cringe when I hear prospects bandied about. We have work to do. Starting now, lets work to get a Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich or  Bernie Sanders to be our next president. Time's a-wasting.
Michael Irving Phillips,
Editor, Hot Calaloo
Author, Boycott Money and Save Your Soul
- Launching The Goodwill Revolution".
"Bring Our War $$$ Home" - Codepink

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