July 27, 2004

Bitterly Partisan

The heat's getting turned up here in July. People are growing increasingly shrill and bitter. We once discussed the existance of the "moderate" on this blog (by the way, I still can't quite get over the fact that I have a blog, that people come read it, and that people seem to enjoy it, it's just astonishing to me). I think us "moderates" are few and far between these days. This presidential campaign is so ugly already with people so polarized that I begin to despair. I get emails from friends on the right questioning every last thing about John Kerry and emails from friends on the left accusing George Bush of having committed every kind of crime known to man, all to further line someone's pockets. Basta! Enough already! Turn down the rhetorical heat, please, before most of us are driven from the political kitchen!

Here's the thing. I am a registered Republican simply because I have felt for a long time that there is no place for me and my views in the Democratic Party. That said, no candidate has ever been able to count on my vote simply because of his or her party affiliation. I tend to vote issues and positions, not (r) or (d). I suspect I'm going to vote for Bush come November, but I want the chance to reflect on it and chat about it. I want some civilized discourse. I want some adult conversation and reflection. I sound like a chick, don't I? I want romance, seduction, etc. No, what I want is for everybody to stop yelling and stop spinning.

At the end of the day, I suspect it will not matter who I vote for or who gets elected president. I expect strong disagreement on this point, but I'll take my chances. I am a believer in the theory that presidents will rise to the occasion. I believe that if there is a national emergency, our president will handle it, no matter which party he's from. I also believe that our country is internally strong enough to resist the effects of four years of bad rule. So, if the candidate I don't like gets in, I think it will probably be ok in the end.

That said, I think that there are significant problems facing us as a country and we might be better off with the Bush approach than the Kerry approach. But I'm going to wait and see a little bit and try my hardest to separate the substance from the spin. I just hope tempers cool a bit by November.

Posted by Random Penseur at July 27, 2004 12:13 PM

Sad to say, Random, but as a fellow NYer I think you are right about the value of your vote. I will also vote for Bush, but NY will almost certainly go to Kerry.

Posted by: Chandra at July 27, 2004 01:51 PM

Having had to sit through terms with Presidents I haven't voted for and was scared to death when they won, then finding out the world didn't come to an end after all, and having sat through terms of Presidents I *did* vote for and feeling more than a little disappointed in them, I agree with you that in the long run, it probably won't make much difference.

Whenever I tend to panic too much, I turn to unbiased history books. There has always been corruption and justice and hope and fear with every administration. Ideally, we vote because of the issues the candidate stands for, then step back and hope for the best.

I'm surprised how many people don't seem to know what their candidates' stance is on the various issues. It's all over the place on the net, if they just do a quick search. Here's one site I found:


Posted by: Amber at July 27, 2004 02:03 PM

Even that service is somewhat partisan, I understand. Still, thanks for the link as I think it may be better than nothing.

Posted by: RP at July 27, 2004 02:26 PM

Count me in on the registered-Republican yet moderate, non-straight-ticket-voting party. While the most prolific contributors on our site (the GNC) are the more liberal voices, there are a few of us that are looking for the President to secure our votes for his second term. Part of me is embarassed that I haven't made up my mind yet--like I'm waiting for some disaster to befall either candidate--but another part of me agrees with you, RP: as much as both parties are trying to make this election about an ideology so powerful that the fate of the Union is in the balance, I can trust in the checks and balances.

I guess that may be one of my most Democratic of characteristics: faith in the government. Hmmm...maybe that donkey is on to something afterall...

Posted by: David at July 27, 2004 03:22 PM
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