My Grandmother was a Democrat. The amazing thing about her being a Democrat was that she was religious, anti-abortion, pro-capital punishment, and anti-gay rights. When queried about how she could vote for candidates that were diametrically opposed to her positions on social issues, she'd get all bowed up and spout: "Now, you have to have a separation of church and state."
I always wanted to ask: "Okay, but how do you separate vote and conscience?"
My Grandmother was loyal to the Democratic party because she identified herself with the name Democrat. Period. She had been taught that Democrats were for the poor, the worker, the little guy. And that the Republican Party was the party of the rich, the wealthy, and of big business. This was reinforced by the mainstream media which she bought into hook, line, and sinker.
Never mind that the Democrats had just as many, if not more, wealthy contributors, not to mention just about every Hollywood millionaire, as well as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet on their side. No it was the Republicans that were firmly entrenched on the side of the wealthy. I guess you run the risk of being labeled thusly when you are for fair taxes for all Americans, and opposed to government entitlements and handouts.
But Grandma was a Democrat because she had always been a Democrat. And she would always be a Democrat because she'd always been a Democrat. I never understood this loyalty to a name. I even find it hard to say she was loyal to a party because the Democratic Party at the time of her death in 2002 was nothing compared to what it was when she was a younger woman.
When people ask me why I am a Republican, I stop them. "I am not a Republican, I am a conservative." The next thing I am usually asked is why I always tend to vote Republican. "Because they, at this particular point in time, are the party most closely aligned with my stances on the issues."
Note, "at this particular time" is a the key phrase. If the Republican Party were to ever change, and the Democratic Party became the more conservative of the two parties, I would vote Democrat. That is probably not going to happen in the short-term, but if I live as long as my grandmother did (90 years) it might occur.
Blindly following a party because you always have, and inventing all kinds of arguments and rationalizations for doing so are dangerous. It is what led us down the road to where we are now; ON a steady march toward socialism.
This march that was only slowed during the preceding 8 years under the former administration. While I agreed with George W. Bush's tax policy, I was opposed to his spending. I had no problem with his military spending, but his prescription drug Medicare benefit, his economic stimulus plans (all 3 of them), and his choosing not to cut pork out of the budget really irked me. But at least he had put the ride towards socialism in neutral and coasted for a while.
Obama has us back in high gear on that ride. If you had told people in my grandmother's generation after World War II that by 2010 the U.S. would be headed towards a socialistic economy they would have not been pleased. Yet here we are today where the government can offer "loans" to private companies, then use those loans as an excuse to seize those companies. And when companies that take those loans want to pay them back in full to avoid seizure, the government refuses to accept repayment in order to continue down the path towards seizure.
The president can hire and fire CEOs, cap their pay, and appoint an industry overseer to further govern what a private company can and can't do. He can institute a draconian punitive policy, like cap and trade, on industries he doesn't like to force them into doing business the way he sees fit.
We are at a crossroads in our nation's history, and so far we have ventured down the wrong road. I blame lots of things, but blind party loyalty is one of those things. It is time that people stop listening to the mainstream media, start informing themselves about a candidate's past regarding issues, and start voting for a person not because of the letter next to their name, but because that person stands for the things that they do. Or at least more closely than his opponent does.
Otherwise we will become the U.S.S.A.