Tuesday, August 24, 2004

My best friend happens to be very right-wing. (Shows you how I can look beyond politics and ideology to see the goodness in people!). He recently emailed to me something along the lines of “I’m not a GW guy, I’m a Reagan guy” when the topic of the election came up. I replied that it didn’t matter if you were a Reagan guy; all that mattered was that come November 2nd, his 60%-meant vote for GW was going to 100% cancel out my Kerry vote.

I hear this fairly frequently when discussing past elections. Someone will attempt to downplay who they voted for because they were really an XXX-guy, implying their vote for that particular election year was only half-meant. Of course, I fully understand the relative basis rational when voting, that you may not be 100% in love with a particular candidate and have to pick between two less-than-stellar candidates. But nonetheless, voting is an all-or-nothing game, i.e. there’s no such thing as a lukewarm vote. Once in the booth and the curtain is drawn, the so-so, moderately-decided GW voter will 100% negate the absolutely-committed Kerry voter every time, and vice-versa.

I told my friend that I’m actually a Thomas Jefferson guy, but I don’t trot that out to people before I state I’m going to vote for Kerry. And I hate to put it so bluntly, but Reagan is now as dead as Jefferson, so the analogy holds. I said to him if he truly was a “Reagan-guy” then he should enter the voting booth on November, write-in “Ronald Reagan,” and pull the lever. This way he can honestly tell people he voted for HIS guy, and he then won’t cancel out my 100% full-meant vote for Kerry.

Of course, much of the time, this sort of waffling when it comes to explaining one’s past voting behavior is simply used as a hedging device. If the voted upon candidate turns out to be a debacle, one can always then say “Yeah, I voted for him/her, but I’m really an XXX-guy,” attempting to deflect and save some face. However, if that person turns out to be a terrific choice, one can then gleefully proclaim, “Yeah, I voted for him/her!” and leave it at that.

All I ask is that for all those potential, yet reluctant, Bush/Cheney voters out there who are actually diehard Reagan people, or Eisenhower people, or even Nixon people, please do us devoted Kerry people a favor: either stay home on November 2nd or show up to vote & write in the name of “your guy (gal).” Stay true to yourself!

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