by Daniel Gardner
I voted for a Democrat, and I liked it! (Apologies to Katy Perry….)
Last week a friend of a friend noted she should steer clear of talking about Democrats with me. I was amused. I've voted for more Democrats than Republicans over my voting lifetime. Those raised in the Democratic South of the 50s and 60s know exactly what I mean.
Mississippi has closed primaries, meaning voters have to choose to be either Republican or Democrat or not vote at all during primaries. Independents like me learn as much as we can about candidates on both sides of the ballot, then choose whether to vote for a Democrat or Republican. We vote for the person and not the party.
During last week's municipal primary I voted for a Democratic new comer running against a Democratic incumbent. Republicans didn't run a candidate for our ward. The new comer won! Hope and change!
During the previous round of municipal elections progressives on both sides of the political aisle won seats on the city board and followed through with progressive policies and programs. For example, after voters overwhelmingly voted down a bond issue to build an elaborate City Hall, the progressive mayor and alder people overrode voters' clear choice and voted to build the same City Hall using political shenanigans. Other progressive programs mandated sidewalks to nowhere and filling various local board seats with unqualified political appointments.
It's not about Republicans and Democrats. What a farce! Party politics has never been about right or wrong, but about winning and losing, and by winning I mean parties win at the expense of voters who always lose party battles. H. L. Mencken said, "Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right."
Our Founding Fathers warned against dangers of political parties. John Adams wrote, "There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution." George Washington warned, "However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion."
Coincidently, scandals are proliferating under the Obama administration, the most partisan corrupt administration since LBJ. Not to be outdone, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has complained that TEA Party senators need to learn how to conduct business-as-usual in Congress. It's time for progressives in both parties, like Obama and McCain, to step down and let new representatives change business-as-usual in Washington.
By the way, did I mention our new alderwoman is, uh, a woman? And, did I mention she's Black? Frankly, I don't consider gender, race, or party affiliation when supporting any candidate. Steadfast principles, traditional values, and proven character are much more important criteria.