I’m spending some time this week building a digestion post, looking back at the political process that somehow gave me a tipping point, that somehow pushed me into the polling place to cast my lot.
"It’s the politics that uses religion as a wedge and patriotism as a bludgeon, a politics that tells us that we have to think, act and even vote within the confines of the categories that supposedly define us, the assumption that young people are apathetic, the assumption that Republicans won’t cross over, the assumption that the wealthy care nothing for the poor and that the poor don’t vote, the assumption that African-Americans can’t support the white candidate, whites can’t support the African-American candidate, blacks and Latinos cannot come together. We are here tonight to say that that is not the America we believe in." – Barack Obama, 01/26/08
I think my aversion has been to that wedge- and that bludgeon-way to lead the masses. Todd, well-meaning friend and co-getting-old-chum, txt’ed me to marvel at how we’ve both hit 40 and turned Democrat. I’ve seen it in folks at work, young and conservative, turning older and more liberal, and I think I fit into the mold a little. But I had to txt back that I hadn’t been what I would call a Republican before, that I would rather label myself as Independent without all the baggage that that particular tag might bring with it. There’s no one side that matches everything I would want to look for. Now, what I’m seeing is that maybe that’s the wrong thing to look for. Instead of being in agreement, who inspires me? Who makes me think things will be better going forward?
And for right now, I’ve cast my vote. What was my tipping point? The Republican candidates scare me, but I can’t put my finger on it. It’s a word choice, an over-confidence that I think goes awry of the problems that are really out there. And then on the Dem-side, Clinton and Edwards both used commercial copy that said something to the effect, "we will be your President, not theirs". While I understand the meaning behind it, I think, it scares me here, too, that someone would polarize and demonize in order to split a voting base. If your message is worth hearing, you don’t need the demonstrative stuff to make it look good. So here we are with Super Tuesday coming, after President Bush’s State of the Union this past Monday, and we’re in this together, for better or worse. Right?
The one I’m waiting for is the media observatiom that Republicans have jumped ship, just like Reagan pulled in formerly Democratic voters. And I want to see if anyone comes to the different conclusion that the candidate came to a new better more moderate place; not that others have shifted, but that someone has recognized or spearheaded the shift. Something like that.