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Why You Shouldn't Be a Partisan Voter
Everyone I knew growing up was a partisan voter, and they ALL fell into the category of the GOP. Democrats became taboo - these wild eyed, ex-hippies who'd rather smoke a blunt than go to church (actually, they probably do both). My Republicans never belonged to the NRA-lovers, but they did believe in the right to bear arms as a principle. Of course, I also learned to look at smokers as bad people, so you can imagine how my development went.
I remember when George Bush Sr. ran against the huge head of Michael Dukakis. I knew nothing about politics, except that Dukakis was the "bad man". What are we teaching our children? Seriously. I demand of myself that I teach my children how to think critically and how to make these decisions on their own.
You'll likely think that I've gone over to the Dark Side. Not true. I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I am also not an Independent (which I classify as one who persistently votes for the Independent candidate). I am not a party or an organization. I am one man who votes his conscience. That means there will be times when I do not cast my vote. I argued for years against voting for the lesser of two evils. The reasoning is that in so doing you are admittedly voting for evil.
The time has come where I recognize that my views have shifted yet again. Rather than refuse to participate because all candidates disappoint me, I tend to be more forgiving of flaws and differing points of view. It's safe to say that as I've aged, I've realized that there are often complicated reasons motivating the beliefs and decisions we make. Everything may be simple in objective truth, but we are people, and people are not objective.
Let's look at the Republicans for a moment. While I have been taught to respect them for their anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and anti-welfare state stances, there are faults to consider as well.
There is without a doubt a lack of Republican Presidential candidates who can speak clearly and comfortably and defend their views without sounding ridiculous.
While Democrats waste billions on lazy people, Republicans waste trillions on killing people
The Republicans core economic value is War... to start a war is to increase federal spending on defense, which is to create more jobs in the defense/technology sector which thus benefits the economy.
Republicans are not concerned enough with the overwhelming problem of pollution and depletion of natural resources. Republicans lack the vision to realize that if they don't severely regulate pollution and dumping, they will have no world to rule.
Republicans take advantage of the Church to earn votes.
These are only a few criticisms which I can think of immediately. And although I have "seen the light" and refuse to vote Republican for the sake of voting Republican doesn't mean that I have performed the equally stupid reaction of voting only Democrat.
No, to earn my vote, each candidate must take a stand on the major issues and clearly define what that stance will be. They must convince me that they are more than just hot air. They must do more than look good and offer the expected yet ridiculous motivational speeches that each candidate feels compelled to give.