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05 November 2008 @ 11:28 am
Prop 8:  Ouch.  I really didn't think it would pass in Calif.  (Technically they're not sure yet, but there's a 52% margin.)  I'm with Eddie Izzard on this one, Hey, CA, you're supposed to be the crazy state!  Environmentalism and weirdness!  What happened?

Something relatively cool and incidental:  scrolling over the NYTimes election map and looking at the voting populations.  Just look at those millions.

I said this to a couple of people last night, and now it's for sure:  I'm officially an Independent now.  As of this election.  I made my decision a few weeks ago, and now I'm sure.  I'm what a Republican used to be.  Not what a Republican is now, unfortunately.  I'd like to say that I want the Republicans to no longer be the conservative party, but I'm not sure that's reasonable... SOME party will always be the conservative party.  The folks who want things to be like the old ways are going to exist, and they're going to land somewhere, and they're going to try and land in the same spot if possible so that they can stick together.  I just wish it hadn't been my party, during a time when the issues at stake involved sexual freedom more than anything else.

The last 8 years have been hard.  I have over 100 people on my flist.  Of those, maybe... maybe four of them openly identify as having Republican politics.

That's hard, folks.  To feel THAT out of place?  Over something so incredibly divisive?  Where moral accusations -- not to mention accusations of stupidity -- are the order of the day?  It's hard.

And I don't know if everybody does this, but I know a lot of people do:  every horrible thing I ever heard said about Republicans?  It got stored away.  The reasonable things were lost in the shuffle.  But the insults, the frantic terrors, the wild accusations, stand out so sharply.  I've stored up a lot of pain in 8 years.  Enough that, even now, I'm cringing at writing this because I immediately expect a dozen comments to the effect of, "What does your pain matter, you evil Republican?  You were killing and eating babies the whole time!"  The bile alone is enough to ensure:  I'll never be a Democrat, either.  I couldn't ever be.  Not now.  I could vote for one, but you'll never catch me at a rally.

I've been quietly (and not always gracefully) bent out shape for 8 years, and trying like hell to be the Reasonable Representative of a Detested Group.  The cartoon image you want to think of is the character with the great big smile full of cracked teeth from grinding them together.

It's so easy to focus on all of the horrible things I've seen said.  And to ignore those of you who have been gracious, and dignified, and kind... those of you who really did espouse the liberal ideal of looking over the fence and seeing a human being on the other side of it.  So I'm going to try and focus on YOU guys, who stayed cool.  Who tried their best to do what I try to do:  to base your ethics upon who you are, and not upon who you're reacting to.

Thank you.  I didn't appreciate you enough.  The last 8 years could have been much worse.

I want to live up to your example, you cool people.
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Octanetoqueville on November 5th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
I said this to a couple of people last night, and now it's for sure: I'm officially an Independent now. As of this election. I made my decision a few weeks ago, and now I'm sure. I'm what a Republican used to be. Not what a Republican is now, unfortunately.

I'm writing a letter to both the GA Senators to this effect. This is the last election I hold my nose and punch a R.
Wiseacreewin on November 5th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
Yup. That's a FANTASTIC idea.
Радаdigitalemur on November 5th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
Like I said last night, you fit a lot of my dad's Independent traits, and I think that's a really awesome thing.
Tigresstigress666 on November 5th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
If it makes any difference, Erin, I don't think all Republicans are evil. I'm hoping this is a wake up call to the moderates to divorce the frikkin far right (who yes, I will admit I do think they are evil and one reason I hate Bush is he was a far right puppet, same reason I hate Palin. I think McCain unfortunately was willing to become a far right puppet if that meant he got presidency. There were some instances I saw in this campaign that fi he had been more like that he might have had a small chance to sway me but it would be small cause I am too afraid of the far right getting control and they seem to have way too much control over the Republican party).

There are things I agree with. I like the idea of less government. I'd be libertarian if I didn't think the party itself just uses the idea as an excuse for anarchy (I'm not an anarchist, I do think there is a place for some government and environment, my biggest hot topic, the libertarians so fail cause they don't see that as affecting anyone where as I see it as affecting everyone and animal).

Economy wise? I'll admit I don't know enough to really have a decisive arguement on who I think is best at this point.

I don't like the Democrats' tendency to want to have a nanny state though (protect the children, protect peole from themselves!). On the other hand, I really detest the far right's tendency to use fear of the terrorists to get people to agree to take away rights in the name of protecting you from the terrorists (trust us, we won't use this powers we just gave the government against you, only against the terrorists). I'm disappointed Obama has said he's not going to try to remove some of the crap the far right has done to take away our freedoms.

But, I will admit I lean more towards Democrats than Republicans (probably more cause I trust their views on environment than Republicans and in the end, if the US wasn't in such a crappy state, that's usually what matters most to me in a candidate).
(Deleted comment)
Saraphina, born to speak all mirth and no matter: Academic girlsaraphina_marie on November 5th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
I feel you on that one. I am a registered Independent and have been since the day I turned 18.
I drink no one's Kool-Aid. There are a lot of ways I am pro-Democrat: socially liberal, pro-small business, green.
There are a lot of ways I am pro-Republican: fiscally conservative, anti-big government (although the current Reps seem to have forgotten that!), I think things like the death penalty need to stay on the table.
But it takes all kinds and we need each other to help find balance. And I think the GOP has really lost sight of its roots in this era- equating Republicanism with evangelicalism and bigotry. I know a pagan, gay Republican. We all think he's crazy, but at the same time I understand where he is coming from in terms of party affiliation in political terms, not the hot-button social ones. He doesn't tell his Republican friends he's gay or non-Christian, and he doesn't mention his party affiliation to his pagan/gay friends.
I am hoping the GOP can strip away some of these layers that cause such a terrible reaction. I have respected them, but this incarnation of the party gives me pause. Seriously, if Teddy say them acting this way, he'd slap the lot of them. Same with Lincoln!
Sadly, humans function on an "us" and "them" mentality and to identify as Republican marks you a "them" in the current political climate. But you have been admirable and gracious under pressure!
And if you've been hurt by my recent political rants about gay rights in America, I apologize. I am not in any way casting aspersions upon people's beliefs or party affiliations, but at the same time I believe so strongly that this is the right thing to do to generate true equality in this country. And the quality of life of members of my family and those near and dear to me hinge on this issue. I think it should go beyond party lines, as most of these issues should.
I would be the happiest camper in the whole world if Obama put McCain on his staff. I adore McCain. I just couldn't vote for him on a ticket with Palin and her ideologies and visions of this nation's future. I did not share them. Had he run with almost anyone else (Joe Leiberman! Wouldn't that have just ROCKED???)...I think I might have voted the other way. It is difficult to say.
But right now, I still love Teddy and I still respect the idea and the ideal of the Republican party, but the goons in office have just got to go. They give their party and our country a bad name.
Wiseacreewin on November 5th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC)
Nah, I'm a gay rights person myself! I'm definitely a social liberal... which is why I get into fights on lj, and then go home and get into fights with my family too. :) Ack.

I like McCain too, and I would very much like to see him continue to work... since I really don't think he should run again. Energetic mother or no, he's getting up there!
Saraphina, born to speak all mirth and no mattersaraphina_marie on November 5th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
This is true re: McCain. It's not the years I worry about, it's the mileage.
And to clarify re: the gay rights thing. I am still really upset about it, so not thinking 100% clearly. Also did not want to think because you said you were R was I jumping to conclusions about your opinions on the matter. What I meant to say more clearly is that I was pretty brutal in talking about people against gay rights, I personally equate it to people who are sexist and racist. I railed a lot about that. The Republican party likes that anti-gay bandwagon. I know not all Republicans feel that way. I wanted to make sure you realized I was ranting about bigotry and not Republicans in specific.

*goes to make more tea*
Meril: budmeril on November 5th, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC)
My views on taxes, government, and national defense should make me vote Republican.
The views of the local R candidates on people like me, for the most part, make me not vote for them. (Arne Carlson quit politics, so did Jim Ramstad--and he was in the wrong district--and Judi Dutcher switched parties. Thanks, far right! >_>)

(I really should have voted for Dean Barkley this year, in hindsight. :( )
Xandre: Autumn Tree Rootsfox_bard on November 5th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
The GOP this year has finally made me wish to switch my voter designation from Republican to something else. I am and always have been a middle road liberal who knows that change and evolution necessarily take a long time to manifest. I joined the Republican party because I believed (and still do) that the most crucial change must ripple from the inside out. If more people like myself infiltrated the party, my 18-year-old self once reasoned, it might return to its earlier ideals in another fifty or more years, when it was the radical party of Lincoln, and not what it currently appears to have devolved into - the Rich Stuck-Up White People party, with some beer drinkin', gun wavin' good ol' boys backin' 'em up. That is the world's stereotype of the Republican American, and the past two months have made it worse. Now, it will take more than change from within to reverse the bad press - it will require outside events to shake the foundations hard. And those events are coming - likely to start with the Crash of '09.

So, I've been thinking that maybe I'll go Green, like the good tree-hugger I'm proud of being. It depends on what happens in the next three years. ^_____^

Edited at 2008-11-05 05:45 pm (UTC)
Petermaverick_weirdo on November 5th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
Some of my best friends are Republicans
Don't worry I won't hate you for your politics.

You are too hot a babe to hate. ;)
Laurabandie528 on November 6th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
Re: Some of my best friends are Republicans
I can't help it, but of course some of your best friends are Republicans, you MAVERICK!
ryokoturdburgler on November 5th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
All the parents (and similarly aged and older folks, eg, aunts+uncles etc) in my collective family and in-law family are Repubs. Dad in particular is apparently a pitch-fork-toting Repub. Scary.

To be honest, I probably would vote Repub too if the Repubs would get back to their roots and divorce the religious right.

In the meantime, the Libertarians have a lot of things right about what I care about, but they also have a lot of stupid things that I disagree with (economics being the big'un). The fact that they also can't get their shiat together doesn't help much either. Since the Repubs are being run by imposters right now, and I've never liked the Democrats, I will be voting Libertarian for the foreseeable future.

An aside -- there were a surprising number of Libertarians on my ballot in Jackson County (out in the STICKS, seriously). I think there were more Libertarians on it than Democrats. Shocking.

Aside no2 -- I might've voted for McCain if Palin hadn't been on the ticket. But she was, so I didn't. I'm pretty sure C definitely would've voted for him if she hadn't been on the ticket. Oh well.
Rainrain_herself on November 5th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
It really dismays me how much the word "Republican" has changed connotations for me over the last 8 years. I used to think Republicans were the "lesser evil" I'd vote for if I couldn't vote Libertarian. And though I've changed my views on several points, I still can very much see the old-school Republican side of things. But lately it seems to have become synonymous with gay-hating, anti-choice, evangelical warmonger in my head, and that really sucks. Because of that, even if I agreed or voted Republican, I couldn't ever be one, like you said about the Democrats. It's so unfair to the Republicans who aren't like that. I want to try to be cooler, too.

In any case, I think you're awesome. :)
MASHFanficChick: Wow are you stupid (CJ Cregg)mashfanficchick on November 5th, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC)
Y'know, it's funny: on the one hand, I complain constantly on my own LJ about how my dad harasses me (meanly, not gently) for being a liberal, even though not only was he one when he was my age, but he's always telling people "If you're not a liberal at 20, then you have no heart; if you're nt a conservative at 40, then you have no brains." (I'm a lot closer to 20 than 40.) How he thinks I'm a communist, and that the reason I'm in favor of helping those who can't help themselves is because I don't work for my money (remember, of course, that I don't work because I CAN'T, not because I don't want to/don't have to). He also thinks he's a lot more comfortable with things like homosexuality than he actually is. (I'm not saying that's a bad thing; it's good that he's trying. I'm just saying that it is a fact.)

And yet, my father--who thinks that Carter is the worst president we've ever had (though I think he may have replaced him with Bush, Jr. by now), who thinks that Barack Obama is evil incarnate because he's going to raise my father's taxes--hasn't voted Republican in a Presidential election since...I think Bush, Sr. And if you ask him why, he'll tell you: Because, for everything that he believes in economically, and ideologically, and practically, what it keeps coming down to for him is "Is this man going to take away rights that could hurt my daughter?" My dad lived pre-Roe.v.Wade, he lived when a female doctor was very much an anomaly, and if he knew I was bi, he'd probably worry about that, too. That's not to say that he'd want me to get an abortion, or even be okay with it, and I don't think he's being honest with himself about being okay if I fell in love with a woman (we had that conversation before I "came out"). But, as he says, the Republicans are supposed to be the small-government party. So how come all they seem to do is make laws to take away rights people fought hard to get?

So, my dad votes Democrat in the Presidential elections, and then lives in fear of terrorist attacks, oil shortages, and having his taxes raised that much more (okay, I don't feel that bad for him on the last one; he can afford it). Because he'd rather do that than vote Republican and worry about my future. (See, he isn't ALL bad...just mostly!) And, I think a lot of people feel exactly the same way. Including all those people who would've voted for McCain had he not chosen Palin as his running mate. So, for all of you guys, the completely reasonable, rational, human Republicans (and, I'm not saying that you have to agree with my dad's exact politics to be one; I just mean if, y'know, you don't want to burn my girl-parts off for being bi)...I sincerely hope that next time round, you-all can have a candidate who really does believe the same things you do. (And, y'know...I may be a crazy socialist, but I'm young; who knows, maybe by the next election cycle, if y'all find someone good, I might even vote for them!)

Hey...maybe we could have that guy from the last season of The West Wing...Alan Alda's character. (Except, to tell you the truth...why exactly WASN'T he a Democrat, again?) *ponders*
Tigresstigress666 on November 6th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
Least your father replaced Carter with Bush Jr. My dad would agree about Carter but he is one of hte few that still likes Bush. And they both like Palin.

And the odder thing? Neither are that religious even!

When I go home I'm going to be having to hear about the communists in control and those damned liberals, blah blah blah.
Harfafnorharfafnor on November 5th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
I agree with you. When I turned 18 the Dems were what the Reps are now in most of their views but in the last half a decade the parties have swapped views. Way back then I registered Dem. But, somewhere along the way I started voting Rep. I hold most of the Reps views still.

The really bad thing with this election was all the hate. From both sides. That more than anything really kicked my switches.

I had a realization last night reading a lot of LJ's, two main issues were all I ever saw talked about. Gay rights and Pro Life/Pro Choice issues. Those two issues swayed a lot of people.
jessxantha on November 6th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
The last 8 years have been hard. I have over 100 people on my flist. Of those, maybe... maybe four of them openly identify as having Republican politics.

My time at Tech (interestingly enough) taught me a couple of things about politics / respecting others with different viewpoints (not that I didn't do it in high school, but in college everything was a little bit more serious than with 16 and 17 year olds in high school, I guess).

I respect you as an intelligent peer and I like you! Your political viewpoints are INTERESTING to me because they are different from my own and because I associate with you as an intelligent peer. So I always am interested in reading about the thought processes that go into your decisions because ultimately I want to understand it (even if I still don't agree). I always want to understand why people make the decisions they do.

[This is why I generally do NOT talk politics. ]

People I appreciate and respect may not agree with me and I AM TOTALLY COOL WITH THAT. I married a man I love who has always been a conservative Republican (though in this election, he did not vote that way president-wise for the first time ever). It gave me pause for a second -- are we really that different? Does he not believe in the rights I believe in? How will this marriage work? -- but ultimately I realized that as long as we respect one another and there is no "you are so stupid" feelings between us (like, if he just thinks I am a stupid socialist hippie ALL the time, that might be a problem), it is OK.

As I told my very conservative but someone I consider a good work-friend of mine today, maybe the Rs will go back to their real party line now, making you guys happier. Or maybe we will end up with more than a bi-partisan country (I can hope).

Anyway, THANK YOU! I appreciate you. ;)