I’m engaged in what may be a very short discussion with a facebook friend of a friend.
MY friend, let’s call him Burt, is on a campaign to raise awareness about Gary Johnson. He’s trying very hard – and to good effect, I think, though it will ultimately most certainly run the course of all third-party efforts – to get people to understand that there are more than two choices in the upcoming election.
One of the things Burt posted today was a private conversation, to which I was invited, about a local race. One of the candidates in this race is, quite frankly, a sociopath. I’ve met the woman; I’ve seen her in action, and there’s nothing about her that would make me want to put her in public office. Burt is trying to get people to understand that the public face this woman is displaying has very little to do with the reality he and I are familiar with.
One of Burt’s friends came up and said, and I’m quoting here, “She’s a Democrap, so she won’t get my vote.”
I just couldn’t let that go (You don’t say, Chili!), so I chimed in with, “Wow, really? It’s not because of her character, but because of her party?”
“Yep. If she’s a democrat we share absolutely nothing in common politically. Same as I wouldn’t vote for a Green candidate or a Socialist candidate.”
My last contribution to this conversation goes like this; “I’m a left-leaning independent (ask Burt). I’m voting for a republican for sheriff. Blind adherence to party doesn’t seem to me to be a very engaged or thoughtful way to participate in the democracy.”
For all that I am a lefty, and for all that I really do think that the Democrats are far more in line with the way I want the country to be run, I am NOT going to just click the party box and call it even (I am, in fact, voting for a republican for sheriff. His lawn sign is strategically placed right next to my Obama lawn sign, and he facebook messaged me to tell me how much that delights him).
Is it really so much to ask that people look at the individual candidates and what they stand for and THEN cast their ballot? Have we really devolved to the point where we don’t want to have to do even that much thinking, even if it’s for the sake of our democracy?
Stuff like this really frightens me; I think this guy is a really great example of what’s fundamentally wrong with our culture.