Ripe For The Picking
For those of you who are inclined to engage in political discussions with Republicans in your midst, now is the time to go in for the kill. Not to attack them or berate them for their past transgressions, but to bring them over from the darkness and into the light.
Most Republicans I know are not uncaring people nor are they unconcerned with the big issues facing our country. In my opinion, they are simply holding on to an affiliation that is becoming increasingly uncomfortable to defend and aligning themselves with an ideology that has been abandoned by the leaders of their party. Where I used to encounter resistance to my views, I am now finding more common ground than I ever thought possible. Maybe I have become more conservative with age, or perhaps the political middle has moved sufficiently to the right that what I am willing to fight for seems less radical, but whatever the reason, there seems to be an opportunity to communicate on a real and open level that has not existed for some time.
I have a bumper sticker on my car that I love, it reads “dubya dubya dubya dot liar dot con”. Given that I live in Seattle, this is not an act of bravery on my part to say the least. However, I was approached the other day as I was getting out of my car, by a man who smiled and said, “I’m a Republican and I love your bumper sticker. Bush is no Republican.” He walked away after making this declaration and it got me thinking about Bush supporters who seem to come in two varieties. There are Republicans who believe in the platforms of the party and then there are the under-educated, easily manipulated blowhards who listen to right wing radio and take their marching orders like good little soldiers going forth and spewing their talking points. The former are large in number and ripe for the picking, the latter are not worth your time regardless of how many there are.
Before the 2004 election my husband did some research on political contributions and found out that our neighborhood ranked in the top five zip codes in the country in contributions to both the Democratic and Republican Parties. This stunned me because I was out walking the neighborhood every single day and saw Kerry signs in just about every other front lawn with not a Bush sign in sight. This tells me that Bush support among my neighbors is soft. They believe in the ideology but are unwilling to put their full support behind this President. Clearly money is easier to part with than ideals. At a time when I feel that my party has left me, I understand the predicament true Republicans are facing. Maybe there is something to be done about it that will serve all of our interests.
One of my readers posted a comment to my diatribe against the Democrats and asked if voting Green was an option. I have mixed feelings about this as I still have a desire to get my party back and a belief that it is still possible however misguided. But what if there is another way? What if we hand over the Democratic Party to the middle that they seem so intent on courting? There are plenty of middle of the road Democrats and Republicans that have nearly identical agendas. Not religious extremism but religious acceptance. Not out of control spending but fiscal responsibility. Not war under no circumstances ever, but war out of necessity with clear objectives and a winning strategy. Not perpetual welfare, but work opportunities for all. These are noble objectives and an ideology that speaks to the heart of most Americans.
Today’s Democratic Party is the party of the middle and Republican voters should embrace it as their own as they had a lot to do with its current incarnation. Once this happens, true radicals like myself will be free to leave it knowing that it is in safe hands. I am not a middle of the road kind of gal and would have no use for a party that is content with the status quo. I would finally be free to vote my conscience and mark a ballot that truly reflects my highest hopes for this country and its people. I could vote Green without feeling like my vote helped bring into power the bloodsucking Republicans who are looting our treasure, squandering our potential and implementing imperialist rule over the rest of the world. The corruption and cronyism that is the current Republican Party would end up as marginalized as the true liberal left. A fair trade if ever there was one and pretty much back to square one, which at this point in our history is the best this liberal girl feels safe in hoping for.
So go forth and expend your energy to convert those soft Bush supporters into Democrats. Convince them that they don't have very far to go and when they join the fold of the Democratic Party, they will find a new home to replace the one they lost. A home that has all of the comforts they seek, all of the common ground they need and close the deal with a promise to leave them with like minded people since you will be leaving for more fertile ground. By bringing one Republican into the Democratic camp, you earn yourself a ticket to Green(er) pastures.