Thursday, December 28, 2006

Confessions of a Bush Voter

With midterm elections just past us and the 2008 presidential campaign heating up, I can't help but remember the nightmares that were the 2004 elections. I know a lot of you are nodding in agreement right now, thinking, "Yeah, I can't believe those morons voted for him!" Don't agree with me too fast, though: I'm one of those "morons."

My vote wasn't based on ignorance; I knew more about the race than most people offering their opinions. My husband is a staunch Republican, which is why I started really paying attention to the elections for the first time. While I didn't do much in the way of hard-core campaigning, I watched as my husband went door to door and did whatever he could to aid in the re-election of the president. I sat through numerous speeches debunking the claims of the opposition. I read all the equally long spiels from the other side, debunking the claims of my guy.

It was my first experience being immersed in Republican politics. I grew up in a house full of Democrats and I, myself, am registered as an independent. I've voted in every major election since I turned 18, but it was always a quick thing for me: I'd spend a few hours reading up on the candidates and then making a snap decision. But in 2004, I knew months in advance what my final decision would be.

I learned the hard way that I preferred solitude to the abandonment of watching the people I cared about walk away from me. My friends are mostly liberals, and my family now leans more toward not caring than anything, so my strong allegiance to the president alienated me from a lot of people. A few friendships ended because my so-called friends didn't care to actually listen if I voiced my disagreement. There was no room for friendly debate with them; thus I stopped speaking up. I didn't hide my opinions, mind you: I have the W'04 sticker on my car to this day. I just chose to not vocalize them in mixed company. There are exceptions to that rule as I have a handful of friends whom I can openly debate without causing a major fallout; I have learned a lot from these friends and I thrive on interaction with them. ... click here for more


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