Okay, tomorrow's the day. Go out and vote. No excuses. And this time I'm going to forego the usual politically correct niceties about "Vote for whoever you like, but please vote". This is the time to call a spade a spade -- fuhgodsake, vote Democratic.
Let's be clear here: I do *not* consider myself a Democrat. I still think of myself as a Republican. During the years that I was developing my political opinions, they seemed like the party with the most appropriate ideals: small government, economic responsibility, a small-c conservative outlook of examining things carefully and not getting too easily carried away by utopian enthusiasms. They didn't always live up to those ideals, but at least they were ideals that I respected.
But let's be real: the current Republican party has *nothing* to do with those ideals -- it has less to do with them than the Democratic Party did at its very worst. Instead, it has been taken over by an unholy alliance of imperialists, fascists and religious fanatics, who have corrupted it utterly. Perhaps even worse, the *spirit* of the party has been gradually perverted. Say what you will about his flaws, Reagan at least *tried* to paint a positive, hopeful message, inspiring the country. Now, we're left with a message that seems to be 100% made up of equal parts fear and hate. That's deadly to the spirit of the country. (There's another whole posting building up on that point.)
My short-term agenda is tactical: to put some effective checks on the lunacy. But in the longer term, I want my damned party back. I want a Republican Party that presents a valid and viable alternative in politics. That may or may not be possible, but it certainly isn't going to happen until the loonies in charge are well and truly discredited. And that means I don't just want a Democratic victory tomorrow, I want to see a *crushing* victory. The more things swing tomorrow, the more the daggers of recrimination will come out inside the Republican Party, and the faster this internal Axis of Evil will fall apart.
So yes, your vote counts. This one isn't just about who wins which seats -- it's even more about how big the margin is. It's time to be loud and clear with the message that we are disgusted by this corrupted party, and want it gone.
As for voting Democratic, let's be clear here: the Republicans really, really want you to vote for anyone else. They are rightfully cynical about this: if they can scare you away from the Democrats, that's almost as good as convincing you not to vote at all. The third parties aren't going to *win*, and who wins is the main thing the Republicans care about. We're talking about a group that regards a razor-thin margin as a mandate, so keeping the opposition divided is an essential part of their strategy. One thing they want to see is validation of their scare tactics -- that if they are frightening enough, they will drive folks away from the Democrats. Most of what they are saying is lies, and it's time to say that we aren't listening any more.
So I'm going out tomorrow and voting party-line Democrat, and I recommend the same to you, even if you don't think of yourself as a Democrat. I'm doing it *because* I consider myself a serious Republican. Because the only way I stand any chance of getting back a Republican party I might be able to respect is if these bastards are well and truly crushed...