One of my Facebook friends (an acquaintance from my teens) recently posted a “note” titled “Why I Voted Democrat,” which was nothing but one GOP talking point after the other. A quick Google search shows me that it’s something that’s floating around for a while.
A few “highlights” from the note:
I voted Democrat, because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I want. I’ve decided to marry my horse.
I voted Democrat, because Freedom of speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.
I voted Democrat, because I believe that people who can’t tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Prius.
When I got done being mad, I started composing this rebuttal, which addresses many of the same issues as in the original, although not an identical selection.
Why I Vote
I vote because I believe that my family deserves the same rights as yours, including full marriage equality.
I vote because I believe that CEOs making millions of dollars while their companies – and employees – go bankrupt is criminal.
I vote because I believe that taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civil society.
I believe that if I expect to have paved roads to drive on; a police force to protect me; clean water to drink; a library from which to check out books; a post office to deliver my mail; municipal, state and national parks in which to vacation; safe, inspected food to eat; a military to protect our nation; schools to educate my children; or Social Security and Medicare to protect me when I am elderly, or God forbid, if I become disabled or widowed* or my children are orphaned; then I must expect to pay my fair share to make those things happen.
If I don’t, who will?
(*Except that Social Security will not help me if I am widowed, because my country does not recognize my marriage.)
I vote because I believe that no one should lose their home, or their life, simply because they’ve had the misfortune of becoming seriously ill or injured while unemployed, underemployed or self-employed.
I believe that it is unconscionable that in a nation as wealthy as ours, 46 million of our citizens do not have health insurance.
I vote because I believe that it will be the death of the entreprenureal spirit out which our country, and our economy, were built if the people who are, at this very moment, dreaming up the “next big thing” never see their visions become reality because they can’t take the risk of leaving their nine-to-five jobs, for fear of losing their health insurance.
I vote because I believe in free speech. If your speech is hateful and offends me, I will talk louder and drown it out with my own.
Just to clarify, though – physically harming me, my property, or my family because you don’t like how I look, worship or love is not speech, and it not only harms me, but also terrorizes everyone else who looks, worships or loves the same way.
I vote because I believe our leaders have a responsibility to be honest with us and with each other – especially when discussing something as serious as reasons for going to war.
I believe that there are a few – very few – good reasons for going to war. A grudge against someone who had a fight with your daddy is not one of them.
I vote because I believe that no one outside of a combat zone needs an automatic weapon, and that there is no reason you need to buy a gun right-this-very-moment. I also know that for every self-defense handgun homicide, there are 1.3 unintentional deaths, 4.6 criminal homicides and 37 suicides. I believe that sane, sensible gun control laws will make us all safer without infringing upon the rights of sportsmen or recreational shooters.
I vote because I believe in science based on evidence discovered by scientists, not promoted by corporate shills.
I vote because I believe that the best way to reduce the number of abortions is by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies – by not only telling our teens that it’s best to wait to have sex, but also providing them with the information they will need to prevent pregnancy and disease when they do have sex, and by making a variety of forms of birth control affordable and available to anyone who needs them – and by providing every pregnant woman with the support – medical, financial and emotional – that she needs, so that no woman ever feels that she does not have the necessary resources, material or otherwise, to raise the child that she is carrying.
I vote because I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty, and that even the vilest criminal deserves a fair trial and competent representation, because until he has had that, we do not know whether or not he is actually guilty of the crime of which he is accused.
I believe that if even one innocent person is wrongly executed, that is one too many. I believe that life in prison without the chance of parole is a fate worse than death, and it’s my understanding that if you’re convicted of harming a child, your fellow prisoners will certainly make you wish you were dead.
I vote because I believe that the most effective way to stem the tide of illegal immigration is to truly punish employers who hire undocumented workers at a fraction of the minimum wage, not only taking jobs from citizens and others who are here legally, but also cruelly exploiting workers who are willing to risk their very lives to do back-breaking labor for almost no money, in a desperate attempt to provide more for their families than they can in their home countries.
I vote because I believe that businesses have a responsibility to be good citizens, as do we all. I do not believe in tax breaks for corporations who take their jobs overseas, nor do I believe that corporations’ rights should outweigh people’s rights.
I vote because I believe that our judicial system should protect the weak from the strong, the minority from the majority and the people from the government.
I vote because I believe that my vote does count, that no one will speak for me if I do not speak for myself, and that it is not only my right, but my responsibility to make my voice heard.
I do not believe any of these things because I have been told to by any politician or political party.
I believe these things because I value fairness, and equality, and helping others when they can’t help themselves.
Because the Democratic Party agrees with me on most of these points, and the Republican Party agrees with me on none of them, when I vote, I vote for Democrats.
If you agree, you are welcome to pass this on. I only ask that you credit me for it.