A friend of mine came to me recently, in a quandry about how to vote in her congressional race. She is an avowed liberal, just like me, and is desperate to see the house return to the hands of the democrats, but really emphatically dislikes the candidate the party has nominated on many levels. The race is a close one. She has asked me for some advice. Does she vote for this person she feels is terribly unqualified and ruthless? Or does she vote for the republican, who just rubber stamps whatever Bush puts forth? She is really disinclined to skip over that race, and would never miss an election, believe me. I have seen her get out of the hospital earlier than her doctors would have liked just to get to the polls...she is no shirker of civic duty. I could tell she was pretty troubled, and wanted to help her make a choice and feel better about it. I hope this helps!
Sometimes we are faced with a choice in politics that is pretty unsavory either way you go. I think this is a problem more often for republicans than democrats, because I have heard them over the years talk about voting for the lesser of two evils a lot more frequently than democrats, and, let's face some facts here, republicans have less appealing personalities, are more likely to be at the least jerks, and many times outright criminals. It has to be hard to be faced with the choices conservatives face in the voting booth. We on the left have much to be grateful for. Occasionally, however, we find a jerk in our midst. Normally the vetting process prevents them from making it onto a general election ballot, but every now in then one inexplicably comes through and we are forced to make a choice. Here is where I think we can learn a few lessons from our friends on the right.
Republicans have learned that sometimes issues are greater than personalities, and that to further their own agendas they must vote for people that they would much rather not. Just look at the re-election of Bush, whether there was vote tampering or not, Republicans toed the line, despite some pretty pathetic approval ratings, because they believed that the issues were more important than the personality. Republicans nail us time and again on the issues because they know how to push their agenda despite their jerk handicap.
This has to be true for us, too. Truthfully, on the issues, Americans tend to identify more closely with democrats, especially domestic issues. We need to be vigilant, vote the issues and overlook the personality, at least in the general election. It is just too important. So, my friend, vote democrat in this race, and know that there will be another primary election in 18 months.