Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It's Past Time I Became An Activist Again

I had a bad night last night. My sleep was interrupted by nightmares about the near future. That is how worried I am about the outcome of today's election and what it means for our country and our democracy. I woke up early, made some pumpkin spice coffee (love the stuff), and resolved two things regardless of the outcome of today's voting. First, I'm going to change my voter registration from unaffiliated to Democratic. I've been a Democrat before, mainly because I wanted to vote in Democratic primaries. I've also been a Republican and was during the 2016 presidential primaries supporting Governor John Kasich. I left the party when Donald Trump won the nomination.

When I was a political activist and a party loyalist back in the 1980s I was a Republican. I worked in several campaigns, both as a paid staffer and as a volunteer. I briefly was a lobbyist at the state level. I wrote position papers on foreign policy (an area where I am conservative) for a U.S. Senate candidate.

Today's racist, white supremacist GOP has no relation to the GOP of Reagan and Bush which I supported and worked in. Not that long ago when I quoted Ronald Reagan on economic inequality I was called a socialist and a Communist. President Reagan was for and signed immigration reform that included amnesty for people who were here a long time. Being a fiscal conservative like President Reagan meant living within our means, not record deficits and debt. We didn't mortgage our grandchildren's future to give huge breaks to big business and the wealthy. Look up what the top tax rate was during the Reagan years. You are in for a surprise. President George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" included passing a prescription drug benefit for Medicare. Now the GOP at the national level wants to dismantle Medicaid and Medicare. Like I said, not the same party at all.

My views have not changed much over the years. Back then I was considered a moderate: conservative on foreign policy, moderate to conservative on economics, liberal on social issues and the environment. Today the same views are either liberal or progressive. I didn't leave the Republican Party. It left me, both on the state and federal level. Now I am resolved to work for the other party and do whatever I can to elect Democrats in 2020.