Monday, October 27, 2014

Your Vote Should Be For The Party

First Published in DelawareLiberal on 10/27/2014 by ProgresssivePopulist

I argue that when you vote, your vote should be for the Party.  I do not buy the concept "I vote for the candidate, not the Party".   Sorry, but it is not unsophisticated or unthinking to vote a straight ticket in the case of partisan elections.  Yes, I know.  In Delaware we don't have straight ticket voting, but you can vote for all Democrats on November 4, and I plan on doing so.

Candidates align with Parties.  They use their brand.  They use their structures, money, staffs and volunteers.  It is a conscious decision on their Party choice. This means they sign onto the Party platform and align with most if not all of the stands the Party takes in its platform, written by activists and Party regulars who craft the positions on issues, debate them and vote them for adoption in convention.

Parties are a great hallmark of democracy.  They are built by people banding together with common views on public/civic issues.  They were intended as a vehicle to get those views adopted by a majority and select candidates that well represent those views.

And their proper role is to hold those candidates accountable for support for those positions on issues, including discipline when they stray and rejection when they sell out.   Much of this leverage is overlooked by local and national Party organizations, which is to overlook a major component of a functioning democracy.

If a Democratic Party loyalist has an objection to a candidate based on a visible flaw in their view, they can leave their vote blank on that candidate.  To vote for another Party's candidate in that office is to vote for the positions and stands of that Party, not their own Party.   That is a betrayal.

Groups, especially Party loyalists,  can and should have sway on the votes and policies created by candidates who succeed in becoming office holders.  Free lancing candidates have no accountability to those who "brought them to the table".  They are renegades.  Rogues.  They represent an arrogance that has no place in a democracy and are more suited for an aristocracy.

Any Democrat thinking of supporting a Republican on November had better take a hard look at the Delaware Republican Party web site, which links directly to the Republican National Committee platform.  Apparently they are too lazy locally to write their own platform and have bought lock stock and barrel into the RNC's Tea Party world view.

Let me select a number of the RNC/Tea Party platform positions which most dramatically contrast with the Delaware Democratic Party and Democratic National Committee positions on issues.  The DDP went to the trouble of writing a platform.  I'd suggest you read it and the DNC document as well.

The Republicans want to extend the Bush tax cuts while lowering corporate taxes.  This means middle classers pay the tax freight, if that isn't obvious; but they want to keep this simple, so they want a flat tax.  Ultimately though, their platform wants to repeal Federal Income tax altogether.

They want to reduce and privatize Medicare and Medicaid and repeal Obamacare, replacing them with private insurance operating in a free market.  You know, like the good old days when, without insurance, sick people paid their doctors with things like eggs and chickens.

Speaking of free markets,  they want to free workers of the burden of collective bargaining and unions.  Way too complicated, especially for employers who surely would do the right thing and pay a decent wage.  Oh, and they advocate flexibility in workplace conditions, which means deregulating workplace safety and conditions, hours and benefits.

Regulations?  Forget them.  They impede the free market and set industry free to prosper and grow.  And free trade, not fair trade is their way to go, whenever and wherever industry chooses.

On the environment, coal good; EPA bad. No mention of the bogus science of climate change and global warming.  Why?  Because this is a Judeo-Christian nation and as you know, God provides for our kind.  Especially if we display the ten commandments in our public squares.  And for good measure, it is our God given right to drill baby drill.  And of course because God made us the stewards of the world, private, not public stewardship of our lands and waterways.

Education.  We're doing just great at the state level with our public schools.  Charters and vouchers are good.  The Federal Department of Education are bad.  Home schooling even better.  Federal help with student loans are bad, except for the guarantee part, backing up the private banks who want no risk of default.

After school, jail's good.  Mandatory sentences really good for those who don't cut it in school.  And no parole for the "dangerous".   Death penalty for the most dangerous.

Sex.  Abstinence is really good. Sex education, not good. Condoms, not so good.  Abortion no good. Childbirth great, especially in the case of rape and incest.   Those women's clinics didn't meet
Republican clinical standards anyway.  Federal Stem Cell research, no  because they come from "aborted fetuses".

And once those unwanted children are born,  no food stamps for them or mom unless they are done only by block grants.  And mom is going to have to work, work really really hard for very temporary help with household expenses.

Families?  Only male female unions, thank you.  You know, because it's been traditional for thousands of years.  Were there Adam and Adam or Eve and Eve in the garden, things might be different.  But there weren't.   And homes for families?  Sure.  But only if financed by private banks, unencumbered by pesky, nuisance lending regulations.

And for protection from marauding poor people, guns are really good.  Especially with open-carry.  Registration?  Hell no, especially at gun shows.  Data collection on firearm sales, especially in border areas?  A huge infringement of liberty.

Immigration.  For sure, no federal funds for college education of illegals.  But plenty of federal funds for those patriot illegals joining our military to get their heads blown off instead of "our kind".
And speaking of the military.  You Democrats keep your grimy hands off our Pentagon budget.  Why?  "Peace through strength".  They actually cite American Exceptionalism as given to us through "divine providence".

Yes, Republicans, God is on your side.  But I'm not and no thinking Democrat should be, by voting for your candidates.