I am not a Democrat, but today I will be voting for Democrats in the Virginia state and local elections.
I’ve been open in my disdain for what the Republican party has become. As I noted in a previous post, the Republican party has institutionalized dishonesty. It’s essentially their platform. The party that once was the party of Lincoln is now the party of the KKK, neo-Nazis, and a pathological liar and con man. This isn’t an opinion. This is demonstrated unequivocally by the facts.
That doesn’t mean I agree with everything the Democratic party proposes. I don’t. But the Republican party has been so dishonest for so long that they ensure we can’t even have an honest discussion about anything. Rather than debating different means of reaching solutions, the public has to constantly refute the blatant lies and misrepresentations of the Republican party. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell epitomizes the disdain for the American working public that drives the dishonesty of the Republican party.
The 2016 election told us a lot about ourselves. The three years since then have reinforced that lesson.
But we now have a chance to correct our misconceptions and make amends for our past votes. Today there are critical elections in Virginia, Kentucky, and other states. It’s a chance to set the stage for next year’s presidential and congressional votes by showing other Americans that it’s okay to admit previous errors, to choose what is right this time rather than feel trapped by what in retrospect was wrong last time.
In my recent book on Abraham Lincoln I wrote about his legacy. Lincoln would not be a Republican today, without question. I said:
Today, Lincoln almost universally ranks at the top of any “best president of all time” poll, with both Democrats and Republicans claiming the mantle of Lincoln. Ironically, the Democratic Party has a clearer case. Republicans in his time were for inclusiveness, personal freedom, and positive government action. Lincoln championed federally funded internal improvements to build infrastructure, at one point arguing, “The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot, so well do, for themselves.”
Today these characteristics are reflected by the Democratic party. Democrats today reflect all Americans – white/black/brown/yellow/red, Christian/Jewish/Muslim, poor/wealthy/middle class/working class, straight/LGBTQ, male/female/non-binary. Republicans reflect largely white, male, evangelical. That’s it. Again, not an opinion; facts shown by the almost universally monochromatic, and largely male, elected officials of the Republican party. Ah, but not just white, male, evangelical – also, the rich. Every policy pushed by the Republican party benefits the rich and gets the poor, the working class, and the middle class to pay for it.
So today I vote for the Democrats. All of them.
Once the Republican party has been purged, perhaps they can return as a viable major party. But it won’t happen until they are gone. Every one of them.
For those Republicans who say, “Wait, not all Republicans are dishonest,” all I have to say is prove it. Refusing to speak out against your own party’s institutionalized dishonesty is being complicit. It is aiding and abetting Anti-Americanism just as much as not reporting a vicious crime you directly witnessed, thus emboldening the criminal to continue to commit the crimes.
So to reiterate what I said in my last post, adapting what Lincoln once said about lawyers:
Resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest politician, resolve to be honest without being a politician.
Drop out of the Republican party. You don’t have to become a Democrat; become an Independent. Some of you have. It’s the first step at atonement. Then vote for what is right, not what the Republican party lies is right.
These same admonishments apply to Democrats as well. But what we’ve seen is a Democratic party that has tried to represent ALL Americans fighting a Republican party that has blatantly attacked MOST Americans for the benefit of the few. Worse, the Republican party has been lying to working class whites to get them to vote against their own interests. Then the Republican party laughs at them as Republican leaders pocket the cash from the very rich.
This is why it is critical to vote Democratic today. Not because you always will support their policies, but because at least the Democratic party believes in all Americans. We can argue about specific policies, but first we need honest politicians to argue with.
I will be voting Democratic across the board today. I urge all voters with elections today to do the same.
David J. Kent is a science traveler and the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.