Not now. Not this year.
I don't know if any of this blog's readers are even thinking of voting for Republicans tomorrow--after all, the party of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have gotten us into so much trouble on so many issues, it is hard to believe anyone would.
But I can't resist one day-before-Election-Day plea, on the remote chance that anyone is undecided or thinking of staying home (and assuming you would consider taking advice from one lowly person like me): Vote for Democrats.
A vote for Republicans is a vote...
for more of the same.
for NOT holding our leaders accountable when they totally mess things up.
for allowing human beings to be tortured in our custody.
for launching unprovoked wars against countries that pose no significant threat that will kill thousands of human beings, both soldiers and civilians.
for showering tax cuts on the rich while allowing our federal budget to swell.
for absurdly scapegoating gay people for our problems while shamelessly protecting Republican sexual predators in Congress.
for taking away time-honored American freedoms such as habeus corpus.
for keeping wages low, leaving millions of people without adequate health care, less money for education, and no genuine compassion for the poor.
for an economy that mainly benefits big oil companies and weapons makers.
for using our troops as a rhetorical shield against failed policies and then failing to fully support them materially when they return home (or even in wartime).
for political corruption on a grand scale.
for ignoring serious problems, such as global warming, that will have catastrophic consequences for all of humanity.
for tolerating lies and deceptions that lead us into unwinnable and immoral wars.
Let me also speak as a Christian (sorry for those who don't resonate with my frequent references to my faith--it's just who I am) to other Christians. When you are alone in that election booth, thinking and praying about who to vote for, you will be thinking deeply about where God is calling you. Where does the message of Jesus Christ lead us in today's world? Does it lead us to support the Republicans, a party that talks a lot about "sharing our values" but then launches massive wars and violence, and that takes away from the poor and middle class (and our children) to give to big corporations and the rich? Or does it lead us to vote for a new direction by supporting Democrats, who may not be perfect, but they are far better than the Republicans at enacting our core values in the world.
Now is not the time for subtle distinctions between "moderate" and "crazy" Republicans. Now is not the time for cutting some slack to the local Republican who doesn't seem quite so bad as the rest. (And, for those of us so inclined, it isn't really the year for independent and third-party candidates either, I'm afraid.) This year's election is a referendum on the direction of our country. The more Democrats we elect to Congress (and to state legislatures, governorships, etc.), the more likely that we will be able take a new direction, which we so desperately need to do.
So if you value the continuation of American democracy, if you value accountability in government, if you cherish your liberties and freedoms, if you want to see this country start to take a new direction, and (for those who share my Christian faith) if you want leaders with Christian values: DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN!
(And if you live in Connecticut, don't vote "Connecticut for Lieberman" either. Ned Lamont is the true--and properly nominated--Democrat who will effectively stand up to the Bush-Cheney Administration.)
See also ILJ's recent posting on his experience phone-banking to get people to the polls, for some interesting perspective on cynicism and hope in the upcoming elections.