It's hard to believe two weeks from now, as I write, we'll be starting to see the mid-term election results coming in. Even harder to believe that I've blogged so little about this election (see It Ain't Over Till it's Over). It's not that I don't care, or that there's nothing to say; perhaps there's so much that it's overwhelming.
To recap for newer readers, I call myself "left-of-center, Independent." I left the Democratic party in disgust around late '94 or early '95. I was registered as Green for several years, but have most recently registered as "Decline to State." Simply put, I have always rejected the idea of voting for "the lesser of two evils" when there are multiple "3rd party" and independent options on the ballot.
But this year, much as I expected and hoped for more from President Obama and the great Democratic majorities in Congress, I am terrified of the possibility of the Republicans taking back either (or both) houses of Congress.
This year's Republican nominees are not the principled conservatives we debated with in the past. These are fringe candidates with dangerous ideas, not just to turn back the small progress the Democrats have made in the last 21 months, but to turn the clock back decades, if not centuries, on our fragile democracy.
These are candidates who want to repeal not only the new health care reforms, and the new student loan reforms, but who want to repeal Medicare and turn your Social Security over to the same Wall Street fat-cats who put us into our current economic mess. These are candidates who question whether the Voting Rights Act of 1964 went too far. They don't just question Roe v. Wade, they've vowed to ban all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest.
But I'm sure you've read all that, or seen it on TV or online. My only point here is if you're staring in disbelief at candidates like Christine O'Donnell or Carl Paladino, just imagine having to hear from them for the next two, or four, or six years, or more.
Maybe you're disappointed in the Democrats too. I know I'm sure as hell overdue for an economic recovery myself. The rebuilding of our future may still have a long way to go, but at least we've stopped digging the hole.
This year, this left-of-center independent is proudly voting a full Democratic ticket, and I'm encouraging everybody who's concerned for their future to do the same. The stakes are just too high to sit this one out.