By: Tom Butts (No “Ifs” “Ands” or “Butts”)
I was having a conversation with my father about politics; it’s never good or it’s so ambiguous that neither of us can make sense of it. I of course am Democrat, and my father is a “Texas Republican”. Ask me what that is…
Well, it’s quite easy to explain. My father votes Republican, plain and simple. He likes the image of the candidate; it has a lot of pull for him. In 1980/84 he voted for Ronald Reagan. He really had a bro-mance with that president. To this day, I’m sure there’s still a picture of him and “Aunt Nancy” in his house, framed in some black-patent frame from 1981. In 2000 he was very excited that GW Bush won the election, a mental landslide in my father’s head (although Gore captured the popular vote). What these men have in common is two things: Belt buckles and cowboy hats. Yes, it’s actually that simple. You can probably guess who my father supports this year (hint: another Texan, with poor debating skills).
So, back to my point, we were talking about the 2012 election and my father asked who I was going to support in the General Election. I quickly told him President Obama. He said to me, “you are a one-issue voter”. You know what? I think I am.
It bothers me when my gay friends say that they’re Republicans. I say “bother” because I do believe everyone should have the ability to vote for the person they think would best lead the nation. I hear a lot of my gay friends talk about how they are excited about Romney, or Paul. I still don’t understand.
I’m a white guy, my husband and I make a really good living (we’re DINKS – double income no kids). We own homes, we travel, if you were to look at us, we probably look like Republicans. But we’re Democrats. The main reason is that I don’t think you have anything without your freedom. Your freedom to marry, freedom to be respected, freedom to be loved, etc. I can’t think about money saved by voting for a conservative candidate when he or she is saying things like, “we can’t support big government unless it’s to overturn a state’s stance on marriage or abortion.” In addition to confusing me, it offends me to no end.
I tried to explain to my father that without the ability to be equal in the eyes of a secular government, I have nothing. He still didn’t get it. So, I said, “Dad, what if the Republican Party platform said people over the age of 75 should be banned from driving?” – - (Long pause) – - he then says, “that would never happen”, I challenged him again. He tells me that he couldn’t possibly vote for the party (he’s 81 years old). I said, “Wouldn’t that make you a one-issue voter”? – - (Another pause) – - “I get it”, he says.
I think what it boils down to is when you try to get people thinking about things that are important to them and that it could be taken away, they get the AH-HA! moment and it clicks.
So, when people ask me if I’m a one-issue voter, I proudly say yes. Until we get equal rights and the ability to focus on other topics that don’t take our rights away, I don’t mind if people think I’m being narrow minded…
I’m simply being me.