I am a partisan, by and large. I am a Democrat. I live in a Democratic city/county metro area which is ringed by Republican counties. Because of my proximity to one of those Republican counties, I live in a gerrymandered district. Because of that, I am represented in the US Congress by the most Republican of the Republicans, Marsha Blackburn. I have, in the past, when I was younger and idealistic and thought that my representative would be interested in my views, communicated with Ms Blackburn. And Lamar, for that matter. I have not ever written to Senator Dr. Video Diagnosis, but a girl has to have standards, even a Stupid Girl. But I digress. My communications with Ms Blackburn were, in a word, unsatisfying. I would tell her how I felt about something, and she would send a form-letter back telling me she was acting in a diametrically-opposed way to what I would want her to. I forgot she's got a few hundred thousand others to represent, as well. Guess I can't be the Princess of TN-07, can I? sigh
Anyway. The point is, I am a Democrat.
I am pro-gay marriage (or anti-marriage discrimination), anti-Social Security privatization, against the war in Iraq, and anti-USA PATRIOT Act. I think that we should treat "enemy combatants" as POWs, and I think that everybody who has been arrested by US law enforcement should be entitled to habeus corpus, as well as other provisions of the US Constitution. I think rights should be given liberally and only given up if the government has a compelling reason to withhold them. I also believe that money spent on social programs is better than money spent on corrections programs.
I am also in favor of balanced budgets. I am wildly uncomfortable with our role as hegemon. We have a massive military (our military spending as a percentage of the GNP was greater than the #2-#13 countries combined), and, because of that, we tend to view all the world's problems as issues to be solved militarily.
So, obviously I'm not going to vote for Bob Corker. Not just because he's a Republican, but because he's conducted his campaign in a sleazy manner. I still don't know where he stands on any of the issues that matter to me and my family. So, that's a big no for Bob.
Which leaves me Harold Ford, Jr. He seems like he would be the perfect choice for me, since we are the same age, same skin tone, same party. But Congressman Ford and I have very serious differences of opinions about many issues that are important to me. I hate that he has stated he is in support of Amendment 1. I hate that he voted for USA PATRIOT Act. I hate that he voted for the war in Iraq.
I have a very hard time being comfortable with those things. Voting for Ford has never been a done deal for me. I was really pulling for Rosalind Kurita last year before her campaign was done in. I didn't agree with everything Senator Kurita stood for, either, but, at least last year, I could work with those disagreements.
So, I should just refrain from voting for either, right?
And that is what I would do if not for the 2000, 2002, and 2004 election cycles. I don't think that my vote is just my own anymore.