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Why Voting Blue Is the Right Thing to Do for Compassionate Conservative Republican Women
If you ask me why I’m a registered Republican, I can answer with two words: liberty and opportunity. For me, since I was young, liberty and opportunity have been my definition of the American Dream.
While I identify with traditional conservatives on many issues like free trade and disdain for big government, I also consider myself socially liberal, with justice as my main political concern. The truth is, like most Americans, I am actually somewhere in the center, and my values reflect that centrist, moderate approach. I have never voted straight ticket anything. I have always researched the issues and candidates and voted my conscience. In recent presidential elections, this meant a very tough decision to vote for Barack Obama over John McCain in 2008, a relatively easy decision to support Mitt Romney over President Obama in 2012, and a privilege and honor to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016.
My concern for justice and equity meant that I never excused Hillary’s husband Bill’s abhorrent affair with a White House intern, the cover up of which led to his impeachment. I never saw that affair as anything other than what it was: an abuse of power. And I felt betrayed by the feminists who seemed willing to make a bargain with the devil—“but he’s so good on women’s issues!” They were willing to sacrifice one young woman for what they thought was the greater good, an unacceptable sacrifice.
But Donald Trump brags about sexual assault. He seems to sincerely believe that he is entitled to women’s bodies, promoting the false narrative that men are actually the victims of the #metoo movement. As a survivor myself (who has no interest in sharing my story with the world), I am dumbstruck by the lengths to which men like Trump will go to protect their “rights” to control women’s bodies and personal liberty.
With this background, I was actually grateful for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court because we now have absolutely no doubt what the Republican Party thinks about women. Like most women I know, I absolutely believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. I am 100% certain that her memory of her assault at Brett Kavanaugh’s hands is accurate. I think most of the Republican senators who voted to confirm Kavanaugh believe her too.
So there it is. There’s no mistaking what happened here: when it comes down to he said/she said, no matter how credible she is, he’s the one who wins.
And really, isn’t that what the Founding Fathers intended? The world we live in now—a world where straight, white, rich men control everyone else—is exactly the world that they and their constitution intended to make.
The American Dream was never about liberty and opportunity for women or minorities or poor people. In America, liberty and opportunity—a few inconvenient constitutional amendments notwithstanding—belong only to rich white men. And—a few inconvenient constitutional amendments notwithstanding--that’s who is still in charge.
This country was born from resentment: no taxation without representation. Well, “we the people,” the majority of us, are not represented by the Republicans in charge today.
The messages of the 2016 presidential election and the Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation are clear: when it comes to “we, the people,” the system is broken.
So here’s where this college-educated, Republican woman stands on this election day. I refuse to be one of the 53% of white women who is willing to trade my support for amorality and greed in exchange for the dubious privilege of remaining on the pedestal where Paul Ryan and his kind want to put me. I also refuse to condemn Susan Collins for a vote that literally any other Republican man could have cancelled by believing women.
This election is not about who has a brighter vision for all Americans. It’s about checking and balancing evil.
Candidly, I don’t like Democratic socialism. I don’t believe that big government is the answer to the myriad problems facing society. I could spend a whole essay explaining how I prefer Universal Basic Income and a transparent healthcare marketplace with catastrophic coverage to “the government” providing these services.
But I will vote blue until these rich, entitled white men are gone. Because as long as they are in charge, there’s no American Dream for the rest of us.