Monday, August 20, 2012


My pastor made a Facebook post recently decrying the negative political blurbs he kept seeing on Facebook. He's tired of the negativity of the campaign.

He's right.

But I'm not part of the solution.

A few days ago I set out to write a post where I explained why I still voted Republican despite the fact that I'm a) a public employee, b) a public school teacher, c) moderately tolerant on most social issues, d) a believer in global warming's reality, and e) a suburbanite in Pennsylvania.

Had I done so, that post would have been negative. Insulting? No. I think there's much to admire about each of the men running for president, though there's little to admire about the campaigns by which they hope to win. I don't need to resort to invective or name-calling to clarify my position.

But such a post would have been negative because my core reasons for remaining a Republican are mostly rooted in what I don't want Democrats to do when they are in office. Honestly it's hard for me to tell you the positive Republican vision that compels me to vote for them. I don't know what it really is.

And I don't think I'm alone. I think tens of millions of us will pull a lever in November more out of fear than enthusiasm. The candidates are smart and their advisers shrewd. They know that there is much more to gain from highlighting third rails and gaffes than to take the risk of putting forth an optimistic vision that will likely get picked apart. The cable news outlets and other parts of the news media know they'll get eyeballs fixed on them for reporting the outrageous worst-case scenarios of the slipperiest of the slippery slopes.

So I guess my post will wait until I have something novel to contribute. Until then, I'd just be adding on to the sad pile of cynicism that is the election of 2012.

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