I was born into a Republican family. For my first act of rebellion, I decided to vote for Michael Dukakis in my second grade class poll. Why? Because his name sounded so much cooler, of course. But we were called up to vote in alphabetical order and it was a public poll. My last name fell near the end and the student's who had gone before me mirrored their parents political views. The Republican was winning by a land slide. In that moment I chose not to be a leader. I choose not to swim against the current. I put a big broad check next to George Bush. But I desperately wanted Dukakis to win the election. When you're seven years old there isn't much to politics but one name verses another.
Some people turn 18 and get tattoos or have an older friend buy them beer. My parents maintain that my act of rebellion was becoming a member of the Democratic party. But it wasn't rebellion. Despite hating politics, I took my right to vote seriously. Though I was moderate, I felt that my views lined up better with the Democratic party. Of course, I was a pretty idealistic teenager.
I've been Independent ever since I had to register to vote with a different last name. My favorite thing about being Independent is making fun of both political parties. What I hate the most about the party system is that Republicans and Democrats alike will be at each others throats during the Primary screaming about one candidate or another and then the convention comes around and they're all, "Obama!" or "McCain!" It's as though they completely forget that half their party was rooting for other people only a few months back. But it's okay because I get to make fun of both conventions! Take, for example, the fact that this year the Democratic convention is supposed to be the most green convention ever. Um. Ever? To paraphrase a guy I saw last night on Glenn Beck, were there no conventions in the 1800's? Then I flipped over to some channel that was covering the whole boring thing and I heard Caroline Kennedy say, "I've never had someone inspire me the way people tell me my father inspired them. But I do now. Barack Obama!" And, if you didn't see it, let's just say that Caroline did not get her father's speech delivery skills. I have nothing against her at all and, in fact, cannot imagine living through the things she has lived through, but the way she said, "but I do now," sounded like high school level bad acting. I'm sure Obama will get up on that stage this weekend (have you seen the stage? It does not look one bit green.) and talk about how he's the change we need. Maybe, Obama, you could be a little more specific? For once.
Democrats, you need not worry. I promise that the Republicans will do things at their convention that will make me close my eyes, shake my head, and then run to my blog. Just because I was raised with Republicans and now sleep next to one doesn't make them off limits. After all, I've never spent anytime registered with their party. I have participated in two Presidential elections and I've given one vote to the Democrats and one vote to the Republicans. I'm still moderate but, I must admit, I am creeping slowly to the right on a lot of issues. But never fear. Even if I am one day registered as a Republican, I'll still find things to pick on them for. And it's doubtful anyway. I much prefer sitting on the outside, popping some popcorn and watching the blood bath during the primaries. And it's much more fun being able to be extremely right on a particular issue and a little left on another.
And then, it doesn't matter who I make fun of this year because you know who's got my vote:
This guy.* I mean, really, the State of the Union address would be so much better with Garrett running in between his father's legs.
*Video provided by my wonderful Aunt Vicki.