I have to tell you, I am pretty disgusted with some of my fellow Tennesseans this morning.
No, NOT because Rick Santorum won our primary. Let’s be honest–the pickings are slim in the Republican field. You’ve got to vote for somebody, right?
It’s not the Republicans I’m disgusted with today–it’s some of the Democrats whose comments I read on Facebook last night.
Tennessee has open primaries. That means if you are a Republican you can choose to vote in the Democratic primary and vice versa. President Obama having no challenger, many Democrats chose to vote in yesterday’s Republican primary.
Full disclosure: I did not vote yesterday because I did not take care of getting my address changed in time. I believe I am registered as a Democrat. Had I voted yesterday, I would indeed have crossed over, and would likely have voted for Mr. Gingrich because 1) He is smart; 2) He is against abortion; 3) He doesn’t want to ship all the illegal immigrants back to Mexico; 4) Mitt Romney doesn’t stand for anything but Mitt Romney; and 5) Rick Santorum doesn’t know what “preferential option for the poor” means.
I may have mentioned before that we are politics junkies in this house. John majored in International Politics at Georgetown. He really gets into this stuff, and we talk about it all the time, even with the kids from the time that they were all small. And we’ve always thought the open primary was a neat opportunity to get to have a say in picking the very best nominee from the other side. Last election, for example, we were excited to cast primary votes for Hillary Clinton.
What an open primary apparently is for a lot of other people, though, is a big joke. These people make a mockery out of the democratic process. Voting is a right, a responsibility, a sacred trust. People have fought and died for this right. It’s a right many people in the world still don’t have.
I wonder what Susan B. Anthony and company would have to say about Democratic women who voted for Rick Santorum, whom they characterize as a lunatic and worse, with the goal of ending up with a weak nominee whom President Obama can beat in the General Election? All these people were chortling over their supposed cleverness on Facebook last night.
Yes, I am sure there are Republicans who would have done the same. So what? Does that make it any less morally reprehensible?
There’s no room for levity in the voting booth, people. This partisan bullshit is getting out of control. If you can’t bring yourself to cast a serious vote in the other side’s primary, stay on your own side and remember what you are doing–or supposed to be doing–when you pull that lever. Then you can look at that waving flag with a little pride.