Project Wonderful

Saturday, August 20, 2011

To D or Not to D...

It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I googled how to register to vote in New York City within 48 hours of moving into my apartment. 28 days and I'm fillin' out my registration form! As excited as I am to register in my new home, I'm facing a bit of a dilemma: should I register as a Democrat or a Republican? Don't get me wrong, I'm a Democrat. I would vote for all of my-exboyfriends-riding-a chicken-that-looks-like-John-Edwards-to-improvised-live-music-played-by-Georgia-O'Keefe-at-Urban-Outfitters* before I would vote for Michele Bachmann. But that's all the more reason to put myself in a position to vote against her in the primary, right?

Let's break it down. Here are the reasons I would register as a Democrat:

1) Because I am one. I have this annoying thing with integrity. Technically speaking, I believe you should vote in primary of the party to which you belong. I thought it was a little shady in 2008 when conservatives registered as Democrats so that they could keep Hillary Clinton out of the picture. At the same time, one of the reasons I believe Democrats lose is because they are less willing to fight dirty than Republicans, so I think my desire for that not to be the case may trump any moral qualms I would have had. Maybe all liberals should register as Republicans and write-in Mike Gravel in the 2012 primaries?

2) People will know. Non-political friends are often shocked and appalled to learn how easy it is to find out information about someone's voting history. The party in which you are registered and in many cases whether or not you voted in a particular election are but a few mouse clicks away. (Fear not. This doesn't mean I can find out how you voted, just how you were registered.) Much in the way I laugh in the face of danger, I also laugh in the face of anyone who suggests I might like to run for office, but who knows what twists and turns might bring me into the public eye? I don't want my youthful fancies creating a PR problem for candidates or organizations I work with in the future. Besides I might become severely campaignsick and decide I want to become involved with the local Democratic committee for which, one must usually be a Democrat.

3) In NY, sometimes primaries are the ballgame. Did I mention that my new Congressperson is Charlie Rangel? New Yorkers have a tendency to be brand-loyal to Democrats. (I know, call the papers! Our secret is out! We're a bunch of freedom-hating-gay-kissers over here.) Although this is NOT an excuse not to vote in the general, it does mean that to have a greater say in who represents me, I will need to vote in the Democratic primary. True, registering as a Republican would allow me to vote in the 2012 Presidential primary, but my local politicians will have a greater impact on my daily life than whomever we choose as the Republican nominee, especially because if we do our job right that person will lose.

So why would I register as a Republican?

1) I want to vote against Michele Bachmann. Remember that weird list of things I said I would vote for over her? *That is a list of almost everything I hate combined into one giant super-awful. Granted, I am not a fan of Mitt Romney or any of the other gay-hating, poor-ignoring, religion-manipulating liars running for the Republican nomination, but Michele Bachmann is a special kind of monster: the kind that makes me makes me think "well this is why women shouldn't be in politics." Michele Bachmann's husband is a (clearly gay) pray the gay away counselor. She has probably never befriended a Jewish person in her life and yet she accuses President Obama of having too much "chootspa." She doesn't know who the founding fathers were. She lies about global warming. She believes women should be "submissive" to their husbands. And not even in the sexy way! Do other Republican candidates hold the same views? Of course they do. I can't stand them either, but Michele "Words mean whatever I want them to" Bachmann is the only woman in the race. Michele Bachmann becoming the first woman to secure her party's nomination would be like Carrot Top becoming the President of funny redheads. She makes women look like idiots. Those are my people you're pretending to represent and I simply can't have that happen. I don't think she'll get the nomination and I don't think she'd win if she did, but I'm not willing to take the chance.

2) I'm a big elections nerd. (WHAT? I know, I'm dropping all kinds of news worthy shocktails in this blog post.) I want the phone calls. I want the glossy lit telling me how the other candidates want to tax my money and abort my baby. I love that. I live for that, and I'm really looking forward to enjoying the primaries as an interested disinterested party not drunk on John Edwards' placenta tainted Kool-aid. And for you, my adoring public, wouldn't it be interesting if I had a bevy of Democratic campaign operatives and crew helping me decide how to cast my vote in the Republican primary?

3) Really, why not? Rino, Dino, who's to say what makes a Democrat or a Republican? When does a cello student become a cellist? When she starts calling herself one. In response to my own argument that I should vote in the primary of the party with which I identify, who's to say I wouldn't be? I don't support every Democrat and I don't hate every Republican. In fact, I wish I supported more Republicans. Choosing between two ethical, qualified candidates in a general election rather than supporting the lesser of two evils is basically the electoral holy grail. Clearly the Republican party is not churning out candidates to my specifications, but maybe if better people voted in their primaries they would and in turn Democrats would have to produce even more compelling candidates to keep up.

So what do we think? Is New York City Nancy a Democrat or Republican? Vote! Let your voice be heard! (poll in the upper right corner of the page)

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