Last week, a self-assured, politically-savy colleague sprung the following idea on me: Financially well-off Americans us have the luxury of voting based on social issues, but for the rest of the country choosing a candidate is a matter of economics. I’ve been mulling it over ever since.
First of all, which vote will improve my economic well-being? According to the GOP mantra, Democrats may be “Tax and Spend Liberals,” but the way I see it, the other option is Spend Don’t Tax Conservatives. I have a hard time seeing politicians who throw money at pet projects like the war in Iraq and abstinence only sex-ed with out regard for their efficacy, or the billions in debt foisted on the next generation, as the fiscally conservative option. If there were a group of candidates who’d make quality health care affordable, I’d vote that ticket in a heartbeat, and consider it the economically responsible thing to do. Alas, the option just isn’t there right now.
And then there are the “social issues.” There isn’t much to get excited about here either. The Dems may be pro-choice, but they get squeamish when it comes down to the nitty gritty (partial birth abortion ban anyone?), and aren’t motivated to take on (and get rid of) abstinence only education. They say they are pro-equality, but they can’t get behind gay marriage. They participate in pride parades, but their willingness to chop the T out of ENDA reveals a discomfort with queerness. The list goes on. It doesn’t feel great to get behind democratic candidates when they have such a weak record on social issues. Gems like Huckabee, however, remind me that I’d be crazy to do otherwise.
What do you think?