Why I Won’t Vote Democrat In 2012

I have been a Democrat most of my life. Not once have I voted for a Republican candidate for President, and very seldom have I voted anything other than a straight D punch. There have been a few times that I may have felt it necessary to hold my nose while voting, but I “did my duty” and cast my vote for the Party if not the individual.

My sister calls me a “Dyed-in-the-Wool Democrat.” I have preferred the term “Yellow Dog Democrat” – meaning that if a yellow dog was running on the Democratic ticket, I’d have been inclined to vote for him.

But not this year. Here’s why.

On the national level, both parties have become so corrupted by the influence of big money that it’s impossible to trust either of them to do what’s right. For example, the healthcare reform bill that was signed into law by President Obama in 2010 was a massive gift to the big pharmaceutical and insurance companies, having been largely shaped and molded by their lobbying efforts. If one of the defining achievements of the Democrats under Obama’s leadership is so tainted, how can one have faith in the rest of their policies? I won’t even start on the cozy relationship between the Obama Administration and the banksters, the revolving door between the government and Monsanto, the extrajudicial execution of American citizens, the codifying into law of indefinite detention. This is what the Democrats have to offer. None of it is acceptable to me.

Yes. Yes, I know. Of course the Republicans “are worse” – both in measure and in kind. So have we come to a lesser of two evils as default? Is that truly the only choice left to us?

Let’s turn to the local level. In my state, Democratic governor Pat Quinn has announced his intention to make deep cuts in Medicaid and human services and in the state’s pension programs. The result of these cuts will be increased misery for working people, children, the poor and the elderly. Protecting the most vulnerable among us from the ravages of poverty, and ensuring that there are opportunities for everyone in our society to advance in life is at the very core of what it has meant to be a Democrat for nearly a century. It is painfully evident that such is no longer the case.

Yes. Yes, I know. “Somebody has to make these hard choices. Somebody has to be the grownup in the room. Somebody has to deal with these shortfalls.” Again, of course the Republicans are worse. They offer no solutions, except even further cuts to essential programs, plus the prospects of further tax cuts that will make the problems even more acute. Does the obvious fact that the Republicans offer no viable alternative relieve the Dems of their obligation to offer principled solutions? I, for one, think not. How about ending giveaways to the Chicago Board of Trade, Sears, the Mercantile Exchange, et al, before we start hammering the piss out of the poor?

The examples cited above barely scratch the surface. To catalog the entire range of egregious sins of the Democrats in our day (both nationally and locally) would take more time than I care to offer, and I suspect that I’m boring you already.

It should be noted that I do not come happily to a decision to leave my Party this year. I was an early and ardent supporter of President Obama (and I still hope against hope that he will surprise us in a second term and lead us beyond the rocky ground). I was the coordinator in my county for Governor Quinn’s election campaign last time (though I now fear that he is beyond redemption). I still serve as treasurer of the Coles County Democratic Party, and plan to complete my term (a few more weeks). I wish the Democrats every success. I cannot, however, support them with my vote nor my contributions until their conscience has been found.

In the meantime, I’m a man without a party. I will not vote in the Primary Election in Illinois this year for the first time since 1976. I have not yet decided whether to vote in the Fall of 2012. That will depend on whether or not there is a candidate and a platform outside of the two major parties that reflect my convictions.

Godspeed the day when we face better choices once again.


  1. says

    Brian, I am deeply sorry you feel this way. Not voting is one reason we have corruption in politics. A select few Americans control who our leaders are because the majority of Americans either feel like you do or they simply don’t care until something hits them in their own backyard. This is one reason I’ve advocated for term limits, we need to weed out the lifers and show these politicians they are NOT the boss…we are. But even term limits requires Americans to stand up and be counted – VOTING.

    You are correct, Republicans are much worse and taking the chance of allowing ANY of them to regain/gain control of the House, Senate and White House is not just a small exchange of leadership but a total dismemberment of that PROTECTION of “the most vulnerable among us from the ravages of poverty, and ensuring that there are opportunities for everyone in our society to advance in life is at the very core of what it has meant to be a Democrat for nearly a century.” While some Democrats may be willing to hurt the vulnerable (to get votes), the bulk of Dems are just as willing as you are to fight for those less fortunate instead. Democrats need people like you, willing to remind our our leaders just who and what they stand for. Walking away does nobody any good and doing so will not solve the problem….it will only make it worse. Imagine what would happen Brian if just 20% of Dem voters didn’t bother voting this year? Every Republican running would win and take control. If you think things are bad now…whoa baby, only the fittest will survive. You implied you think Obama will get a second term….not without ALL OUR votes he won’t. Do you really want Santorum, Gingrich or Romney leading us? Really? At least some of the health issues have been solved. At least the car industry didn’t go belly up and thousands lose their jobs. At least women will get equal pay and health care they need. College students will get money to finish school. Infrastructure under the stimulus has WORKED and improve things and saved jobs. Things did work Brian. Not everything. I felt OBama should had demanded war crimes be investigated, more money for health care needs, more stimulus was needed and that Obama backed down too many times. But they did accomplish things nobody has ever done before. Do they not get credit for those things? I sincerely wish you’d reconsider voting — as that movie showed me about the women vote — it’s IS important to make your feelings known. Let’s push instead for term limits and getting money out of politics.

  2. Noebie says

    duly noted

    a couple of quick thoughts in response…

    it’s the funding of elections that’s at the root of the problem – term limits, in my view, would only make things worse

    we have to clean up the system – and we cannot rely upon those who are part of it for help

    again, until the conscience of the democratic party has been found, and until they stand firm on the principles that i hold most dear, my support will go elsewhere

    • Noebie says

      i wouldn’t want to ask anything for fear that i would be locked up at gitmo indefinitely or murdered by a drone while walking the dog

      • says

        Aw now Brian that is a stretch. Do you honestly believe Obama/Dems would blow me up without a shred of evidense that I’d done anything remotely close to being a terrorist? Honestly?

        • Noebie says

          it’s the principle, connie – obama should have vetoed the ndaa, and he should not have killed american citizens by drone – holder’s latest speech on the matter is truly terrifying

          and even if this administration doesn’t blow you up, it sets the precedent for those who might

          and people like you and i *are* terrorists in the eyes of some

  3. says

    I don’t know the details of what happened to those citizens but when I think about a normal cop walking his beat in a neighborhood that stumbles on a gun fight or a man beating the crap out of a kid or threatening to blow himself up with his girlfriend, etc…and what that cop might have to do to save those people around the bad guy….I can kind of understand Holder’s position. If we know the guy/gal is about to blow us up but we can’t get to him physically (man to man) but we can stop him by blowing him up with a missile….then we should….if it saves American lives…..like an ordinary cop would do. The cop would attempt to warn the bad guy, attempt to wound him…. but last resort he would shoot to kill if it meant saving a life….Right?

    • Noebie says

      bad analogy, connie – we’re not talking about a cop on the beat coming across a crime in progress – we’re talking about the targeted murder, by remote control drone, of american citizens – depriving them of their lives without due process – obama administration was judge, jury and executioner – if that doesn’t offend your sense of all that it means to be an american, then i pity you – and god help our republic

      truth is truth and justice is justice, regardless of party affiliation

      • says

        As I said I hope that bill gets passed because I know SOME president will take advantage of it as Bush did in the past (that’s why I thought war crimes should be investigated and brought out). I don’t think it’s a bad analogy. Whether we are talking a murder on the street covered by a cop or a murder in some building covered by a president/drone — if all those involved feel there is IMMEDIATE danger to the American people (or neighbors in the case of a cop) then I have to trust that they are doing what’s best for us. If somebody can prove there was wrong doing then they should.

        However, like you, I don’t like any one person having 100% power to do as they please (I felt Bush/Cheney had this all 8 years) that is why I support passing the bill to stop this right. I guess I’m guilty of trusting Obama over Bush. I honestly feel if he did something that appears wrong (terrorism wise) then he had a very good reason. The man doesn’t LIKE war like Bush/Cheney did. Rem he ran on getting us OUT of Iraq even before the DEAL was made to get out in 2011.

        I wonder tho, if the gov knew about the towers being a target, knew the day and time and how it would done– but they didn’t DO ANYTHING about it even if it meant shooting down those airplanes with innocent people on board — how would we feel? It’s a very hard call to make. Perhaps that’s why it’s best to not give them the RIGHT to make that decision so if something happens they can’t be blamed later.

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