Next Come the Special Interests
Both parties are an amalgamation of different, highly dogmatic, specific, and specialized interests. More often than not, those interests are not shared by other members of the same party. The Republicans say they want a simpler, smaller government and low taxes – seems straightforward and cohesive, right? But when you drill down another layer, you have the Christian right, energy interests, big pharmaceutical companies, the gun lobby, and many other special interests. They align together under one ‘conservative’ banner, but in the end, unless you can sign up to support all of them, you probably shouldn’t vote for a Republican.
Meanwhile, the Democrats have the trial lawyers, the labor unions and environmentalists that claim to speak for the disadvantaged, and a whole cadre of causes that bind them together as ‘liberals.’ But if you can’t sign up for everything the Democrats believe in, you probably shouldn’t vote for a one.
Why not? Because when a vote matters – when it is time to govern, when negotiation and problem solving are most essential – the elected officials that we put in office will be forced by his or her party to vote simply “yes” or “no” along party lines. They might do so thoughtfully, but they will still do so – like it or not. In recent history, Member of Congress have, on average, voted over 90% along party lines when votes matter.
Unless you can sign up for each and every aspect of a party: You shouldn’t vote for that candidate.