Most individuals can tell from reading this blog that this blogger’s political views are generally left-of-center. In the past five elections, for instance, it is my opinion that the Democratic candidate should have become president. This is not a belief that a right-wing voter would hold.
Nevertheless, there are indeed several times when I would have voted for the Republican candidate in a presidential election. So in the spirit of bipartisanship – and perhaps, as strategic advice to any Republicans out there seeking to get Democratic votes – here are all the times when I would have voted Republican:
1988: Actually, my vote would probably have gone for Governor Mike Dukakis here. Nevertheless, this election is present because the decision is much closer than most of the others. President George H. W. Bush is in many ways quite underrated; he was an able figure in foreign policy – especially with the end of the Cold War – but an absolutely terrible politician. Mr. Bush also ran a quite nasty and effective campaign against Mr. Dukakis, such as accusing him of not requiring students to say the Pledge of Allegiance. These tactics undeniably swayed the majority of the American public; with this individual, however, they would have probably backfired.
1984, 1980: O.k., I would have voted Democratic here too. These years are present because they are President Ronald Reagan’s elections, and many Americans view Mr. Reagan as the best Republican president since one Abraham Lincoln.
There is undisputably a strong appeal in voting for Mr. Reagan. But when one actually looks to the man’s accomplishments, the picture is more murky. The president defeated inflation, but under his term budget deficits skyrocketed. Economically, the news was relatively mixed; most Americans ended up a bit better off, but Mr. Reagan’s term was really the time when inequlity began its climb today. On foreign policy, Mr. Reagan helped the Soviet Union collapse – but it would have done so anyways, contrary to what many supporters believe.
The decision thus ends up at values – and here Mr. Reagan’s values run contrary to this poster’s. Whether in watching Mr. Reagan slam Democratic candidate Walter Mondale for voting against the military-industrial complex, or in his 90% white-male Cabinet, Mr. Reagan’s values are too far apart for this poster to vote for him.
1972: Here is actually the first time that this individual would have voted Republican. President Richard Nixon defeated Senator George McGovern in the greatest landslide in modern American politics. This election something that I know relatively little about, and so I defer to the wisdom of the American people. If so many individuals voted against Mr. McGovern – even the most Democratic of Democratic regions – then there must be a good reason why. The reason, of course, was the Mr. McGovern supposedly constituted a radical liberal, and from his campaign there does not seem to be much out there to dispute this. Finally, Mr. Nixon was not a bad president; whatever his personal failings, he was a master of foreign policy and actually fairly liberal on domestic issues.
1960: This may be surprising for most people, given the honor and fame President John F. Kennedy has amongst most Americans. The Kennedys are almost America’s royal family, beloved by everybody.
This is in fact why Mr. Kennedy does not receive my vote – when one traces his life, one finds that very little of what Mr. Kennedy did was based on his own merit and very much of it was based on the fact that his father was an influential and rich U.S. Senator. In this respect Mr. Kennedy is much like a certain President George W. Bush. My vote therefore goes to the person who worked hard to get ahead in life rather than being born with a silver spoon – Mr. Nixon.
1924 and before: The Democratic nominee of 1924, John W. Davis, was the last conservative nominated by the Democratic Party. Mr. Davis supported states rights, opposed the income tax, and would go on to oppose the New Deal. Like all Democrats at the time, he had to endorse white supremacy. Given the wide disparity in these values and those of this poster, voting against Mr. Davis is the more natural option.
Moreover, in this era one reaches a crossroads of American politics. The Democratic Party becomes increasingly unrecognizable from what it is today; it turns into a Southern, populist, and quite racist institution that is often extremely conservative. Indeed, the places of the two parties become almost switched. In all the elections before 1928, therefore, this poster would vote with the more liberal party: The Republicans.