Question: How flexible are you in your political thinking?
I’d like you to play a game today – first, alone, then with a friend or two. There are no winners, just a process of determining what your voter values are.
Herschel Walker, the Republican candidate for a Georgia Senate seat, is accruing a lot of GOP support, despite his (ahem) peccadillos. He has made many contradictory comments, lied, campaigned on being anti-abortion no matter what. BUT he has four children whom he has never raised nor supported (despite his wealth), and now is accused of paying two women to have an abortion for a pregnancy he caused. A bit of hypocrisy here, I would suggest. And BTW, on Monday he declared he had never played football for the NFL. A fanciful claim, at best.
Yet many Republicans continue to support him, because they say they say if he loses the Senate is in jeopardy of becoming a Democratic Senate. The Republicans say they want the GOP to win the Senate, that is the only issue, and hence their seemingly undying support.
If you are a Democrat, describe how do you feel about Walker. And the same question for Republicans, will you support him no matter what?
I assume the Dems are saying he is a terrible man and they could not vote for him ever, and say they don’t understand how a Republican can vote for “that man.”
If you are a Republican, you say the party is most important, and although I (do, don’t) like him, I want the GOP in control of the Senate. So, I will support him because “we need this Republican senator from Georgia.”
Democrats squirm when they hear that answer, wondering what kind of values GOPers really have, when you can support an unstable, quirky guy to be a senator for the next six years! Having GOP Senate is most important; you are deciding that winning elections trumps any ethical concerns you may have.
Okay. Write your answer on a piece of paper.
And because this is a game, I will now do a complete turn-around and emphatically declare that Walker is a true-blue Democrat. His real leanings have always been to the left. So, Republicans, will you still vote for him?
Political analysts have declared that Walker’s seat is the most important vote, because if he wins as a Democrat, that will guarantee that the Dems will continue to control the Senate.
As Dems say that, GOP jaws are dropping open, and we hear murmurs of see, your values are the same as ours. Victory in the Senate is most important.
Walker is now garnering support from lots of Democrats. Suddenly some ask, wwhere are their moral values?
Dems respond Democratic control of the Senate is critical, so, of course, they will vote for Walker. And then they suddenly realize that now the Dems are supporting Walker fo0r the very same reason Republican are. Party control is their preeminent concern, more than moral concerns. Nothing matters more than winning.
Write you answer down now, Dems and GOPers, would you now vote for Walker. And why?
Next level of the game: All sorts of wise men and women have warned us that if Walker is elected on ether ticket, that could lead to the end of democracy in our country. Think of people like Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Joe McCarthy, etc., and their influence once each was elected.
How can we lose democracy? Well, think again of Donald Trump. If he is re-elected in 2024, most of us realize he wants to control the country in his inimical autocratic way. And that he isn’t bothered at all by taking away voters’ rights to cast a ballot, or allowing only the GOP electors to determine the outcome of an election, e.g., when Trump has admittedly asked Brad Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Secretary of State to find 11,780 votes to change the Democratic win in Georgia.
So Dems and GOPers, where does democracy enter into your voting decisions? If
Walker wins and he coalesces enough of the Senate and Supreme Court to allow the disappearance of democracy, will you still vote for your party and forget about the morality of you vote? How much do you care about democracy?
Ask yourself – and think about Shakespeare’s admonition in “Hamlet,” “To thine own self be true.” You may be surprised by your own answer.
Note: I played this game with myself and then with others. We were surprised at our own thinking sense of morality v. reality.