The Question of “Purity” 2: Electric Boogaloo

Today, as I’m sure you’re aware is election day. In the highly-contested race for Florida’s Governor, I voted for Bruce Stanley early via an absentee ballot. As predicted, I’ve gotten shit for it.

As I mentioned in Part 1, I voted for Jill Stein in the 2012 and 2016 US Presidential elections. I was told things like, “your moral purity is going to ruin people’s lives,” ignoring the fact that people also get hurt by neoliberal Democrats. I know, because I was.

As a child, I was hurt by NAFTA, which Bill Clinton signed into law, when my mom’s manufacturing job was shipped overseas, forcing my family to go on welfare. I was hurt again by his welfare reform. His policies devastated my family. None of us has ever fully recovered, financially or emotionally.

Then people actually expected me to vote for his wife, who championed those policies.

One of the most-popular things people say to guilt-trip people into voting for terrible Democrats is that, “Republicans are worse.”

Only, I can tell you from experience that Republicans aren’t always worse.

As an adolescent, I was able to get Medicaid through a program that then Governor Jeb Bush implemented called Florida KidCare, that guaranteed coverage for children in low-income families. When he ran for office, he even ran on that policy. I know that sounds unbelievable, but it’s true: a Republican actually ran on giving health coverage to poor children.

[UPDATE: It was pointed out to me that Kidcare was passed shortly before Jeb Bush took office. He ran on expanding the program and was closely associated with it when he was Governor. I was able to get coverage after the expansions that he supported. My mom confirmed (as I was a child, she did all the research and paperwork regarding my medical coverage) that she looked into signing me up for the program when it initially passed, but I didn’t qualify until the expansion by the Bush administration, so my point still stands.]

As an adult, I enrolled in graduate school. The university I attended had previously guaranteed healthcare coverage to all students without it. They discontinued that policy shortly before I was a student due to of the high cost of premiums under the Affordable Care Act.

So, a Republican gave me health coverage, and a Democrat kept me from getting it, and yet I’m supposed to believe that “Republicans are always worse.”

Look at the current immigration debate. Back in 2012, when asked why I didn’t vote for Obama, one of the reasons I gave was his horrific immigration policies, and was told “nobody’s perfect.” Yet, those same people are now upset over Trump’s stances on immigration. It’s almost like they only see politics as a team sport and other give a fuck when the other side does it.

It’s easy to vote for the “lesser evil” you’re not being hurt by it. Then you can eat brunch in peace knowing that you and yours are cared for while the president is “classy” and “cool,” and ignore the people that they’re hurting.

As the great Ralph Nader said, “When you vote for the lesser of two evils, you get less and you get evil.”