Archive for January, 2008

These are the U.S. Presidents I Voted For:

January 16, 2008

From THE BOOK OF MYSELF, The Middle Years, The World (Hyperion Books, 2007, page 145, www.marshallbooks.com)

These are the presidents I voted for:

I am 51 years old but this is only my 9th presidential election.  My parents were flaming liberals in the 1960s and brought me up to be a good Democrat, who supported federal spending to help the poor versus the greedy Republicans who supported the wealthy classes.  But I broke ranks along the way, stumbled, and then recovered.

In 1974, when I turned 18, I registered with the Democratic party.  I felt my vote counted, and looked forward to my first presidential election two years later.

In 1976, when I was a 20-year-old college student, I voted for Jimmy Carter.  Ford had been a caretaker President after Nixon’s fall from grace, so I wouldn’t have voted for him anyway.

In 1980, selling Apple II computers and Commodore PETs in San Francisco, I voted for Carter again, but was kind of pleased about our California actor-turned governor moving in the White House.  Maybe it would be good for out state.  I felt bad for Jimmy though, especially with how the Iran Hostage Crisis turned out for him.

In 1984, I was starting to make real money as a gung-ho software manger.  I didn’t want Uncle Sam taking all my wages in taxes, so voted for Reagan.  I convinced myself that he was a compassionate conservative and wouldn’t forget the little guy.  I just couldn’t get excited about Mondale.  I even changed my political affiliation to the Republican party.  By this time my father was moving toward the Green party and lamented that I had gone over to the dark side.

In 1988, I came to my senses and voted for the Democrat, not because I thought Dukakis would win, but because I didn’t like Bush Sr.  He was the CIA chief and everybody knows what that meant.  The Willie Horton slander was just the tip of the iceberg for a CIA chief.  However, I stayed in the Republican party.

In 1992, I voted for Clinton and was truly excited about the new era that Bill and Hillary (and Al Gore) represented.  I was disappointed that they couldn’t push through the national health care plan during Bill’s first term, since I was living in German where the national health care system worked just fine.

In 1996, I voted for Clinton again.  It was no contest against Dole.  I am happy with my two Clinton votes but was extremely mad at Bill for not controlling his urges.  If not for Monica (and the others), Gore would not have broken with Bill, and Al would have sailed into the White House. 

In 2000, I finally recognized the obvious, that I was a Republican in name only.  I voted for Gore and re-registered a year later as a Democrat.  Bush Jr. was not even a remote consideration; I just didn’t think he was qualified, and couldn’t understand why others thought he was.

In 2004, I voted for Kerry and hoped we would squeak through.  I was livid about Karl Rove and his dirty tricks (Swift Boat among others), but I was also mad at the Democrats for not fielding a stronger candidate.  It was partly our fault that we let a failing president grab another four years to create his mayhem.  Shame on the national Democratic leaders.

Now in 2008, my daughter and son, both in college, will be voting in their first presidential election.  I must make my decision in the California Democratic primary on February 5th, just three weeks away.  I still don’t know if I will be voting for Hillary, Obama or Edwards, but I feel sure that any of them would make a better U.S. President than the field of Republican contenders.

From 2009 to 2012, until the pull the lever for the 10th time, I am hopeful that we will reclaim the promise for America, both domestically and in the world.

What are the presidents you voted for?

David Marshall, www.marshallbooks.com

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