When people see that I have listed ‘Republican’ under my ‘political views’ on Facebook, they usually assume I’m being ironic. This is understandable, as under ‘religious views’ I have listed ‘Tarvuism‘. However, it is not a joke (the republicanism, not the Tarvuism) as I am in fact a registered Republican in the state of New York. Let me explain.
This decision of mine, to legally proclaim myself to be an idiot (in the minds of my friends and family) occurred during the 2008 presidential primaries. That year, which for many was the year of Obama, was for me the year of Paul. I became entranced by the candid rationality he brought to politics. I agreed with him on nearly every issue, something I never thought I’d be able to say about any politician. I felt proud to support his campaign, and remain a fan of his to this day.
However, in my state, I was not allowed to support him during the primaries without first registering Republican. My choice of no affiliation afforded me no voting privilege for any primaries. Unbeknownst to me at the time I chose no affiliation I was literally announcing to the state that the primaries don’t matter to me and I want no part of them. Luckily, I realized this error before the deadline for me to register Republican. Many people I know were unaware of this deadline, and regrettably could not vote for him.
In the general election, it was down to Obama and McCain, and I was faced with the annoying responsibility of choosing between two people I agreed with on next to nothing, and wholly distrusted. I ended up choosing Obama, out of respect that he had ran arguably the greatest presidential campaign in U.S. history. I figured if he could run the country even half as well, we’d be in good hands. Though he has yet to do so, I don’t regret voting for him. I highly doubt McCain would be doing at all better.
The Republican party is in an interesting state right now, with the tea party movement and all. I do not support the tea party movement, as I have yet to figure out what the hell the tea-baggers even want, and this is coming from a libertarian. They are a disorganized mess of a movement with no clear goals or desires, and their stigma hurts the reputation of decent, rational people who happen to support capitalism and small government.
However despite said chicken little craziness of the party on the moment, I remain proud to be registered Republican. Note that I did not say proud to be a republican, as I do not consider myself one, nor must I. At the end of the day it’s just a paper that says I am allowed to vote in Republican primaries. If I had any desire to do so in the Democrat primaries, I’d switch over. Under which party I am registered means nothing to me, and should mean nothing to anyone else. I have not signed away my brain, or my soul, and I don’t plan on doing so in this lifetime.