I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in first grade and our teacher walked us to the cafeteria to participate in a mock election – Nixon was running for president. When we lined up outside the cafeteria doors, I could see a table labeled Democrat to the left and a table labeled Republican to the right. As a first grader, I had never heard these terms before, and I asked my teacher – “What is the difference between a Republican and a Democrat?” She leaned over and said, “Honey, the Republicans are the ones with the money.”
I didn’t know much at my young age, but I had gathered that money was important because I overheard my parents talking about it pretty frequently. As I started walking towards the Republican table to cast my vote for Nixon, I saw that people who voted at the Democrat table got a piece of candy for casting their vote supporting the Democratic candidates. At that young age I remember thinking to myself, “they must have to offer a piece of candy to bring more voters since the Democrats don’t have as much money.”
Through the years I have learned that the difference between the parties is more than “who has the money.” There are many democrats who have a tremendous amount of money – Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to name a couple. The fact of the matter is according to a Forbes article from a couple years ago, (http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiasavchuk/2014/07/09/are-americas-richest-families-republicans-or-democrats/#2204b5fe717e) at least of third of wealthy families donate to both parties. So, clearly the wealthiest of Americans see value in supporting candidates from both parties to some extent. You might quickly come to the conclusion that they are just “hedging their bets” on who wins the election to attempt to carry some influence with the eventual winner, and certainly there is some merit to that. However, the fact of the matter is that a good percentage of those who have been most blessed financially in our country attempt to maintain positive relationships with members from both major political parties.
Several of us have strong feelings towards some hot button social issues which drive us to support one party or the other – abortion, gay rights, etc. Others determine their party loyalty based on how each party provides for those who are less fortunate. From my prospective, the Democratic Party believes the government knows better and has the answers for many of the problems we face. The Republican Party believes in the individuals and their ability to succeed if the government (which should be as small as possible) gets out of the way.
When it comes to local politics, I would suggest the political party and the social hot button issues take a back seat to the qualifications and background of the candidates and the voter’s feelings of who can be trusted the most to make your daily life better. Local elected officials will not be affecting abortion or gay rights policies, but will be touching your life on a daily basis.
Are you happy with the roads on which you drive? Are you happy with the employment choices we have in Pima county? Are you happy with the taxes you pay and what you get in return?
Your vote is worth more than a “piece of candy.” I respectfully request you consider the candidates I have endorsed at BackBacker.org. I believe they are the best local candidates to bring prosperity to the Democrats and Republicans of Pima County.