i am a texan independent/green, but for the purposes of yesterday's
election, i might as well call myself a democrat. i have lived in a
rural town near big bend national park for the past two years. before
that i lived in brooklyn, ny for five years and in providence, ri for
12. i'm an east coast native contentedly transplanted to the high
desert (where some might consider me an "invasive species").
one of the things i like about living here is the diversity of
political opinion...democrats and republicans (and libertarians
even), generally speaking, seem to have a mutual respect for one
another and for lively, constructive discussion. i have many
republican friends. one of them happens to be the republican party
chairperson of the county in which i live. being short-handed on
election day, and in spite of a clear awareness of my political
affiliations, he invited me to help work the poll at tuesday's
election. with a fleeting thought as to how a paycheck from the
republican party was going to look on my fbi file, i accepted. i was
eager for the opportunity to learn about how the texas primary works,
to mingle with members of my community, to serve as a
check-and-balancer, and to help with the democratic (one hopes...)
process in general.
here in rural texas, we are not obliged to register to a particular
party, and individuals are free to choose which primary to vote in.
prior to tuesday, a close friend, a fellow democrat, informed me that
some of our mutual republican friends were planning to vote for
clinton in an effort to get her on the ballot against john mccain in
november...since they feel certain that she will be less likely than
barack obama to win the national election. i quickly came to realize
that the plan to invoke the a-vote-for-hillary-is-a-vote-for-mccain
strategy was spreading rampantly among texan republicans.
i have not seen a single pro-hillary sticker, button, or yard sign in
our tri-county area. the only rally held locally for a presidential
candidate (for as long as anyone can remember) was held last saturday
for barack obama.
yesterday i sat in the back room of a church in a small sterotypical
wild-west town next to the head of the local republican party for 10
straight hours. as the day wore on, he generously supplied me with
personal information on the backgrounds of the folks who came to
vote. many of those he nodded and waved at across the room were
members of the republican party...voting at the democratic table. i
asked him repeatedly, "are you sure that person is a republican?" and
he would just chuckle and say "of course!". it became amply clear
that indeed many, if not most, of the local republicans were voting
that there were far fewer clinton supporters at last night's caucuses
further illustrates this point...what dyed-in-the-wool republican
would go so far as to participate in a caucus or convention for a
democrat, no matter how urgent the situation?
hillary won in texas by 3%. there's not a single doubt in my mind
that far more than 3% of those who cast votes for clinton in the
state of texas are republicans who not only don't support her, they
want to see her lose.
allbest from tx,