Meet the Undecided. That is the title of a recent NY Times op-ed piece and it reminded me of a conversation I had a couple of ago with an old friend of mine. The subject of the undecided voter came up and we both commented that we never in our lives have been undecided about how we were going to vote in major elections. Both of us have always voted Democrat and the main reason is our father’s were Democrats who carried a lunch bucket to work each day.
Mike Shoemaker, when he was a member of the Ohio General Assembly, once remarked that his grandfather, a one-time Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, often was heard to say that no person who carried a lunch bucket should ever vote anything other than Democrat.
Well, being from a working-class background that struck home and it remains my foremost reason for being a Democrat. While the Democrat party is certainly not perfect, it does for the most part, represent the best hopes of the middle and working classes. It also represents the best hopes of advancing social equality, and restoring economic equality and opportunity. Two things Nobel economist Joesph Stiglitz argues are sorely in decline in modern America.
For my friend, his reaction to the undecided issue was simple. He’s voting Democrat because it is not the Democrat party that is after his public employee’s pension, attacking the jobs of his former colleagues, attacking his chances of receiving the Medicare benefits he’s been paying into, caused his real estate values to be almost halved, wiped out a large share of his investment portfolio, blocking the first advance in health care reform in his personal history, trying to suppress the voting rights of millions, and more.
So, why are so many people undecided? After all, it you’re a part of the vast middle-class, or want to become a member, you should be absolute about your support of the Democrats. Just as certain, if you’re worried about the silver spoon your kids were born with, you should be voting Republican. Years ago I was told that the Devil had a special place in Hell for independents. I wonder if that’s where he keeps the undecided too?