Friday, March 23, 2007

friends don't let friends switch political parties

Last night I had an eye-opening conversation with my friend Roo Roos. Roo Roos (obviously not his real name) is a very good friend of mine. We met a few years ago while working for the Crap together. Unfortunately, Roo Roos moved away to Philly to be with his partner who was relocating to Philly due to his job. We still keep in touch by phone and email, and lately we've been talking more frequently.

One of my favorite things about my friendship with Roo Roos is that he challenges me. We don't always see eye to eye and when we don't, we end up getting into a hearty debate. Even though I'm convinced that I'm always right, I value his opinion and I definitely hear his point of view. But last night, Roo Roos told me something that blew me away.

He started, "Lizzie, there's something I have to tell you and I don't think you're going to like it." "Hmmm...try me," I said. Roo Roos continued with a deep breath, "Ok, I'm going to register as a Republican."

I was floored. Roo Roos, my fiscally conservative, socially liberal friend who always voted on the issues so he always voted Democrat, was turning to the dark side. (Ok, before the hate mail starts coming, I have lots of friends who are loyal to the GOP and I tease them and continue to love them despite our political differences). I just didn't know how to handle this news. I’ve never had a friend switch parties. Jokingly, I responded, "Um, I don't think we can be friends any more."

"Lizzie, it's only because I really like Giuliani and I really want to vote for him and I'm afraid he won't make it past the primaries," he reasoned. Ok, this I can stomach. In fact, I respected his thinking simply because it stems from his belief that voting can make a difference. I suppose that’s acceptable. There’s nothing wrong with thinking that your vote really does count.

I told Roo Roos that I was ok with his decision. “And you’re probably right. Giuliani might not make it past the primaries. His kids are against him. There are concerns about his personal life. And frankly he’s not conservative enough to woo the GOP’s powerful Christian base.” Roo Roos answered, “I didn’t really think about his personal life. I think he handled 9-11 really well.” I replied, “Yeah, I suppose he did. But a candidate’s personal life is judged just as much if not more so than his political life. Unfortunately that’s the nature of our politics.”

Roo Roos asked me, “So who are you supporting for nominee?” With enthusiasm, I replied, “Obama, of course. Love him.” Roo Roos countered, “But he barely has any experience in Congress.” I responded, “Yeah, I know, but at this point, that’s probably a good thing.”

The debate continued for a little bit, but Roo Roos and I did find some common ground. Apparently neither of us trust Hilary.

And now I have a confession for you peeps. A while back I said I was going to register to vote in VA. But I haven’t yet. And the reason is that I want to vote in California’s primary. I couldn’t care less about every other word coming out of Schwarzenegger’s mouth, but he’s making Cali’s primary sound flashy and important. And I kinda want to be a part of that.

But deep down, I know that my blue vote would be more valuable to the VA Dems than the CA Dems.

Ok tell me again why I’m worrying about this so early?

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