Why I Vote the Way I Do

I was born in South Carolina in 1947 just after WW2.   Our Dad was a Veteran, who with his whole Citadel sophomore class volunteered to serve our country in the Army.  He was in the Battle of the Bulge, D+4, and received the Silver Star.  He had just returned to America when he met a beautiful young college student and shortly thereafter married her.  A year later I was born, and my brother, two years later.  Dad and Mom established a small business, had two more children, and we lived the American family life dream.

In 1960 I was 13 years old, and became a child of the 60’s.  During that decade, I experienced the assassination of President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, Dr. Martin Luther King, and a Kent State Student (during a peaceful protest of the Viet Nam War.)  I watched as thousands of college students gathered at 10th Street in Atlanta, Haight Asbury, and Woodstock to protest the war and to experience the highs of LSD and other mind-blowing drugs.   I saw our government struggling with the decision to send more of our young men to a war, a half a world away, that I never completely understood.  In college I watched as my friends one by one went to take their medical exams to be drafted and then await their lottery numbers.

The 70’s started with the election of President Richard Nixon.  Antiwar protesters were furious and combined with radical group, such as the Black Panthers, the Weather Underground, SDS, and Symbionese Liberation Party, and others.  Every night on TV, we watched recordings of our soldiers fighting in Viet Nam, and then protests as these radical groups destroyed our cities and college campuses.  In 1972, Watergate hit and for two years President Nixon and Deep Throat were in the headlines.  Our President resigned from the Presidency in 1974, and Vice President Gerald Ford took the oath of office.  The U.S. ended the Viet Nam War in 1975.  I remember seeing the helicopters land on the roof of the Hanoi Hotel.  Babies and children were thrown on to the helicopters, (reminiscent of Afghanistan.)  I will never forget!  One of our neighbors adopted a tiny baby from one of the helicopters.  Antiwar protesters and folks who thought the soldiers had not fought hard enough, were rude and resentful to the returning soldiers.  They threw rocks and spit on them as well as calling them horrible names.

The next election was a turning point for me.  Dad, Mom, and my wonderful husband were still firmly in the conservative Republican camp.  I was sick of the constant bickering and corruption in our government.  It was then that a Governor from Georgia decided to run for President.   “President of what” was his Mother’s comment.  Little known Jimmy Carter won the hearts of the Democratic party.  Dad and I had many, many arguments about this campaign.  He called me a “bra burning liberal,” and was glad that my husband’s vote would cancel mine!  I never convinced him of my point of view, and I voted my conscience for the first time ever.  I voted twice for Jimmy Carter!!!  My family has never let me forget!

Why did I think it necessary to tell you all of this?  Voting is the only way I have to “protest” the way our government works.  Nation, state, county and yes, even neighborhoods are run by voting.  It is my personal responsibility to educate myself as to the candidates that run for every office.   I have certain criteria that my vote or candidate must meet.  ANYONE who supports abortion is immediately removed from my list.  I have been ashamed of my country for 50 years under the order of Roe vs Wade. 

Media advertisements mean almost nothing.  Lately the lies in general from the media have taught me that candidates will say anything to get elected.  I look at the platform of each party and see how much I agree or disagree with the individual statements.  Since the Democratic platform and the votes from the Democratic Congress on abortion, they are not in the running.  I am a conservative Republican and have been since my votes for President Carter!  (Dad would be so proud!)

My husband of 54 years and I have two sons, both of whom are liberal voters.  But as with Dad and I, there is hope that they will see that a conservative vote will be best for our country.  I am now 75 years old and have been through many disappointing Executive, Legislative, and Court decisions.  Would I live anywhere else in the world?  NEVER!  Dad fought so that we can vote with confidence, and it is my duty to do that as a tribute to him and to my country.

P.S. This has been a cathartic experience for me to recognize why I vote the way I do.  I hope you will look at this question and recognize why you vote the way you do.