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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Closet Democrats, Catholic Voters and Northern Michigan Democrats ...

I have met several “closet Democrats” here in Alcona County recently. I’m sure everyone knows or suspects who, among your friends or acquaintances, they may be. Some are business people who are afraid of losing clients or business if their true loyalties were known. The independent, conservative culture in this county has many Democrats subdued, indeed, some even run as Republicans in various village, township and county elections. We know however from past Democratic Caucuses in the county that there are a good number of Democrats. Also, there are a fair number of independents who have voted Democratic before and may do so again in the November election. The buzz that I’ve heard from some staunch Republicans is that they are unexcited by the candidates they have to choose from and quite simply put off by most. Listening to them is quite satisfying for me and I suspect emotionally purifying for them. The Huffington Post recently reported that 10% of Republicans may vote , in fact, for Obama ! That 10% may be all that remains of the old Republican Party and it may be the only way they can still register their disappointment with the candidate field as it exists.

Interestingly too, Catholics have whispered to me that they want the option of birth control and that when they enter the voting booth only God and they, themselves, will know how they voted – wink-wink.

I have said it many times, and don’t mind repeating it, that the 1st Congressional District is Michigan’s Northern Congressional District – something that makes us unique. As such, our ilk of Democrat is something that sets us quite apart from the down state crowd. That’s why we can have a Democratic Representative from 1993 – 2010 and can still manage to lose the seat to a Republican. Yes, the Tea Party had something to do with it but there was that independent thing again too. By the election results we can see that People who voted Democratic in the past voted FOR Benishek. In 2012, no doubt some of those will have “buyer’s remorse” and come back to vote Democratic again this fall. The November election is OURS to LOSE. The establishment Democrat is Gary McDowell, a good man and a solid Democrat but “ Houston We have a Problem” – he’s running because the downstate Democratic establishment wants him to. He toed the line in the State House and that is why he is the “chosen one”. But wait ! This time around we have a choice and we want to use our votes sort of like those Republicans who feel disenfranchised - we want to vote our national party but we also want to send a collective message to the State Democratic party and the DNC. Mr. McDowell ran against Benishek before and was handily defeated ... there was no great groundswell of support for him and his stump speeches were more about asking for donations than talking about the issues. I'm a U.A.W. Retiree and one of my U.A.W. friends asked me why I'd campaign against a guy ( McDowell ) who has a good record on Labor issues. I told him that having Benishek gain a second term and saying that, " well, at least Gary did have a good voting record" doesn't do anything for me. What's important in Northern Michigan are Northern Michiganders and with all due respect, there is a really good Northern Michigan Democrat running - Derek J. Bailey.

 We, in Northern Michigan,  have a good man in Derek J. Bailey. He’s uniquely qualified and experienced in listening, problem solving, community and economic development and is well respected in both the upper and lower peninsula. He’s A Northern Michigan Democrat from Northern Michigan’s 1st Congressional District and that’s important to Northern Michiganders like us. He’s one of our own and when we choose him we know he will be with us and for us , unbeholden to forces and influences from outside the district. That means a lot in both state and national politics. It means he has the power of that Northern Michigan spirit and that he must be consulted and respected – and when that happens – Northern Michigan is respected.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a practicing Catholic decidedly pro-life and a gun owner...and a
    dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, much in the mold of former Congressman,
    Bart Stupak. The observation that Catholics "wink-wink" on the
    contraception issues, and I would surmise regarding abortion, is not
    as simple to a Catholic as a "wink-wink". For a non-Catholic to
    comment on the perceptions of living and practicing with one's faith
    instlled conscience is tantamount to a caucasion purporting to know
    what it's like to be black. The current debate over health insurance
    coverage for birth control, or possibly abortion is deeply conflicting
    for devout Catholic Democrats whose ultimate goal is to save one's
    immortal soul at the end of life.

    That said; I also have long-held taht our Church is run by a hierarchy
    of celibate old men making judgements for married Catholics and
    women's health. Therein lies the conflict. I've long viewed our
    Bishops and Cardinals as CEO's out of touch with secular life and
    rigid in their shepherding of the mindless flock. Yes, on the matter
    of contraception in whatever form is an individual choice, Catholic or
    not, between the individual and their God. On the matter of abortion,
    there's little doubt about the mortal consequences in this Catholic
    conscience. In the final analysis, we all will face our Final
    Judgement with a much Higher Authority than government at any level.
    But, will this conflict of conscience cause me to vote for GOP
    candidates who spout their 'family values'? Not on your life!

    I will, however, let my Democratic office holder and candidates know
    my objections to abortion and urge them to vote on those issues
    accordingly. No Dem should rise or fall based on this single issue
    unless they make it their primary mission in office, and then that's
    why there's a primary election. Nor, will I stand for politics from
    the pulpit, whether it be from a priest, minister, or rabbi, telling
    me how or who to vote for or suffer the pains of Hell. I left St.
    Catherine in Ossineke as long as a pastor who tried that at Mass was
    there, and only returned when he was gone. No point in going to Mass
    and coming away angry. I just attended another parish until the
    offending priest departed. Too often Republican candidates are
    painted as saviors of the unborn while the Dem candidate is demonized
    as a baby killer. Bart Stupak and Dale Kildee's records in Congress
    should have dispelled that notion.

    Presidents and Members of Congress will stand before our Maker on
    Judgement Day, just like the rest of us. The Bread and Butter issues
    for the 99% trumps this debate on so-called moral matters. Yes, I
    know Catholics who are so entrenched in their blind faith as to cross
    over in an election at the expense of bread & butter issues. Sad but
    true.

    One Catholic Democrat's unvarnished view. If I'm to burn in Hell for
    eternity, I suspect it will be for faults far worse than how I vote. I believe that
    if Jesus Christ walked the earth today and lived in the U.S., he would
    be a Democrat and a Union Man! As a good friend of mine, who's a
    devout member of the Assembly of God, points out; In reading New
    Testament scripture, Jesus didn't hob-nob with Kings and Pharisees or
    live the privileged life, but He lived among the poor and healed the
    sick.

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