Monday, November 2, 2020

My History of Voting for the President of the United States


Since I started voting, I have always been an Independent.  I have voted for both Democrat and Republican nominees for President. No matter who I voted for, I have always voted 50% Democrat and 50% Republican down the ballot. This is because I believe in government accountability. No party should have all the power. My two main determinations on how I vote for President have to do with the economy and foreign policy. I don't care about social issues, at least when it comes to voting. With this being said, below is an outline of the history of my voting record. Something has now happened where everything I once believed no longer applies as of 2020.
According to my parents, of which I have absolutely no recollection, the first time I voted for the President of the United States was for the 1984 election between Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale. The reason I have no recollection of this is because I was eight years old. Apparently, because my father was nervous about it or not able to read the ballot and understand it properly, since his primary language and education was Greek, my mother had him take me along with him to fill out the ballot. I was told to vote for Reagan. Because of this, I like to say that the first President I voted for was Ronald Reagan in 1984, even though I was born in 1976. The only thing I do remember from this time, is that 1984 was the first year I began to give special attention to the election process and cycle for the United States President, and I remember being really happy and relieved that Reagan won by a landslide, and I stayed up late to follow the outcome.

In 1988 Reagan's Vice President George H.W. Bush ran against Michael Dukakis. This is when my parents changed from being Republicans to being Democrats. Michael Dukakis, the Democrat nominee, was not only the Governor of my state in Massachusetts, but he was also Greek and a personal friend of my father. I recall that as a child Dukakis would go to every Greek Church Festival when he was running for Governor, and on one occasion my father was talking to him for a while, then he called over my mother and I to introduce us. From my recollection, he introduced himself to me as the Governor with a big smile on his face and he shook my hand and gave me a pin from his campaign. My father was also a donor to his campaign for President, so he was invited to special events at the State House which he attended, and was also invited to the White House had he won, and Dukakis even gave him work since he was an electrician, but he lost to George H.W. Bush. Years later, my dad and I were driving in his car along Huntington Avenue, when suddenly someone jumped in front of the car, causing my dad to hit the breaks. It was Michael Dukakis, who was helping his mother cross the road. This reminded us of all that happened in 1988, and now we almost killed him. And till this day, my mother is the hairstylist of Kitty Dukakis. However, in 2016, when Kitty found out my mother voted for Trump, she tried to publicly shame my mother in front of her fellow employees at the salon, but my mom brought her back to her senses, and Kitty eventually apologized to her.

For the next Presidential election in 1992 between Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot, things became a little confused in my family. I was still too young to vote, so I recall at this time being confused as to who I should support. When I asked my mother if we should consider ourselves Republicans or Democrats, she told me Democrats. When I asked why, she answered that it was because Democrats are more in favor of the Middle Class while Republicans were more in favor of the rich. It didn't sound right, but I believed this for a while. So I considered myself a confused Democrat. Then my Social Studies teacher was asked by a student who he was voting for, and he made a case for Ross Perot, having abandoned the Republican party after the Iran-Contra Affair. So this time around, I was more in favor for either Bill Clinton or Ross Perot.

The 1996 election between Bill Clinton, Bob Dole and Ross Perot was an election I didn't really care about. Bill Clinton seemed like he was going to be reelected from the start, so I just considered him a two-term President. Even though I was old enough to vote this year for the first time, I didn't bother voting, even though I leaned anti-Clinton.

The first time I voted for President of the United States was in the year 2000, which was between George W. Bush, son of George H.W. Bush, and Al Gore, Clinton's Vice President. I paid a lot of attention to this campaign, having now been married and living in North Carolina. At this point, I was never comfortable labeling myself as either a Democrat or a Republican, so I registered as an Independent. The choice between the two candidates was very clear however - I was going to vote for George W. Bush. My primary reasons for voting for Bush were because he talked a lot about bringing the country together, having been forever divided now by the Clinton presidency, and this appealed to me, as well as the fact that Al Gore was just too liberal for my taste, and everything about him turned me off. Bush won.

I really liked Bush for the first two years of his presidency, then when he announced he was going into Iraq, I turned on him. In 2004 when he ran against John Kerry, another official from Massachusetts, I quickly supported John Kerry. Really, it was only about getting George Bush out. Bush loved war too much, and even though Kerry was a bad candidate, I had to support him because change was needed. I never considered myself a Democrat, but I still voted for Kerry, who ended up losing.

With four more years of the disaster known as George Bush, I hungered for change, no matter who the candidate was. When John McCain ran against Barrack Obama in 2008, I gave both a chance to prove themselves to me, but when I quickly realized McCain was just another version of George Bush, I turned against him and reluctantly embraced Obama, who I voted for. I never felt right about voting for Obama, but I felt I had no other choice. I couldn't take another four more years of anything resembling a Bush presidency. The night Obama won was the first time I felt good about my decision. I felt that perhaps he could actually help heal our country.

Boy was I wrong. I gave Obama a chance. He made a lot of indefensible mistakes, but I still defended him. When two years passed, I was really starting to have enough of Obama. He was a horrible President, probably the worst ever, but at least he was not as annoying as Bush. My attitude by now was to just give up on America. It was lost forever. When I started seeing jobs going overseas and America losing its status in the world as well as being terribly governed, I realized that America was no longer great and it was in for a big fall. When Obama ran against Mitt Romney, another former Governor of Massachusetts, in 2012, the obvious choice would have been Romney, but Romney never seemed to me to have what it took to restore America. He seemed very similar to Obama to me, just another weak and pathetic leader. I decided not to vote in 2012.

By this time my whole family had become staunch Republicans. I alone remained an Independent. When I asked my mom in 2016 why she became such a staunch Republican, she said it was because of me. Apparently, in 2001, when I moved back to Boston from North Carolina, I wanted to see a Bill O'Reilly interview on Fox News with Marilyn Manson, but since I was staying at my parent's house for a few weeks till I settled in my apartment, I asked my mom to turn the channel to Fox News for Bill O'Reilly's show. This was the first time I ever saw a Fox News program, and it was my mom's first time as well. Being a long-time CNN watcher, it would be many years before I watched Fox News again. But my mom was hooked, and through her and other circumstances my whole family became Republicans, besides the fact that Obama was such a failure as a President.

In 2016, despite my loss of hope in the future of the United States, and anticipating I would probably not vote again, the nominees were Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Like everyone else in America, I paid close attention to everything in the presidential race this year. And for the first time in a long time, my hope was being restored when I heard Donald Trump speak. For the first time in my lifetime, a Presidential nominee was saying the things that needed to be said, and it became a no-brainer to support him over Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump made a lot of great promises, but I didn't want to have my hopes up too much. If he was able to only deliver 25% of what he promised, he would be a successful President in my opinion. What I especially loved about Trump's message was that he would bring back jobs from overseas, that he would stand up to China, that he would destroy ISIS, that he would end the Iran deal, that he would stop America from getting ripped off by its allies, that he would hold the media accountable, that he would bring the economy to new heights, and that he would thus make America great again. It was a powerful message, and I became an enthusiastic Trump supporter.

Four years later, Trump has not disappointed. Not only did he keep 25% of his promises, but he exceeded all the promises he made, and he continues to work hard in fulfilling his mission. I consider the Democrat party as an ancient relic of failed Washington D.C. politics that needs to be eliminated completely. There is nothing left that is good or worth considering in the Democrat party. To me, they don't even exist. They will do anything to regain power, as has been evident these past four years, but Trump and his supporters have amazingly remained unphased by their cry baby tactics, full of lies and deceits. On the day Trump was unjustly impeached by the Democrat-majority House, I immediately sent in my application to become a Republican. If the Democrats no longer exist in my mind, why should I be an Independent. I was an Independent because I always voted 50% Republican and 50% Democrat, no matter what. I even did this in 2016. But from now on I will never give any Democrat my support. 2020 is an obvious choice to me - Donald Trump. In four years he has given me no good reason to criticize him, in fact I consider him the best President in the history of the United States, and today I consider myself a proud American, even though four years ago I had lost all hope for America. If he wasn't so opposed and distracted by hateful Democrats and their media allies over the past four years, with all their slanders and criminal behavior, I could only imagine all the great things he would have done, which is why he deserves at least another four years.
I happily voted for Trump/Pence on Friday by dropping my ballot off at the local ballot box. Unfortunately, today I received a phone call saying that my vote will not count, because I forgot to sign the envelope to match the signature on my ballot. How stupid is that! My only recourse is to vote in person tomorrow. I'm debating if I should even bother. I know Trump will lose Massachusetts. Is it even worth it? I'm still considering. I was hoping that by writing this I would come to a decision.