The first time I was old enough to vote was during the 2004 showdown of Bush Vs Kerry. I was in yeshiva at the time and I remember a few weeks before the election the rosh yeshiva giving an address to the entire beis medrash informing us that the gedolim had instructed everyone who was old enough to vote for George Bush. At the time I didn’t question it, mainly because I didn’t really care about politics, but I do remember there was one guy in the entire yeshiva who was planning to vote democrat, and surprisingly, was actually “out of the closet” about it. He would debate anyone who was willing about his reasons to vote for Kerry, which if I remember correctly were based around the idea that he would be good for the economy and had better policies. I remember there was no real reason given for why we were all supposed to vote republican, probably because I suspect it was to do with gay marriage and other issues that were best not talked about. Fact was we didn’t care about politics anyway and if the gedolim told us to vote republican then that’s what we would do, and who was going to question daas torah?
Today I feel qualified to make up my own mind on whom to vote for. I tend to vote Democrat and not just because I’m a filthy socialist who wants to see America brought down from the inside. I can’t front, it’s because I pretty much see Republicans as hippocrites who use the family values platform to gain the votes of the poor and religious and then slash taxes for the rich and big business to get the votes of everyone else, at least everyone else above the wealth line. Though I do think Republicans have their uses. Christine O’Donnell alone filled comedy show scripts for weeks.
One of my teachers in high school was a fantastically wealthy guy who taught school simply because he didn’t have to work anymore. I personally, would have spent that time building a lair under a volcano and investing in pinky rings and cats, but that was his choice. I remember right after Bush was elected for the first time, he came into class, sat in his chair, leaned far back with his hands behind his head and said “Bush… that’s my guy. I’m buying three cars this year because of this tax cut they’re passing.”
I guess the connection between Republicans and wealthy was made for me when I was that young. Or maybe I’m wrong and still have to figure out where I really fit into politics.
Check back with me in ten years.