… call yourself a Democrat or a Republican?
I’ve been thinking about this party label thing and wondering how others get to the point of choosing sides when it comes to party identification. (Here is a recent Gallup survey on party ID for the country.) It’s a question I’d love to pose to elected D’s and R’s who vote against so-called “party lines” on a regular basis. It also comes to mind when I think of the increasing polarization of the electorate. (A couple of articles on this here and here.)
More than anything, though, it is my conversations with people who have knee-jerk reactions to the party labels – and all the baggage that each entail – that makes me wonder what specific thing makes them identify with one party over the other. The world’s smallest political quiz doesn’t identify parties. While polarization has increased, I have personally witnessed a number of people who consider themselves conservatives rather than Republicans, or progressives rather than Democrats. Plus we have those folks in the middle – most often referred to as RINOs or DINOs. Personally, I’ve come to refer to them as homeless, because in today’s environment, they don’t fit anywhere.
Being a social liberal and a fiscal conservative makes me left of center. I recall a conversation I had years ago with a former mayor of Norfolk who told me that I had to pick a side. Being a three-fer, the Democratic Party more closely represents my core beliefs.
So my question, dear readers, is what specifically makes you call yourself a Democrat or Republican? (Or independent or Libertarian or …)