Former President George H. W. Bush confirmed last week that he plans to vote for Hillary Clinton instead of his party’s nominee, Donald Trump, in the upcoming election. The 41st president joins a long list of prominent Republicans who will be crossing party lines this November to vote for a Democratic President.
Men and women who have spent their lifetimes representing the GOP are uncharacteristically voting for Hillary in 2016, but can you?
As a former Republican myself, I couldn’t imagine ever voting liberal when I first registered in 2000. I was both fiscally and socially conservative and believed government needed to be small and “job creators” could solve the financial problems of poor people. My Republican father taught me that liberals were offering handouts and creating a welfare state, which was the root of our societal evils.
Then 2007 happened.
The housing crisis exposed corporate investment loopholes and showed the world that the suits with money weren’t morally superior on account of their suits and/or their money. Rich “job creators” needed reform to keep them from exploiting the system, even more than those who were accused of exploiting social programs. In 2007, I lost faith in trickle-down Reagan-omics.
I lost faith in the Republican party.
I began to see that rich people were not necessarily noble, and poor people were not necessarily lazy. Both ends of the socio-economic spectrum needed checks and balances, reform and regulation, in order for society to function.
But what about my conservative social views? Namely, what about abortion?
Is it possible to be pro-life and vote for a Democrat? The answer is yes.
There is a misconception among pro-lifers that the best way to save unborn babies is through legislation, so many people ignore other social justice concerns in favor of being “one issue” voters.
Not only is that an inherently lazy way to approach democracy, but it also isn’t actually true. It turns out, the most important factor in cutting the abortion rate is access to healthcare.
If you really want to help women considering abortion, consider donating to a crisis pregnancy center near you. Unplanned pregnancies are more likely to be carried to term if women get the healthcare they need. The one issue for which many cast their vote is not, in fact, solved by the Supreme Court, but rather by the compassion and dollars of everyday folks supporting at-risk mothers.
George H. W. Bush knows what the rest of us are beginning to understand–that you don’t have to agree with a candidate on all of the issues to conclude that SHE will make a better president.
You can be a card-carrying Republican and still vote for a Democrat.