Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Brief History of my Presidential Election Voting Record

Next year, I will participate in my 11th Presidential election as an American of voting age. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have listed them below along with which candidate I voted for:

1976  Carter v. Ford.  I voted for Jimmy Carter who won with 50.08% of the vote.

1980  Reagan v. Carter.  I voted for Ronald Reagan who won with 51% of the vote.

1984  Reagan v. Mondale.  I voted for Ronald Reagan who won with 59% of the vote.

1988  Bush v. Dukakis. I voted for Bush who won with 53% of the vote.

1992  Bush v. Clinton and Perot.  I voted for Ross Perot who lost to Bill Clinton who won with only 43% of the vote.

1996 Clinton v. Dole and Perot. I voted for Dole who lost to Clinton who won with 49% of the vote.

2000 Bush v. Gore. I voted for Bush who won with 48% of the vote.

2004 Bush v. Kerry. I voted for Bush who won with 51% of the vote.

2008 Obama v. McCain. I voted for McCain who lost to Barack Obama who won 53% of the vote.

2012 Obama v. Romney. I voted for Romney who lost to Barack Obama who won 51% of the vote.

So, there you have it, my voting record. A few words of explanation.

1976 was my first vote. I was 18 and fittingly liberal. I liked Jimmy because he was an "outsider" and from the south. I associated Gerald Ford with his pardon of Nixon. Ford seemed old. Carter was a fresh face. Having zero experience living in the real world, Carter's policy prescriptions seemed fair and reasonable. After 8 years of Tricky Dick and his amorality, I was ready for a man of born-again sensibilities. I have no regrets for that vote. As horrible as Carter turned out to be as a President, there's no guarantee that Ford would have been any better.

1980.  It was difficult to admit that my guy had been a wretched failure, and there was alot to be suspicious of with Reagan, a B-List actor who was also pretty old. But after 4 years of amateur hour, I was willing to take a chance.

1984. Loved, loved, LOVED Renaldus Magnus, everything about him. Loved his style, loved his upbeat attitude and his will...and I wasn't alone. Reagan not only won a landslide in the popular vote, but won the electoral college tally by a crushing 525-13.

1988. Didn't much care for George H.W. Bush. He was the same age as my Dad and a nice enough guy, but a career politician if ever there was one. The Democrat in the race was an embarrassment..Dukakis?  Really?

1992. By 1992, my interest in politics was at it's highest level, from which it has never recovered. I was fully engaged and starting to believe that the country was in trouble.I didn't believe that Bush deserved another term, and there was something sleazy about Clinton. Ross Perot captivated me. After 10 years in business myself, finally, here was a tough-talking no nonsense businessman who I could relate to. In addition, he wasn't a lawyer ( a profession I had grown to loathe ) and he wasn't a politician. So I cast a ballot for Ross- Freaking- of two presidential votes that I regret and
the only one that I am profoundly embarrassed by to this day.

1996. Which brings me to my second voting regret. As slimy a guy as Bubba turned out to be, and as certifiably nuts as Ross Perot turned out to be, I ended up voting for Bob Dole. In retrospect, Clinton deserved a second term, but I was stubbornly anti-democrat and for the first time in my life voted "party". A mistake.

2000. I had big-time reservations about George "frat-boy" Bush. Was uncomfortable with the legacy implications with his family etc.  But there was no way in hell I was going to vote for such a pathetic, stick up his behind, arrogant smuck like Al Gore. Gore's weirdness meter since having gone off the charts confirms that I was right about him all along.

2004. No contest. The French-looking John Kerry, who as we all were told a million times, "served in Vietnam" was a cartoon character from the left. The democrats couldn't have nominated anyone more aloof and out of touch if their lives had depended on it. Although by this time I was thoroughly disgusted with George, I overcame a huge temptation to sit this one out altogether. Voted for Bush wearing a hat, raincoat and dark glasses.

2008. I remember standing in the voting booth looking at the ballot and thinking that something had gone badly wrong with the democratic process. I had been reduced to making a choice between a far past his prime war hero who looked and acted every day of his 70 years, and a complete novice junior senator from Illinois who had never held a real job in his life and about whom the public knew virtually nothing. Voted for the war hero with absolutely no joy.

2008. This time when I stood in the voting booth looking at the ballot, I KNEW that something had gone wrong with the democratic process. Once again, the Republicans had nominated the man whose turn it was, a Morman millionaire who seemed like a decent enough guy, but with the people skills of Hillary Clinton. Still, Barry didn't deserve, in my view, another four years, so I voted for the stiff white guy. Sigh...

My record so far at picking winners stands at 6-4. No matter who wins in 2016, my life will go on as
planned on November 7. The one thing that these 11contests have taught me is that the quality and purpose of my life isn't affected by the outcomes of elections.