Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Planting my flag

When I was a girl, my father gave me his opinion about politics.

“Kim,” he said, “don’t affiliate yourself with a party right off the bat. Stay independent. See where you fall out on the issues. Your opinions on things will likely change, and can always join one of the parties when you settle into adulthood.”

This seemed like pretty good advice, so when I registered to vote in the 1992 presidential election, I checked the “undeclared” box on my form and felt good about it. And for the past 16 years, being “unaffiliated” has been just fine, mainly because I didn’t care enough about the early stages of the presidential race to vote in the primaries.

But this is 2008, and a very, very different year. I have a strong preference this time around and the NJ primary is expected to be close.

I’ve always been sort of proud of my independent status. It meant, in a way, that no one owned me and while I know the sheet of paper I signed today doesn’t change that fact in any way, there is a strong possibility that I’ll switch back to unaffiliated at some point.

Though at 38, I do feel like my views are pretty solid and I feel more than safe not taking political advice from my father anymore. Especially given that the last time I saw him he told me he would not vote for Obama because he is a Muslim, which he most definitely is not. (Though even if he were, I’d vote for him just the same.)



Blogger ryssee said...

Day by day this race gets more interesting.
I was registered as "Undeclared" for many years, until I finally realized, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. Maybe I voted for Bill Weld once, but I always thought he was a Dem in Rep clothing.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Rocas said...

I also started out the same way and, I also made a declaration on a past primary election in order to ensure my candidate would win.
I should have known better…

I did also switch back to undeclared again.
Nobody owns me; Nobody (except my wife, 2 kids, dog, mortgage company and a plethora of other creditors).

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Etan said...

I declared for the first time this election also. Mostly because of the reasons you mention but also this is the first time I felt like my vote counted in a primary since NJ is no longer the last state to hold it's primary election.

I don't really like being declared but I can vote however I want so I may just flipflop my offiliation each election just to keep um quessing.

Hello by the way... I'm here by way of Rocas.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Ha! I went through the exact same thing this year! I so badly wanted to vote in the primary but I didn't want to give up my independant status of "undeclared" which everyone in my family always hassled me about anyway. But, I did it! It felt good, in an odd way. And, like you, I voted for Obama.

It's funny what a good candidate will prompt you to do (in my opinion)!

By the way, I always voted, just as undeclared. It was my badge of honor. It was my way of sayings, I vote however I want you can't label me. But, most of my voting tends to sway Democratic so I guess no one will really be surprised ;)

10:27 AM  

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