Time to vote a straight ticket


Given that I am a passionate (some say crazed) liberal, people are surprised when I tell them I’ve probably voted for almost as many Republicans as Democrats.

But it’s true, in part because I have resided in Democratic territory — Illinois, North Carolina and New Mexico. So, I voted for a lot of qualified, moderate Republicans in my own, puny effort to balance the political turf.

So, there. I’ve outed myself. I am actually an independent moderate who flip-flops.

Not this year. This election, I intend to walk into that voting booth and pull the Democratic Party lever to vote what will be my first, straight party ticket.

I hope the vast majority of American voters do likewise, because if ever this country needed a sweeping change, it’s now. The arrogant Republican roughshod rule must end. They had their chance, and they gave George W. Bush carte blanche. It’s past time for balance — a Democratic House and Senate that, at least, will force compromise, oversight and accountability.

You don’t have to be anti-Bush or anti-Republican to pull the Democratic lever. Just pro-American. Forget what you think you know about Democrats or have been told about the Democratic Party. Neither party has a lock on national security. Ignore the stereotypes mouthed by the TV talk show neocons — a druggie, a sexual harasser, a dancing bow tie and a caustic plagiarist. Use your own intellect, judgment and power to restore an even keel to our rolling ship of state. Trust that moderate Republicans will work with Democrats to restore the faith — from Iraq to the national forests to the federal ledger to Medicare.

As a people, we need to send a message that country comes before party; that we may be a capitalistic republic, but it is not for sale; that even the most powerful nation on the planet must sheath its sword unless directly threatened; that we really, truly, honestly, actually do not torture.

We need to remind the Republican Party that just because it won, this doesn’t give it license to rule without consideration for the other 49.5 percent of the people.

We need to tell the likes of Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert that lying to the people is never a good idea — but lying to them about the urgent need to sacrifice their sons and daughters and to kill or maim tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi women and children is absolutely criminal.

We need to holler at the Republican-controlled House and Senate, telling them that we know conservatives — people who balance budgets, protect America, preserve national resources and do not squander their children’s future _ when we see them, and they are no conservatives.

We need to shout that in America, you govern, not rule.

So do yourself and your country a favor. Search your heart and soul. Vote straight Democratic on Nov. 7. Your children and their children will thank you.

Let’s get back to being the America of our parents and their parent’s parents.

(Larry Spohn is The Albuquerque Tribune’s deputy editorial page editor.)

(Contact Larry Spohn of The Tribune in Albuquerque, N.M., at www.abqtrib.com.)


  1. Kerry

    Something tells me that even one if does pull a “straight” (interesting choice of word in light todays articles)ticket vote for the Dems or the Libs, somehow or other it woudl end up going over into the Reps column….

  2. Dan

    My only concern (though I agree with all Dems this time) is that it will take a Dem congress and president in 08 to actually undo some of the laws passed. But, if the people think there is safty in keeping the two split, then we will be stuck with the country created by Bush et al.

  3. Donna Hughes

    When in the cold, hard light of the day following the ’04 election it really hit home that Bush and his henchmen had inexplicably been re-elected, the only comfort I had was the thought that “Now they have been given enough rope to hang themselves.” And so it comes to pass..

    Unfortunately also true was the email that went around in ’04: “No one died when Clinton lied.” And they have kept on dying for two more years now, with no end in sight,

  4. Lou Raskin

    Reaction is understandable—the need for extensive change in the Congress and the Administration is vital. Hopefully more and more voters are “seeing the light” and they will do the same as Larry Spohn intends to do.

  5. carolyn seeger

    i find democrates are willing to give our country to mexican illegals so i am voting anyone not dem or rep. well can they be worse? don’t think so.

  6. Vern

    Opps! My response was to the article and the first post. I don’t believe this is the time to try the third party attempt again. Ralph tried that and took most votes from the Democrats, hence: enter the GOP, with disasterous results. Nope, time to get the country out of this mess.

  7. Vern

    Absolutely. Gingrich said himself after the Contract On America take over to vote them out if they fail. They failed. Big time.

  8. A thoughtful essay indeed, but Rs and Ds are two sides of the same evil coin. So I’m voting straight Libertarian, which deprives any Republicans of my vote and empowers a desperately needed third party.

  9. liz

    Kudos for a well written well thought out article. I feel exactly as Larry and will be pulling the DS lever exclusively. Hope many more Americans will too