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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Vern

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

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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,

  8. 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.

  9. 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….

  10. I voted for a Republican sheriff once, and my hand has been shaking ever since.

    Both parties are nothing but a bunch of crooks, but the Republicans have been traitors as well. We need third parties to keep an eye on the two crook parties. We need a non-profit media so that everyone can’t be jacked at their whim. If we don’t get the money out we will be merely voting crooked corporations.

  11. Bev Harmon

    I wouldn’t ever again in my life vote for a Republican even if God was running on the ticket.

  12. Colleen

    I’m a registered Democrat, and have always voted straight ticket but given their record since 9-11,I’m not sure that putting democats back in the senate is going to change the slippery slope that our country is on. If you look at their voting record most voted for this illegal invasion of Iraq, they pushed the Patriot Act thru without even reading it and most voted for granting amnesty to the millions of illegal aliens that have invaded our country. I think the repubs and democrats are the same side of the coin…the demo’s are just the lessor of two evils but in the end your still voting for evil. We need to get rid of all the current politicians and bring in a 3rd party whose of the people, for the people, by the people so we can take back our country that was sold up the river by all the current politicians.

  13. ClarkB

    This article is an example of why our country is in peril. Such a simplistic reason for voting for the “other party”. This is knee-jerk politics.

    The fact is that the Republican House of Representatives is the only branch of government that is at all working for the people. The Senate, the Bush administration (Bush is RINO), and virtually ALL Democrats are selling us out to special intersts that want cheap labor and an illegal voting block.

    The only sensible approach is to actually LEARN about the policies and positions of those folks you can vote for and then vote for those that will protect the Constitution and our national sovereignity. If you don’t have the patriotic fervor, time, or wherwithall to study your local candidates, then you are better simply voting out the incumbent. Either way you will get a better government and will put the political elite on notice. If folks think that the election actually has anything to do with: abortion, Rep. Foley, terrorists, race, religion, or congressional pork; then they will continue to vote like idiots and we are all doomed. Simple as that …

  14. Warren Severin

    Democrat, Republican, what’s the difference? The Clinton administration wasn’t full of corruption? Maybe less than the Bush II administration. But why vote for the party that seems less corrupt at the moment? Why vote for the lesser of evils? We have other choices. The Libertarian party is the 3rd largest in the U.S. “The Party of Principle.” That’s the straight-ticket I’ll be voting this November.

  15. Love the article. Reagan is the reason I vote straight Democrat. It has taken years for the evil criminals of his era to find another dupe to do their bidding. I hope and pray that Americans take your advice and tell these Fascists in Republican guise that “we are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore”

  16. David Rosenberg

    Voting a “Straight Ticket” is not using your vote the best way. The Democrats have yet to set any agenda on any topic. Not even a suggestion of how to fix Iraq except to set a schedule of troop withdrawal.
    To vote Libertarian is just wasting your vote. I can only say, vote what affects you. Learn who is running and make your best choice. There are both good and bad in both parties, not every Republican is a crook and follows Bush mindlessly. Not every Democrat is the answer, some will just take over a position with his hand out.
    There is no perfect way, to pick the perfect person, doing deep research could be a waste of time. The media is no help so, we are left alone to do the best we can, on our own. Only our hope that the right person gets the seat is the only thing to count on.

  17. Libertarian Unitarian

    The Democrats? HAH! They are enablers, not reformers. They are co-conspirators, not the loyal opposition. Democrats have either voted along with Republicans on every awful act or remained silent.
    A vote for either major party is a vote for the status quo.

  18. mnjerry

    I am a registered Independence Party member, BUT there is no way in hell that I will vote for anyone who wears an elephant on their sleeve or even a flag on their lapel, as has been the custom of Republicans for too many past years.

    They have lost the right to govern this nation and it is only proper that the Democrats be again given the opportunity to do so again, BUT they too may expect to live an equally short life in-charge if they also fail to do it properly.

    I would like to vote for “none-of-the-above” by casting my votes for “other-than” again this year, just as I have done in the past, but it would be wrong as it would provide yet another opportunity to a party that has proven it is only in the mix to soak up the gravy while they can.

    I agree, vote ONLY for Democrats, and let those who you do vote for know that they are under a high strength microscope and will be judged as completely as have the Republicans.

    Above all, VOTE!

  19. Nuke 'n Pave Dave

    The problem with a Democratic straight party ticket is the same as a straight Republican party ticket. You still have the same idiots in office as you had before. As long as power is divided between these two parties, all we’ll ever get is the same old song. It’s time to fire ’em both and, as a result, I’m voting to fire ’em all. I’m voting a straight party LIBERTARIAN ticket. At least that way we’ll have (t least) a small chance of getting some fresh blood in there, instead of the usual gang of idiots…

  20. This next election it is imperative that we get rid of the Republican Majority Party. We will still be stuck with a Republican President for another two years..so at least by having a Democratic Majority in control of both the House and the Senate, there will be changes made.
    That appears to be the only path we have left to prevent another unnecessary war with Iran and Syria that Bush and his Neocons are panting for in their rush to drag us in before the election. Wise up, people, forget about voting a Third Party ticket this next time. It would be a waste and would change nothing at all for another two long murderous years. Do you really want that ?

  21. RLewis

    I could have dictated this article. My sentiments exactly! I am voting a straight Democratic ticket because I want my country back! I will NEVER again vote for a Republican! Although I believe a 3rd party is needed, I don’t believe this is the time – it will split the votes among those who want the Repubs out which could cause them to again win… a dreadful thought indeed!

  22. Veda Flick

    There isn`t much difference in a Democrat or a Republican.. The most obvious difference we are seeing and experiencing is the Party holding the Reins of this country for the last six=plus years. The Republican Party . It IS responsible to a larger degree than the Democrats, for this national upheaval happening in our country, and world. The wars seem “Republican-bent ‘ and Brought about , With full instigation and intent..by this Bush ( REpublican ) Regime. If the only way the great harms he and his bunch of Conniving , murderous crew can be brought down..is to Vote out every one of them and Install Only Democrats in their stead..to save our Country and Our Constitution…Then I am all for That. We have experienced too much blood-shed and sorrow that has been ditched out to us and the rest of the world.. to allow Any of them to stick around . Remember, People ! Vote Democrat. And Remember to do your own research on every one you do cast your vote in favor of. Many Republicans have begun ‘deserting their Ship,’and climbing aboard the Democratic Party Boat…in hopes of saving themselves from a sure drowning . ( They KNOW the Republican–Bush–‘Cause’ is Dead in the Water.) The People in this country are waking up and refusing to be called ‘Sheeple’ any longer ! So..Expect plenty of Change in Congress. But be diligent and vote wisely. You can well be voting for a bona-fide Republican who has jumped ship and is now masquerading under the guise of ‘the Donkey ! ‘ ( Meaning..the Clothes may be changed, but the “Person in the clothes is still the same.) I`m thinking that these years we all have endured under Repub-Rule has tarnished our belief in our guvmt. to a point that it is going to take a great deal of Effort and constant surveilance..to regain our Trust in whichever party is in office. The ‘elected’ now will have to be willing and capable individuals who are sincere about Working For the Best Interests of Our Country…and not “In It’ for personal Gain. WE, the people, can no longer be willing to settle for half-measure from any of our ‘duly elected officials, ever again. We have become so disillusioned with This present sitting administration that it will take more than a little Proving for us to trust again. Go to the Polls in November with a clear vision of each candidate ( As possible ) And don`t ‘just simply vote’… patting yourself on the back for doing your Civic duty. To do less than prepare..is to sail your vote right down the River..again. Clean House, but Do it in an informed manner ( as possible !)
    keeping in mind..the Repubs. Have run us off course ( albeit, with the assistance from some ‘Democrats turned yellow-livered’ at times when they were needed the Most, the fact still remains… We must Vote Democratic ! And for Peace. Vgf