It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of those liberties which make the defense of the nation worthwhile.
It is those words upon which I reflect tonight. I spoke to a mindless Republican drone earlier today who said that I supported Senator Obama because I'm a Democrat. The simple truth is the reverse: I became a Democrat long after I became a supporter of Senator Obama and, in large part, as a direct result of his integrity and leadership.
After months of exhaustive research, I voted for Senator Obama on January 29, although, in accordance with DNC and RNC rules and through compromise, that vote was not counted until February 5 of this year. However, I did not first self-identify as a Democrat until some time last week. In the end, I realized that the Republican Party in its current incarnation is an utter betrayal of many, if not most, of this nation's highest ideals. They are an embodiment of Chief Justice Warren's aforementioned irony. As a result, I could no longer continue to commit treason against my conscience or betray this country or its future by aligning with the GOP, as libertarians are often wont to do in the absence of a Libertarian Party candidate.
It's a cop-out and an abdication of one's responsibility to think rationally to say that I only support Senator Obama because I'm a Democrat. It presupposes the wrong question and the wrong answer. The question is not, "Why do I support Obama?" The answer is not "Because I'm a Democrat." The correct question is, "Why did I become a Democrat?" I voted for Bob Dole in 1996, and I voted for Bush the Dumber in 2000 and 2004. This party switch was in no way easy for me, and in fact, was a very long time in coming. With my earlier conservative roots, I still favor shrinking and localizing government and making it more responsive to the people. The GOP is no longer that party, but even if it were, it would not have been enough for me to stay. I still remember asking a nice older lady why she was a conservative when I was a young adult and a staunch conservative, and she said, "Because I love freedom." In the many years since, that has stayed with me, and that is ultimately why I can no longer align myself with what had been my ideological home for so long when I was younger.
These days, it is the Democrats who favor and enact smaller, more responsive government. These days, it is the Democrats who fight for freedom and the rights and advancement of the average person. These days, it is the Democrats who are the last defenders of the Constitution of the United States of America. As a result, it is with the Democratic Party my loyalties must lie if I am to remain true to my country and to myself. The Democratic Party talks with pride about being a "big tent". As a civil libertarian, I feel at home here. Ideologically, I finally feel at peace with my own nature in a way I never did when I aligned myself with the GOP, even before they became too extreme. It feels nice. It feels warm, and I have never felt so free.
For those who would vote for McCain/Palin, I feel the need to caution you that, should the path set forth by Bush be continued or even more grossly perverted by Senator McCain and Governor Palin, we could easily become a police state, and those ideals for which our ancestors fought will have been for naught. If you love the America you grew up in, the America we all want to be passed on to the coming generations, the only real choice is a vote for Senators Obama and Biden on November 4. Our children and our future deserve nothing less.