WASHINGTON, November 7, 2012 – A very close friend who voted for Obama in 2008 broke the news that she was voting for Mitt Romney in 2012. To her it was as simple as looking at the two candidates, comparing, contrasting, and deciding which one would benefit the economy of the country the most.
She is a registered Independent, single, in her mid-twenties, a college graduate, living in New York City, and white. She was the type of person the Republican Party always dreamed of swaying over. Unfortunately, she did not understand the consequences of being vocal about voting Republican.
Many people, including those of differing opinions, stayed mum on the topic. However, one of her closest friends - a gay man who has been chronically underemployed since receiving his master’s degree, and perpetually single - went ballistic when she told him.
“You want me to be a second class citizen!” he exclaimed.
Several of her single female friends, gay friends, and even one transgendered friend, maligned her for her opinion. They spoke out against her, despite that she supported homosexual marriage and that she came to this decision based on what was better for the economy. Nevertheless, she had to suffer through phone calls, text messages, and Facebook posts from people who needed scold her and explain that she doesn’t know what she is doing by voting for a Republican.
After all, Democrats know a woman can make the best decisions for her vagina, but not her pocketbook.
My friend stayed true to her opinion, and never backed down or stated that she made a mistake. She remained her bubbly apolitical self, posting on her Facebook that no matter who won she would leave the country because she loves to travel.
My friend wasn’t the only one who was treated like she traitor to many of her kin. A good friend of mine, Shirley Husar, is a married black mother of four who also voted for Obama in 2008 but voted for Romney in 2012. She too was berated. Shirley was called a “race traitor”, “ignorant”, “a stupid N-word”, and plenty more.
Shirley told me “no one in the Tea Party ever called me the kind of words that black democrats on black radio called me.” She said, “I don’t agree with the Republican Party on a lot of things, especially on how it ignores the urban community.However, I think for myself and I don’t vote out of emotion - I use logic.”
Gay Republicans have it worse. Alex Bales, a white, homosexual, college sophomore stated he’s been called an “Uncle Tom” and is a “Jew supporting Hitler.” Jimmy LaSalvia, the Co-founder of the gay Republican group GOProud, has been told he’s a “house faggot”, “he should have been aborted”, he is “a bitter party of one”, “self loathing republican”, and much more.
Jimmy, more than most, puts himself out there to be attacked, and has often been physically threatened because his thoughts led to a different conclusion than the thoughts of others.
I am a white male and will never have to go through what my friends go through, I am expected to vote Republican and will never be told that I am a traitor to my people. It is acceptable for me to have the freedom of speech, expression and thought without being a traitor of some sort.
So to those people, may they be black, gay, female, Hispanic, or anything in between, who are expected to vote in line for something they disagree with. I salute them. All of them give me hope and inspire me.
Despite all our differences, they are my comrades. Never give up. Keep raging against the machine.
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