The excuses seem to be starting a little early this year. It has been common in the last few years for Democrats to make all manner of excuses after an election to explain why they have lost another one. But we still have over 4 months to go before this election, and I've already been told by some Democrats that if Perry wins, it will be my fault because I am supporting Kinky Friedman. That's because I am a progressive, and many Democrats feel that the Democratic party owns the votes of all left-wingers.
I used to be a Democrat. I became a Democrat in the 1968 election as a supporter of Hubert Humphrey for president. For many years, I voted the straight Democratic ticket and worked within the party for change. I was a precinct worker and later chairman, a campaign worker, delegate to five state conventions, etc. But then things began to change, and one day I woke up to the fact that my party had left me. It seems the leaders had decided that to beat the republicans, Democrats had to become more like them, so the party had lurched to the right and left me without a party.
I toyed with the idea of becoming a Green, but finally decided I liked the freedom of being an independent. As a left-winger, I still find myself supporting and voting for most Democratic candidates. I just don't have to support the conservatives or incompetents that sometimes slip through the nominating process of the Democratic party. In 2000 and again in 2004, I voted for Ralph Nader for president. I am proud of both of those votes. It is one of the few times in my life that I was able to vote for a candidate I truly believed in.
But many Democrats became incensed at losing in 2000 and 2004, and instantly blamed the Nader voters. They obviously believed that if Nader hadn't run, all his votes would go to Democrats. No one can know if this is true or not. I know my vote would not have gone to someone I perceived as a weak candidate running a poor campaign no matter what party they were in.
Democrats are good at the blame game after an election. It never seems to occur to many of them that maybe they lost because they nominated a poor candidate, ran a bad and underfinanced campaign, and let the republicans set the agenda and define the terms. It is much easier to blame the Nader voters than to accept blame for your own screw-ups.
I am a supporter of Kinky Friedman for governor. I have been a fan of his for the last 30 years. I know who Kinky is and I like him and respect him. I will be voting for Kinky in November. This has upset some Democrats. Several have even remarked that if Perry wins, it will be my fault. Once again, Democrats think they should have ownership of the votes of all left-wingers.
It is sad that the excuses would start this early. Are these Democrats already thinking they are going to lose? If they do lose, it won't be because of Kinky. It will be because they ran a candidate that could not get the people to vote for him. Democrats need to look to their own party for answers, and stop blaming independents for their own failures.
Except for the governor's race, I am supporting the full slate of Democratic candidates this year. I am doing this because they have a great slate of down-ballot candidates, not because I owe them my vote. But many other Kinky supporters are becoming disappointed with the Democrats for demonizing them. I know several who are seriously considering not voting for a single Democrat. I urge Democrats to be careful. Don't throw away down-ballot votes because of your zeal for your candidate for governor.