by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 25 July 2007)
I know quite a few political conservative Americans who have made a conscientious switch from being Republican to become a Democrat in the last five years. To understand the gravity of such a move, one would have to know that for some Americans, this is like a PPP supporter becoming a member of the PNC.
I have watched carefully over the past few years as it dawned on the American people that the leader they elected was leading the country to ruin. Moreover, this phenomenon of conservative Americans turning to the Democratic Party for guidance is not occurring in a trickling state, but as a waterfall.
Although this trend has been going on for a few years now, it was last week when I talked to my brother that I realised just how serious this could be for the Republican Party. If someone wanted to know how to define a conservative American, my brother would be the perfect example.
He is a God-fearing man from America’s heartland whose principles line up with that of the Republican Party. Just a few short years ago my brother would rather have eaten dirt than to say Hillary Clinton should be in the White House. Although my brother is very smart, I never gave him credit for being able to see the impact U.S. policy has beyond the shores of America.
While talking on the phone the other day, he made a startling statement to me that caused me to rethink my brother as a person. My brother – the strict conservative Republican - intends to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2008 if she gets the nomination.
For someone like my brother to decide to vote for a Democrat (and Hillary at that!) in the next national election means that a new day has truly dawned in the U.S. This means that even the staunchest of Republicans are realising that a great wrong has been done and it is up to the voters to make it right again.
It is one thing for a woman or a loyal Democrat to say that one intends to vote for Hillary Clinton. It is a whole other story for a highly conservative white man from Middle America (like my brother) to declare that he believes Hillary Clinton is the only one who can save our country from the disaster Bush and his administration has created.
I have seen many people make this switch from the Republican Party to be a Democrat. I have seen those in the military make the switch in droves. Even the July 9 issue of Fortune Magazine declared on its front page, “Business Loves Hillary.” In smaller letters below the headline and in parentheses it then said, “Who Knew?”
Indeed, who would have ever thought big business would support a Democrat as a candidate since the Dems are typically known for championing the plight of the poor and middle class. The rich have always despised the Democrat candidates. What a switch!
I made the switch as well, but mine was made early on when it was apparent that Bush intended to start an unprovoked war regardless of what the American people wanted. I was one of those voters looking around in disbelief that such a leader could get voted back into office to cause more harm after the last elections.
Hillary Clinton is just one of the many viable Democratic presidential candidates. There are a handful of potentials to choose from – each just as qualified as the next. My astute brother pointed out to me that it was not worth the time to even browse the poor selection of Republican candidates.
I still cannot seem to fathom that my conservative brother is voting as a Democrat. It would appear that Bush is the best thing that has happened to Democrats in a very long time. During the congressional elections last November, the American people gave the Democrats control of Congress and as a result, this week the poorest of the nation have seen the first rise in minimum wage in ten very long years.
Hillary Clinton’s response to the fact that big business supports her candidacy was that CEOs and other business leaders “know I’m trying to figure out how we can have shared prosperity.” Let me get this straight, Clinton is suggesting shared prosperity and big business is still supporting her?
I am completely convinced that because of Bush, there is nothing the Democratic leaders can do wrong at this point. Morgan Stanely CEO, John Mack, is a long-time Republican who has been won over by Clinton as well. Morgan Stanely is a U.S. multi-billion dollar investment company that has over 55,000 employees.
When conservative Americans, like my brother, and big business CEOs, like John Mack, voice their obvious support for a Democratic presidential candidate, it is clear that the very foundation of American politics is changing.
Although I loathe the way this change has come about – with the lives of so many by way of Bush’s unjustified war in Iraq – it is encouraging to know that people are willing to change even their core belief systems if they recognise a leader intends to use their loyalty for evil purposes.
I am very comforted that my own brother, someone whom I always viewed as immovable when it came to politics and religion, is actually far more open-minded than I could have ever dreamed. I do not even want to think of what this world would be like if people like my brother continued to believe the government’s lies.
It gives me hope to know that so many are willing to change their entire political orientation to do what is right for the nation and for the world.
Now I dare you to take the time to understand how the previous sentence (and the entire column) applies to Guyana. Not that I would suggest that anyone should switch from one evil to another, but to change the very foundation of Guyanese politics to do what is right for the nation.