I sincerely apologize for the hiatus; however, I’ve been sick and unable to write. (I haven’t even been able to read the news as closely as I’d like to!)
Coming soon are articles on Joe Manchin, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Critical Race Theory, and Trump’s DOJ, along with others.
As a special treat, I’ll also be interviewing David Weissman (@davidmweissman), who was a staunch Trump supporter in 2016 and took a massive journey to become one of the most popular liberals online, starting with a Twitter exchange with a celebrity. He has a compelling story that I’m honored to be able to tell.
Thank you all for your patience, and I’ll see you soon!
While you’re waiting, I urge you to take the iSideWith Quiz to see which political party and candidates you most align with. Take the opportunity to answer as many questions as you can, and make sure you look at the other stances included in the quiz. Take a while to genuinely think about your opinions, whether they are congruent with your chosen party’s stance or not. Not all of them will be — and not all of them should be. Think for yourself. Challenge yourself.
As a Social Democrat, it was not surprising that the two parties I affiliated with the most were the Socialist (92%) and Democratic (91%) parties. But that’s not to say I learned nothing about myself while I was answering the questions. I found I answered many questions unexpectedly.
I was surprised that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the politician I most align with at 93%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 90%, Pete Buttigieg at 89%, Kamala Harris at 89%, and Joe Biden at 84%. (When asked who I would vote for in the next election, I hesitantly chose Kamala over Pete — after a lot of debate between the two — instead of AOC or Bernie.) Even more shocking was that I aligned with Kanye West 78% of the time — but let’s keep that one a secret!
As for Republicans, I aligned with Donald Trump the most at 19% (I couldn’t believe it myself, but I’m not going to be dishonest about it!), Candace Owens at 18%, Ben Shapiro at 17%, Mike Pence at 14%, and Ron DeSantis at 10%.
For Texas Governor, I selected I would vote for Beto O’Rourke. Still, I aligned with possible candidates Lina Hidalgo, Julian Castro, Wendy Davis, and Joaquin Castro more closely than I aligned with Beto at 89%. Unsurprisingly, I only aligned with current Texas Governor Greg Abbott 20% of the time. Actually, I’m a little taken aback that it wasn’t less.
The most fascinating aspect about the iSideWith Quiz is that you can go back to previous elections — all the way back to 1948 — to see how you align to prior politicians.
My first vote was in 2004, when I was freshly legal. I voted for John Kerry for President. I had not wanted him to win the primary, and I was the least enthusiastic about voting for him than I have been for the Democratic nominee in each subsequent election. It turns out, however, that I align with him more (91%) than I did with Barack Obama (87%), Hillary Clinton (85%), and Joe Biden (84%), even though I have been extremely excited about every other election.
I blame this on not being as knowledgeable at eighteen years old as I became in future elections. While I was interested in politics during the 2004 election, it wasn’t until around 2006 that I started becoming much more informed and educated about the world around me. However, agreeing with somebody more than 80% of the time means you agree with them about the vast majority of things, so I’ve definitely voted with my beliefs thus far. Moreover, I’m nothing but proud about each candidate for whom I’ve voted over the years, or I wouldn’t have voted for them in the first place.
It’s interesting to wonder how my politics have shifted during those 16 years, especially between the crucial ages of 18-34, the age I was in November when I voted for Joe Biden, the candidate I least align with. While my beliefs haven’t drastically changed, I have become somewhat more liberal with age, and the Democratic nominees have become more moderate over time. However, I believe I’ve become more likely and more excited to vote for a moderate Democrat in a Presidential Election because I feel that a moderate will be more likely to be able to make a more significant change in the United States, even if I would personally prefer somebody who leans more liberal to instill their policies in our country.
I have an anecdotal political story during those years that now primarily serves as a reminder not to judge somebody at first sight, and that stereotypes are often extremely untrue, but it was pretty amusing at the time. So I’ll include the moral of the story even though I’m just sharing it for fun.
I remember being so proud to wear my Obama/Biden shirt on election day on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, during my senior year of college. But, having said that, I didn’t know how much attention I would get from my peers for wearing it!
I attended one of the most conservative universities in Texas, Southern Methodist University, and was also involved Greek Life. There were no liberals in my social circle. If there were other liberals involved in Greek Life, I didn’t know them. (Of course, the opinions of many of my friends who were Greek in college have changed drastically since then, according to Facebook. For example, my Little in my sorority, who was on the board of College Republicans, is now more liberal than I am.)
I knew some people who shared the same beliefs as me. Sure, I was in SMU Democrats, but there were only a handful of us. And there were more left-leaning students in some majors, so I did meet some liberals on campus. My majors were Psychology and English with a Specialization in Creative Writing and a Minor in Women’s Studies, so my Creative Writing and Women’s Studies classes had many students who believed the same things politically as I did… but I guess they just never felt a blonde sorority girl would have anything in common with them. And most of them certainly never bothered to talk to me to find out.
I distinctly remember what I wore that day, as I had planned it for over a week. I was thrilled to put on my navy Obama t-shirt with a red polo underneath, skinny jeans, red patent flats, a red tote for my books (with a blue sorority pin on the strap, like we all put on our bags at our school), a red patent headband with a bow, and my pearls (obviously)… along with the obligatory “I Voted” sticker, of course. I felt so much American pride that day.
However, when I stepped out of my sorority house, I got looks — not looks of judgment or meanness — but more of confusion. I could tell the other students on sorority row were wondering where this outspoken liberal came from. (This was long before the days of talking politics on Facebook.) Needless to say, the stares and looks of confusion didn’t bother me, and I walked to one of my writing classes… where I received more stares and looks of confusion.
The small writing class was apparently also shocked to see the girl who they (whether they admitted it or not) believed was a dumb blonde and judged harshly over the previous four years for being a sorority girl — nominated for Homecoming Queen at SMU, of all places — wearing an Obama shirt. I received a barrage of questions that I wasn’t prepared for.
“You’re a Democrat?” (“Yes, I always have been.”)
“I didn’t think any liberals joined sororities. Greeks hate liberals.” (“Well, I did, and I love my sorority. I’m also in SMU Democrats… it was on my résumé when I went through recruitment, so clearly the sororities have no problem with it.”)
“Aren’t you originally from Texas?” (“Born and raised.”)
“So you really voted for Obama?” (“No, I’m wearing this for shits and giggles.”)
“I would have never thought that you would actually be liberal.” (“Maybe you should have talked to me and gotten to know me during the past four years instead of judging me.”)
Okay, I didn’t honestly answer the last two questions that way, but I really wish I would have, especially that very last comment. It was the day many of them stopped judging me, but it was far too late for that to matter to me. It infuriated me quite a bit that they then found me worthy of respect simply because they knew my political affiliation, and it still does. My political affiliation shouldn’t make anybody respect me; the person I am should earn people’s respect.
For the record, I do stay in touch with a few of my friends who were English majors and even a couple of professors (one of whom I consider a great mentor who actually reads this blog). They were people who never deemed me a dumb sorority girl to begin with, and actually got to know me. As for my sorority sisters, they always knew I was incredibly liberal. We all had different interests and beliefs, and none of us ever judged one another for it. If you had asked me before college, I would have told you the sorority girls would be the judgmental people, and the ones who shared my major and interest in writing would have been the tolerant and open-minded ones in my life, but it turned out to be the exact opposite.
It’s just a humorous memory now, but it also always reminds me not to assume I know exactly what somebody is like just by looking at them. You may have more in common with the blonde sorority girl than you think.
I hesitated to post this, but I agreed with Ted Cruz 11% of the time, but part of it was due to me wanting to vote in people with government experience. Needless to say, that 11% is still a bit mortifying!