Young Doug Weathers (the adjective was recently vacated by order of the Nickname Marshal, Scott “Paladin” Greenfield) is discovering that maybe he doesn’t quite support the Republican Party in all its glory. He says, “for the first time in my adult life I voted for self-interest rather than perceived national interest.”
“Perceived” is the key word there. In the past, Young Doug tells us, he has supported the party that has brought us:
limits on jury verdicts to protect doctors regardless of the harm or lifetime costs to the victim . . . . accelerated statutes of limitation in medical cases. . . . greater governmental powers against individuals at the federal and state level. Search warrants for general exploratory searches. The very thing the 4th Amendment to the Constitution was designed to prohibit. Apparently we will be safer if we just trust the government without that pesky requirement of probable cause presented to a judge or magistrate. That was the same argument made by the Crown to the American colonies when soldiers would search homes and persons without warrant or probable cause. To hear the President, the world will end if huge telecoms don’t get immunity from wronged citizens filing suit. Not only does he not want to get warrants from federal courts to search electronic data, he does not even want to get the permission of a secret court set up just for that purpose. Too much trouble I guess. The government’s need of this information is necessary for security. To which I reply with one of my favorite quotes, “Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” William Pitt
Well at least at the state level Republicans have supported individual freedom. Right? Well yes unless you have been accused by the government of something. Then good luck. If you do not have a jury standing between you and the government there is little hope for you. If the government does something wrong or illegal during the trial, you can always appeal to a higher court. Right? Well — unless you did not preserve the issue for trial by waiving any error for lack of a specific enough objection. Form over substance. Or you did object and the error was preserved just right but the appeals court determines that the error was harmless. But at least you still have access to the courts. Unless you are a capital defendant and your brief comes in ten minutes late. Sorry you die. (For Texas readers you know what I am talking about)
Young Doug claims that he’s voting his best interests “for a change.” Unlike his fellow Fort Worth Imaginary Republican Shawn Matlock before him (“Republican from birth” because that’s what his parents are), Young Doug isn’t pretending that the Republican Party hasn’t brought us eight years closer to tyranny.
But, c’mon now, Young Doug. When you voted Republican you might have thought it was best for the country, but it wasn’t a philanthropic act. You thought it was in your own interest. Among other things, you expected lower taxes accompanied by more protection from the Dangerous Brown People.
Now that you see that it wasn’t such a good idea, that a marginal increase in protection from the Dangerous Brown People comes only at a tremendous cost to our freedom and that, thanks to tax cuts, our children’s children’s children will be paying for that protection for their entire earning lives, you’re realizing that your previous self-interested voting pattern wasn’t such a hot idea either for you or for the country. You’re realizing that what you then “perceived” to be in your own and the nation’s best interest was in neither.
It’s okay to vote in your own interest. If your chief interest is in being free, then voting in your own interest is probably best for the nation as well. Man up, admit your mistake, and move on. You’ll loathe yourself less.