Several of my fellow bloggers have recently decided to lay off of Harold Ford Jr. through the November election. I’ve already done so, but I just thought I’d weigh in on this debate.
I do not agree with Ford on a host of political issues. I also do not think he is the candidate we could have run with the most state-wide appeal. I deeply wished we had been given a real choice in the primary. I voted for John Jay Hooker simply as a protest.
I will, however, be voting for Ford in November. I think he is most likely going to lose, but if he didn’t lose the direction the country is headed would change drastically. He doesn’t screw the base on every issue, but he does on too many for me to not become nauseous. If he won though, we would take back the Senate. If we take back Congress the following issues would be brought up: stem cell research, minimum wage increases, increases in access to healthcare, increases in funding for education, withdrawal from Iraq, investigations into government corruption, and increased access to financial aid.
These are issues that would not be brought up for a vote: a gay marriage amendment, more tax cuts, English as the official language, flag-burning amendments, etc.
If Ford voted against us on EVERY single issue, we’d come out ahead. He won’t, however. I don’t trust the man, but if the Democrats controlled the agenda the debate would be framed totally differently and he’d have a totally different set of bills to vote on.
Ideology is CRUCIALLY important. I’m a Democrat because I care about equal access to the “American Dream.” I care about the issues that will be brought up under Democratic leadership.
Those who complain about Ford (myself included) should put our money where our mouth is if he loses. You don’t like him? Get someone else elected. Did you volunteer for Kurita or give money? If you don’t like her, did you find a candidate you did like and call and write and meet with him to bully them into the race?
Do it next time. Complaining about politics is all well and good. There is plenty to complain about. Actually changing politics requires a lot more. When it comes time to vote in November, practical politics is the only choice I have left. The very next day, it’s back to changing the party though. The two approaches ARE not mutually exclusive.