The Great Divide

Politics of Partisan Neutrality

Louis Bolce and Gerald De Maio
Copyright (c) 2004 First Things 143 (May 2004): 9-12.

“Americans who want to understand conflicts between Democrats and Republicans
during the election season have received precious little help from the media. While
reporters usually recognize that there is some sort of problem about ‘values’ and
about ‘faith-based’ principles, and that the Democrats and Republicans are often
on opposite sides, writers and editors tend to publish news and analysis as if the
situation were as follows: The Christian right, having infiltrated the Republican
Party, is importing its divisive religious ideas into our public life, whereas the
Democratic Party is the neutral camp of tolerant and pluralistic Americans.”

This gives me some insight into what’s happened to the Democratic Party. I was raised
by staunch Democrats and I voted as a Democrat for 7 years. Now I’m independent
and I register either Republican or Democrat depending on which primary is more
crucial to my beliefs (such as the Toomy vs. Specter race). I used to the think
Republican party was just a bunch of redneck Evangelical yahoos. I’m starting to
understand why so many of my Christian brethren vote Republican. The party still
does things that disgust me, so I won’t declare myself a Republican anytime soon,
but I’m more open to their point of view.