I feel it necessary to say a couple of words about how the hot-button issues have been played out during this election cycle.
If you consider yourself a pro-life or pro-gun or anti-tax or anti-gay-marriage voter, I hope you realize that based on their tactics, it seems pretty obvious that the Republican Party considers you little more than a well-trained, reliable automaton. They feel that all they have to do is push your particular button (“Tax-and-spend liberals!” “He’s going to take your guns!” “They’ll kill all the babies!” “They’ll destroy marriage!” etc., etc.) and you will reflexively spit out your vote for them, no matter what else they have done to help or to harm you, your family, your community, your nation, or the world. For that matter, to be fair, I should point out that the Dems regard the pro-choice, environmental, anti-war etc. electorates in much the same way – but it is clearly the Republicans who have taken more recourse during this election cycle in the manipulative techniques of fear and distortion.
This rankles me no end – not because I think you shouldn’t be supporting whomever you’re supporting, but because I would want you to be doing so based on actual reasons, rather than lies, half-truths, and innuendos. In a democracy, we should be able to have reasoned discussions, and reasoned disagreements – but the shrill tones of alarmists of any stripe damage our discourse, and make it harder for us to truly hear each other. If you catch me doing something similar, please feel free to call me on it.