Choosing Sides

David’s frustration was not feigned. My friend’s confusion was very real. Why wouldn’t I become a Republican? He could not understand my reluctance to change sides. With my occasional bouts of logic and my appearance of reasonableness, I didn’t fit his image of a Democrat.

Before this goes much further, I should probably note that my friend’s name really is David. Get a bunch of Jewish guys of a certain age together and you will inevitably have several David’s, Marc’s, and Jeffrey’s.

David happily listed some of the Dem’s shining stars. He flung names like Pelosi, Reid, and Waters like accusations. I calmly told him that when Republicans refer to a person of color, they usually mean John Boehner. I think I got in an Agent Orange joke, too.

This wasn’t the first time we had had a conversation like this. It won’t be the last. David admitted that the Republicans did have some members on the far right, but he felt that my experience in the 90’s of leading the New Democratic Policy Council would lend a moderating influence. And at that I said, “No thanks”. I can stay where I am and help my own party find the sensible center.

I am, officially, a Democrat. But in truth, I really belong to a party that has only one member and I’m sometimes at odds with him. I don’t think I fit neatly into any particular box and I’m always amazed by those people who do.

Some of you may think that this is a perfect segue to a discussion of the church closings in Greater Cleveland and the one group that didn’t meekly go away. It is not. I thought the letter to the editor published in the Plain Dealer from Reverend Kenneth Chaulker was out of place. I prefer to leave the discussion of Catholicism to Catholics.

A month of so ago the Democratic Party ward clubs of several eastern suburbs were going to have a candidates’ night. The purpose was to gather all of the Democratic candidates for the new Cuyahoga County Executive position. The average voter would have an opportunity to hear their platforms and ask questions. Democracy in action.

The Party squashed the event. Since the Party had already endorsed Edward FitzGerald, there was no reason for us to meet with any of the others. Mayor Gorden and the other ward leaders had conveniently done our thinking for us. The primary is just a formality.

I have already mailed my primary ballot. I sincerely doubt that I will vote, come November, for that person again. Two of the Independent candidates are in the running for my vote. I’m more intrigued by either of them than I am with any of the candidates running as Democrats or Republicans.

I am represented in Congress by Marcia Fudge, someone who schedules community meetings on Rosh Hashanah. We appoint our Congressional representatives for life in this district. Unless she chooses to run for the U.S. Senate, Ms. Fudge will be there in Washington, for me, until death or wanderlust takes one of us. Will I vote for her? I have, and depending on who my choices are, I may again. I reserve that right. I also reserve the right to skip that race on the ballot if I find all of the choices abhorrent.

David shouldn’t waste his time attempting to craft more persuasive arguments. I can’t switch from being a Democrat to identifying myself as a Republican, because I am unwilling to give up what little independence I have left. I may not be much of a Democrat, but I’m more than enough for me.

4 thoughts on “Choosing Sides

  1. Mr. Cunix,

    Hello. I am the Communications Director for Congresswoman Fudge. The event that regrettably was scheduled for Sept.10th. is being postponed. As soon as we realized it fell on Rosh Hoshanah, we knew it was not right to go forward. We make honest efforts to be sensitive to the diversity of our community and this was honestly a mistake. We relied on a calendar that noted 2 days of Rosh Hoshanah and not a third. (anyone is welcome to see the calendar) The staffer involved now knows the length of observance. Please know you can contact our office anytime. We’re here to listen and Congresswoman Fudge wants to serve all constituents to the best of her ability.

  2. David, I am inclined to believe in the sincerity of Congresswoman Fudge’s apology. I’ve met with her in the past and so far like what I hear.

    Thank being said, I cannot see the name “John Boehner” without thinking of Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompahs. (see

    I was a moderate Republican for many years; that changed the minute Ms. Palin hit the stage. As a chosen voice for the Republican Party, in no way does Palin represent me or my voice. So I became a conservative Democrat for the time being. The Republican Party has much work to do before it gets my vote or allegiance back.

  3. OMG !!!!!!!

    You have become a reasonable independent thinker who is no longer in lockstep with a party who’s agenda is out of touch with the rest of this wonderful country.

    The ‘religious right’ and what is left of the Vietnam left will wither away under the scrutiny of “middle America” (who ever that may be). When the country goes too far left or right we seem to be able to “center ourselves” and astonish the rest of the world that we have had only one revolution and one civil war in the past 250 years!

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