My dad was a dyed in the wool Republican. Yet I don’t think he ever voted in a Republican primary. In an effort to instill a sense of civic duty in me, he used to always take me in the voting booth with him. After he drew the curtain behind us, he would launch into his version of a political science lecture.
“You see, son, we always vote in the Democrats’ primary. And we always vote for the weakest Democrat so that he might win and our guys will have an easier opponent to beat.”
And then he would smugly flip the lever for some fringe candidate who would never in a million years have a chance to defeat whichever Democratic candidate already had the party’s support, effectively throwing his vote away.
More than once, he added an extra piece of advice for me to remember when I finally turned eighteen.
“And remember, I don’t think it’ll happen, but if you ever get the chance to vote for a black guy in the Democratic primary, make sure that you do it! That’ll be the easiest win ever.”
I think I hear his urn spinning on the mantle today.