HOW I BECAME A DEMOCRAT
Sept. 14, 2020 – Actually, I’ve always been a Democrat, but the title “Why I Am A Democrat” seemed somewhat tame, so I did a little marketing touchup. “How I Became . . .” could suggest a bit of a carouse in the political fleshpots before finding The Truth. Either way, it’s a theme that’s been worked pretty hard, but everyone got here by a different route and each journey has its own flavor.
I tell people that I’m a fifth-generation Democrat, and it’s true. My family voted against Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president. They were German farmers on Long Island, not slaveholders or anything like that, but they had some beef with Lincoln, as did a lot of Northern Democrats who were nevertheless all for the Union in the Civil War.
My father and grandfather were big FDR supporters and both active in Democratic politics, but I got to the Dems by my own navigation. On the way, I probably wobbled more than once, but the only serious waver I recall was when Barry Goldwater was running for president.
I was a student then, and like many students, I was seduced by Goldwater’s book, “The Conscience of a Conservative.” He had cleverly contrived a number of short intellectual mazes from which the metaphorical rat could exit by only one way – his. This was especially true if the rat took a Cliff’s Notes approach to anything longer than two pages, as I did. Moreover, I did a massive amount of drinking and partying that year, and really couldn’t be held accountable for any of my “conclusions.”
Somehow I came round to the realization that I’d been had. Not sure how – it’s a long time ago – but it happened, and while I’ve voted for the odd competent, non-dogmatic Republican a few times since, it’s been the Democratic ticket and the Democratic agenda all the way.
Why? For me it’s pretty simple, it comes down to faith and morality. My faith teaches “Love Thy Neighbor” as one of the biggest guideposts for me, if not the biggest. It seems self-evident that the Democrats do a far, far better job on Love Thy Neighbor than the Republicans, no contest. So how could I live my faith and not be on the Love Thy Neighbor team?
End of story.
About George Lynch
George Lynch is a fifth-generation Long Islander and a fifth-generation Democrat. He and his wife of 25 years, Ursula, live in Quiogue and enjoy nothing so much as sitting serenely on their dock by Turkey Bridge on Aspatuck Creek.
George joined the Southampton Town Democratic Committee upon his retirement in 2008 and became its Treasurer in 2009. His forte is writing campaign material, but he has served a variety of functions over the years in which the Southampton Dems have grown from a negligible minority into the Town’s controlling party. He loves the people and he loves the fray [more].