O.K. here goes.............
I should be standing up in front of you guys with a cup of coffee in my hand and say: "Hi, my name is Mike W. and I am a Democrat."
There, I feel much better. -grin-
Yep, been a registered Democrat since I was 18 years old.
This stuns all my friends when I share this little fact with them. You don't have to know me for very long, (Or for that matter, be around me) before you find that my views and opinions just don't match what you would think that a average (whatever THAT means) Democrat would have. So why the contradiction? Quite simple. North Carolina was at one time, before the time of Reagan, a very serious "yellow-dog" Democratic state. In national elections, the tendency was to vote conservative, but a Republican didn't even need to show up for a local election. It was said that if you wanted to run a yellow dog for office, all you had to do was to register him/her as a Democrat and it would have a very good chance of winning. Of course, times and people were different then and a Democrat of that time was more conservative than a heck of a lot of Republicans are today.
Another reason for my choice was that as a young man just getting into the field of law enforcement as a career, I looked fairly closely at various Sheriff's departments for possible employment. I don't know what other states or commonwealths are like, but in North Carolina the Sheriff is the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the county that he/she works in. Until fairly recently, the only person who could arrest a Sheriff in his/her own county was the coroner. The power of a Sheriff was pretty much unlimited. If a Sheriff was newly elected and didn't like any of the staff that had worked for the previous Sheriff, then he could fire any person he so chose. No reason was needed, since by state law the deputies held their commissions by the Sheriff's discretion and good will. I saw this happen numerous times. No Sheriff would totally clean house the day he walked in the door, but you can bet that he would have a game plan that just as soon as he could, he would have his own people in and the others out. Another angle was that any potential recruit to the department would have a very thorough back round check done on them, to include a check of their voter registration and history of voting. Mind you, not who they had voted for, but rather if the voted in the primaries and general elections. A Sheriff would look at a person who didn't get out a vote much a lot closer than someone who did. After all, votes are blood. He would also make sure that your political party would match too. Most Sheriff's were`always planning their next election the day that they won their first. They like it when deputies on their days off put up signs and campaign for their favorite candidate. We have a long tradition of Sheriffs staying in office just as long as they can, 20/30 years on average and most die there. So in the past, there was a valid reason for picking your political party very carefully, perhaps not so much these days.
Why don't I change? I don't know, perhaps just sheer hardheadedness. But it's worked so far, and I guess it will keep working, so I ask myself, why should I change?
Well, that's my story, and I am sticking to it................