Conventional wisdom tells us that members of the military and veterans are likely Republican voters — or at least, that’s what the GOP would like you to think. While that may have been the case when the Republicans were the party of Dwight Eisenhower or when RNC Chair Harry Colmery wrote the first draft of what would become the GI Bill, conventional wisdom seems to be taking a back seat these days to plain old common sense.
I’m not supposed to write from personal anecdotes, but I have one here that’s relevant and brief, so bear with me:
I get my hair cut at the same chain place in the same small town that I’ve gotten it done in for years. Not the same stylist every time, but my cut is in the system, so they all know what I like from the little printout they get when I check in. The last time I was in, I experienced a first — my stylist perked up when she asked me what I did and I told her I write political news.
Like any customer service profession, these folks are trained not to talk politics, so she got quiet when she asked what I, as someone closer to politics than her life has room for, thought was going to happen in the midterm election. Her name was one of my very favorite Spanish names, although I won’t reveal it here. I told her I thought things might go the Democrats’ way, at least in the House, and she put down both of her hands on my shoulders and stared at me from behind in the mirror.
“My husband is black. He’s stationed at [the Naval Air Station near my home]. We’ve been praying to hear someone say that for a year,” she told me. “We were always Republicans, until last year.”
But my stylist and her husband aren’t alone. This vet who served in Iraq and Afghanistan proudly tweeted last night that the convention wisdom no longer applies to him anymore, either:
I’m a veteran and have always voted conservative. This election I voted blue down the ballot. I have left the Republican Party. #GOPvotingBlue
— Hank the Tank🇺🇸 (@Corsair502) November 2, 2018
Hank got a lot of love on that tweet, and if you open this article again in a few minutes, you’ll see those likes and retweets just going up steadily — people are excited for Republicans to be joining them in voting “blue” all the way down their ballots. In fact, I couldn’t help it and I clicked on Hank’s hashtag that he included, #GOPVotingBlue, to see who else might be onboard.
Holy cow, you guys.
— JschllN (@jschlln) November 2, 2018
My husband, a Marine Corp Vietnam veteran , lifelong Republican, an economist, and 73 year old white man, just voted BLUE all the way. He is convinced what the GOP has done to the deficit in the last year will bring this country down. #GOPvotingBlue
— AmyDPorterTarheel (@aporter517) November 2, 2018
And it’s definitely not just veterans, either:
— Shannon Rozell (@ShannonRozell20) November 2, 2018
Lifelong republican. Considered myself independent and voted 50/50. Changed my party affiliation to democrat this month. It felt like a radical show of resistance. I didn’t want the slightest doubt that I stand against hate and discrimination in all forms. #GOPVotingBlue
— Jenna H (@JennaH572) November 2, 2018
As a liberty conservative, I do not support most of the agenda of the Democratic Party. Yet, I firmly desire checks and balances in our government, and wholly reject the disgusting rhetoric of this President. For that reason, for the first time in my life, I am #GOPVotingBlue
— LibertyGuy85 (@LibertyGuy85) November 2, 2018
But maybe the best feeling of all is knowing that people are doing this because they are waking up to the damage being done to America — even if they were a Republican recently enough to have actually voted for Donald Trump 2 years ago.
Never, ever have I voted Democrat until 2018. After Trump called Haiti a shit hole country, I began to pay closer attention. The more I saw, the more disgusted I became with Trump, Sessions, SHS & the GOP. Voting for Trump is the biggest regret in my life. #GOPVotingBlue
— Lisa Pritchett (@carol_lisa) November 2, 2018
We’re so close now you can taste it. I hope you’ve either already voted or have plans for it on Tuesday because this is hands down the most important election you will have ever cast a ballot in. Let’s get it done this time.
Featured image via screen capture