I am no longer a Democrat. However, St. Patrick’s Day reminds me of my days as a lonely Democrat in Rexburg, Idaho.
The reason St. Patrick’s Day reminds me of politics at all is that my only green shirt is a green Obama t-shirt that I bought in early 2008. I ordered it right after the Obama victory in the Iowa Caucuses. I had bought another Obama t-shirt late in 2007, and enjoyed wearing both around town in Rexburg, Idaho.
At the time, I was teaching American Heritage and political science full-time at Brigham Young University-Idaho. The 2008 primary was fun for me. Partially because I enjoyed watching the bewilderment of Romney supporters as he lost the GOP nomination that year. Additionally, I was also an Obama fan. My initial reason for rooting for Obama was that I did not want Hillary Clinton to win. As an economic progressive, I was not a fan of Bill Clinton and I was not all that anxious to see the Clinton team return to the White House (though the Obama victory resulted in the Clinton economic team doing just that).
Before Iowa, I did not think anyone really had the chance of defeating Clinton. However, supporting losers in the primaries was what I did. In 2000, I supported Bill Bradley. In 2004, I supported Howard Dean. I will not even get into who I supported in the Republican primaries as a kid…
But 2008 ended up being different.
Being a Democrat is nothing radical. It just isn’t. But as a Democrat in Rexburg it sure felt like it sometimes. Especially as a Democrat with a sign in my yard and Obama t-shirts. Many Democrats keep a low profile about it. Keep in mind that McCain ended up with 85% in the 2008 general elections in Madison County. In 2012, Romney got 92 percent.
I loved the dirty glares and the double takes.
When the Obama sign went up in my front yard in November 2007, a neighbor asked if my students had played a prank on me. He was serious.
I think that Mormon Democrats in general feel a bit more radical. Not because they are all that radical even by Democratic standards, but because they are such a small minority within our faith community and a stigmatized one at that. I actually think this tricks some Mormon Democrats and liberals into thinking they are actually doing something just by being a partisan Democrat on Facebook around their Republican Mormon friends and relatives.
Sorry, that still does not count.
Now that I belong to the Green Party, I think my green t-shirt selection should be improving in the near future. But I am enjoying my St. Patrick’s Day memories either way.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!