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In reply to the discussion: Mark Hamill [View all]


(54,913 posts)
8. 1972 was my first time voting in a national election. I registered in 1971. My first vote cast was for a Republican.
Fri Nov 24, 2023, 07:03 AM
Nov 2023

That was the first and last time I ever voted for a Republican. But I did it then, and would proudly do it again.

The Philadelphia Democratic machine was solidly entrenched in power, and infiltrated by corruption. They nominated the brutal, oafish, ignorant police commissioner, Frank Rizzo as their candidate for mayor in the 1971 election. This guy used to brag about how he liked to bash protesters of the Vietnam War over the head with his billy club, and even wore his billy club in his cummerbund at formal occasions. He encouraged physical brutality in his cops, and always defended their use of it. He used to brag that Nixon was his "friend."

The Republicans, knowing they had no chance, looked for someone to be their martyr, and found him in a mild-mannered, honest city bureaucrat named Thatcher Longstreth. Rizzo won, went down to DC to hang with Nixon, and soon switched to the Republican Party, which is where he belonged anyway. He was forced to drop out of a re-election campaign when he couldn't explain how he was suddenly financing house costing over ten time his gross salary. I gladly voted for the opponent of any corrupt oaf like that, and if he was the nominee of the Philly Democrats, then so be it. I have never voted for a Republican since

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