Note From Texas Hill Country – CT is a blogger and a dedicated Conservative Republican. This is the story about how (s)he came to know the PUMA movement and subsequent impressions. I found this very interesting, wonderfully written and asked if I could cross-post the article here. CT was kind enough to allow me to do so, and here you go…
A few days ago one of the contributors on Conservative Badlands did a piece called the PUMA Factor, it was a look at how this block of voters might be one of the groups to decide the Presidential election in 08’. It made me realize that I didn’t know much about their movement or philosophies, other than the obvious. PUMA means Party Unity My Ass and they were angry because HRC got lambasted in the primaries and there was a SERIOUS possibility of caucus manipulation. So, I had an out of the ordinary idea, I figured go into their virtual community and ask them if anyone would be interested in answering a few questions for this post. Well I got some takers.
Most of the PUMA’s that answered the call of the wild in my open thread were female but the composite of their whole movement, I imagine, is a little harder to determine. One very pleasant and intelligent woman, who goes by the SN, Angrynana said this, “Also, there is a mistake in thinking all Pumas and Puma types are older, white women. There are men, people of many religions, all races, gays and lesbians, young, middle-aged, and older Pumas. There are groups from the West and the East. There are Native American Pumas and African American Pumas.” I can honestly say I believe this assessment. Since there were about 18 million people who voted for Hillary in the primaries and the Democratic Party is noted for its pluralism, it makes sense they are a very diverse lot.
What I was more curious about was what brought them to this point and what were they going to do after the election. Their responses ranged from moving to the GOP, going Independent, to retaking the Democratic Party. Judging the answers, Ereizindian sums the majority of their thoughts up well, “If the Dem leadership continues to deprecate its members who were slandered and vilified in the primaries and GE, I shall become an Indie, possibly on my way to becoming a Republican.” This is not to say all of sudden they identify with the Republican or Conservative movement. For them, however, it will be a near strategic impossibility to retake the Democratic Party. It has slid too far into an abyss of identity politics and viral cult worship, it is no longer about issues, it is about one man.
Despite their obvious visceral anger towards the Democratic Party establishment a single theme reigned supreme in the great majority of their posts and emails. Helen put it best, “IT IS COUNTRY AND PRINCIPLES BEFORE PARTY.” I was absolutely, jaw droppingly, astounded to hear a Hillary supporting Democrat in Exile say this. These responses gave me the insight to look at them as I have never looked at a political opponent before, I saw Americans who care about their country. This got me thinking, who am I to judge whether they can love their country just because they are Democrats. Neither Republicans nor Conservatives have the copyright or moniker on patriotism. After all aren’t PUMA’s demonstrating this by standing by our sides?
They have become apostates to their party but not their country, that speaks volumes to me. PUMA’s have recognized that this is about America, not a singular person. They also understand this has nothing to do with the sweeping change and one man, little m, cannnot shoulder this all by his lonesome. That goal is far too lofty and enchanting to be anywhere near reality. Truth be told, he is neither Atlas nor Prometheus, even if he thinks he is.
In closing I would like to thank all of the ladies and gentlemen who so graciously accepted my invite to participate in this undertaking, I hope I did you justice. Sometimes we get reminders of things from unexpected sources and that is what the PUMA’s did for me. My suggestion to Republicans and Conservatives, alike, try and understand them. Politically we may need them as much as they need us, we are rapidly becoming a house that is acquiring vacancies and they may need a home. More importantly, they are Americans who love their country enough to look past partisan lines. That, my friends, is the miracle of being an American first.
Pic cred to The Confluence, I violated some internet copyright laws by snagging them. Hopefully in the spirit of the post they won’t mind.