Ross: The myth of Seattle’s blue bubble and the reality of its electorate

Aug 22, 2022, 7:11 AM
Seattle City Hall (Flickr Creative Commons)...
Seattle City Hall (Flickr Creative Commons)
(Flickr Creative Commons)

We have this stereotype about Seattle voters as knee-jerk liberals, so I’d like to present a guest commentary from one of them.

His name is Mike, and he’s a regular listener and e-mailer – who once worked as an attorney for Blue Cross handling Medicare cases.

And now that he’s on Medicare himself – the sticker shock is too much:

“Given how long it’s taken to get Congress without one single Republican’s help — no thank you — to allow Medicare to bring down the price of insulin, what will it take for Congress to provide both hearing aid and vision correction coverage?” Mike asked.

But what was most interesting to me is how dealing with these medical expenses has affected his politics.

“While I continue to vote for tax increases for education, public safety, libraries, at least now I understand a bit better why elder seniors I knew when I was younger used to be more circumspect or wince about voting for tax increases and levies. It was because they felt it on a fixed income when they didn’t have the wealth or decent reserves to cushion the additional taxes. I thought then they were selfish. I still advocate that we all do our part for the greater good, but now realize for some of them, it was self-preservation,” Mike continued.

And while he’s not switching parties – far from it – he did find himself voting Republican in at least one local race:

“My own heart and values still lean toward liberal Democrats. I choose to live in the Seattle blue bubble. But in many instances, I do often vote pragmatic centrist,” Mike added.

“Now, in our last local election, I actually voted for Ann Davison, a very moderate Republican for city attorney, because I thought safety concerns weren’t being adequately addressed. I voted for centrists like Bruce Harrell and a more moderate business owner Sara Nelson for city council.”

“And while I idealized the idea of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders being a knockout combo, I got behind Biden early because I saw him as the only realistic alternative who had even a shot at taking down Trump. So yes, my age has caused my pendulum to shift a bit to the center.”

All the stuff I’ve read online about some fight to the death between the left and right comes from people addicted to their retweet count. I think the people who actually show up to vote are more like Mike – who basically want less drama, more security, and are looking for reasonable politicians who feel the same way.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: The myth of Seattle’s blue bubble and the reality of its electorate