It was about 30 years ago when I accepted a position in a field I would eventually make my career and retire, an arcane company rule required that I move into a "red" town in a "red" county.
With three out of 39 municipalities voting Democratic, just one Democratic mayor and no Democrats at the county level whatsoever, my only safe haven was the ballot box.
When I ran for a school board position and the town clerk put an "R" next to my name, I waited for her to ask if that was correct, but she never did. So I just went with it.
I won that election, beating three other candidates by a wide margin. I know I won because of my reputation for honesty and candor, and not because of the R next to my name. Still, I often wonder what would have happened if I wasn't the accidental Republican in the field.
I served my term, but then left due to the politics involved. I raised too many questions against the status quo, had too many forward-leaning ideas, and I may have even sounded too Democratic. Ironically, however, half the board agreed and liked my ideas.
I would finish my career among Republicans, my only joy coming when Obama signs popped up all over the neighborhoods, but then I was disgusted hearing the racism and rhetoric that followed for eight years. I found a new satisfaction when after "friends" would rattle off their rants about Democrats, I 'd smile and tell them they were talking too one. The look on their faces was priceless.
Unfortunately, in these times division has penetrated more than just friendships; families are being divided, too. This is no time to be an accidental anything. The "D" has been demonized by the far right and the hate for the "D" is epitomized by the supporters of this president. Why else would someone support him?
Come to think of it, maybe Trump was/is an accidental Republican.
By ballot box or impeachment, this accident needs to be cleansed.
Editor's Note: Not Fake News is delighted to welcome Joe Picatello as a new member of our writing team. We look forward to additional entries from this "accidental Republican."