When the Democrats of the US Senate would not even walk across the street in 1998 to look at the evidence that Bill Clinton was a rapist, I vowed to myself “I will not vote for any Democrat for 20 years, unless they were too young or politically uninvolved at this moment. This level of dishonesty is a bridge too far.” I later learned that it was Trent Lott* who put the fix in, but that still didn’t absolve them in my eyes. I haven’t had many temptations in the last two decades. When one Republican governor was pretty seedy I just left that line blank. (I usually leave at least one line blank. I don’t have high standards – these are politicians we are talking about, let’s get real – but some people do fall beneath even my minimal requirements.) I actually had grudging approval of John Lynch by the end. It was amusing when people wondered in 2016 whether I disapproved enough of Trump to vote for Hillary. That would be a maximum level of irony that human brains cannot safely attempt.
The 20 years will be up after this election. I don’t think it changed things much on a practical level, but sometimes it’s nice to make promises to yourself and follow through on them just to remember what you were thinking then. It ties pieces of one’s life together.
*No theory I have heard seems convincing to me. Unwillingness to call out corruption to protect himself or others comes closest. The alt-history would then be that Gore likely wins in 2000, so the 2000-2002 recession falls in his lap, as does 9-11. Too many possible branchings after that, but it’s interesting.