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Where have the Republicans Gone?

"I cannot emphasize enough how deeply
I disagree with Mr. Trump's statement,"
John McCain said regarding attacks on Khzir 
Khan.

"I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump's statement," John McCain said in a statement regarding the Trump Campaign attacks on Khzir Khan, the father of a decorated Muslim American soldier killed in action in the Middle East. Trump and spokespeople implied the father was a propagandist with ties to the Islamic State. Mr. Khan had addressed the DNC national convention on the previous day.

The last Republican I voted for was John McCain. He was a bit of a maverick to some party loyalists because he spoke his mind when he disagreed with the party line. McCain, Arlen Specter, and Bernie Sanders had a bad habit of speaking the truth when it was contrary to their own party's talking points.

Free thinkers in politics are becoming an endangered species. 


Notice I said "free thinkers" not "free talkers", of which we have an abundance.

I voted for McCain in the primary. When Sarah Palin was nominated for vice president I realized that McCain had bowed to the pressure of party politics. Obama and Biden complemented each other and earned my vote.

Had McCain chosen Mitt Romney, a sound business mind that balanced McCain's understanding of foreign affairs and defense policy, he would have gotten my vote for President. This was the first time I felt failed by the Republicans.

Four years later, Mitt Romney fell into the same trap. Mitt, a great economic mind, chose Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan was the tea party darling who put up laughable alternatives to the Obama budget and Obamacare. They Ryan budget was repeatedly debunked by economists, including Reagan's advisor who crafted the original trickle down economics. I'm certain Romney could see through this GOP prop.

The Republicans failed again. I would've thought by now they realized that Americans want substance.

The day Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced his candidacy I refiled as an independent. The party had left me completely. Not only had the GOP failed to come up with substance, they had become obstructionists and were catering to conspiracy theories. Clearly, Ted Cruz cared more about getting elected than serving the people. He attempted to discredit his own scientists, turned against net neutrality, denied climate change and perpetuated fear.

Cruz's popularity created a flood of Republicans ignoring truth and their obligations as civil servants in favor of easy to digest sound bites.
  • Rick Scott removed the term "climate change" from all official documents despite the fact that Florida will be among the first affected. 
  • Scott Walker took union busting to the extreme, crippling his state in the process. 
  • Republicans railed on net neutrality, calling it an internet tax, when it actually encourages capitalism and free enterprise, two republican ideals. 
  • Dozens tried to prevent gay marriage, only to be invalidated by the Supreme Court. 
  • Dozens tried to retract 40-year old rulings on abortion rights. 
  • They defended the confederate flag; a symbol of racism, separatism, and treason. 
  • They glossed over an important argument on state's rights by turning it into a discussion about transgender people in the restroom, destroying a legitimate law on self-determination and creating hate in the process. 
  • Drug tests for welfare recipients failed to yield results, and cost more money testing than it saved. In the process further alienating minorities and the poor. 
  • Obstructing Obamacare and ignoring Medicaid expansion, two things they passed two years earlier penalizing the poor and uninsured in their states, only to adopt them later when the benefits of Medicaid expansion became clear.
  • And the pride and joy, a Ted Cruz filibuster that nearly caused the US to default on debt payments, which would've cost Americans billions primarily from private retirement accounts. Not ironically, the same private retirement accounts the GOP pushed forth after depleting Social Security under President Bush.
Of course, there is the traditional lobbying. Once corporate America saw how comfortable the Republicans were lying to their people, they filled the coffers and asked them to tell us how clean coal is and how safety depends on people buying more guns, ignoring that previous efforts in pollution control and crime prevention have virtually eliminated these problems from our pasts.

Then came "he who shall not be named" who put the final nail in the GOP coffin for thousands of us. In its stead, he replaced fiscal conservatives with the dregs of humanity. He catered to racists, religious zealots, xenophobes, and the conspiracy theorists, and the GOP let it happen.

As an independent, I wanted to support integrity and quality, regardless of party affiliation. Then I learned about Bernie Sanders, who had dedicated 30 years to constituencies through extremely consistent but unpopular views. The world came to Bernie. America evolved to be more like this old man. Socially we were catching up to Bernie's perception of American greatness.

While I personally found Sanders' democratic socialist objectives to be lofty, his vision and long-term commitment were clear. It became apparent that Pennsylvania's late primary could be influential for the first time in many years, so I reregistered as a Democrat. Bernie didn't win, but his valiant attempt will certainly resonate in the party going forward.

The history of the GOP was one of integrity, intellectualism, fairness, freedom and empowerment.


The Party of Lincoln and of Judeo-Christian values in only eight years had platforms and practices that would have left Abe and Jesus whimpering in a padded room.

How far we have strayed. Some Republicans say I abandoned them, but I didn't. Republicans abandoned us, the entirety of the American people.

The voice of the stupid and bigoted has been heard. But had it been squelched? In the past Democrats and Republicans compromised to create a better America for all people, including the under educated and socially backward. Between the 1860s and 1990s our two-party system created the balance of freedom, social justice, industrial ingenuity, societal wealth and opportunity for all people to pursue happiness. The American Dream certainly wasn't a guarantee, but absolutely was available to us all.

The 2016 GOP isn't making America great again… It's always been great. It is great because people can disagree, dissenting opinions make for a democracy that is both Republican and Democrat, fair and balanced for all. Our greatness wasn't created by one side or the other winning, it was created by putting the best minds with differing opinions together and choosing solutions for our Republic.

This process of polarization will ultimately pass power to Democrats, who will have unbridled control to enact the most liberal of social and economic policies. The greatest fear of conservatives will likely become the norm because conservatives allowed their party to be hijacked. As a conservative I'm not supportive of all the decisions President Obama has made nor do I support all of the ideas of Hillary Clinton's platform, but I'm saddened because the GOP has refused to provide an intelligent conservative motivated by the best interest of the people within the context of the Constitution.

Instead, they've given us a clown car of social backwardness, complete idiocy, and egocentric narcissism.

Again, I did not leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left us.

Comments

  1. I would add that, in addition to the GOP abandoning their base, the "other side of the aisle" has done the same by rigging the primary for their "choice" rather tHan the people's.. Neither parties represent their constituents any more... the GOP just happened to fracture first. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. 2016 will no doubt go down in the history books as the year both parties fractured a nation. The 2-party dictatorship that Americans have allowed to control our country will no doubt lead it to its demise. The GOP did leave us, and Democrats aligned themselves behind only the 'chosen' few, pretending the rest of its party didn't matter. #AmericaFalling

    ReplyDelete

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