I am writing this with a heavy heart. I have been a proud Republican since 1993, when I registered to vote at age 18. I cast my first presidential vote in 2000, and was proud to cast a second vote for George W. Bush four years later. Backing John McCain was a tougher proposition, but I ultimately did it with the knowledge that the alternative of Barack Obama was far grimmer. It was much easier for me to support Mitt Romney in 2012. I felt (and still feel) that he was a man of impeccable character and a rare politician who lives by the virtues of which he speaks.
I attended my first Republican caucus in March of 2014. I met a lot of nice people and am proud to have known them. In April of 2016, I attended the Republican state convention in Colorado Springs. It was an experience I will always treasure.
When it came to the election of 2016, for the first time in my life, I did not vote for the Republican candidate. Donald Trump was a bridge too far for me. Though I respected the binary view many of my friends and family took when they justified their support by saying, “Hillary’s worse!” I could not share it. After Trump’s upset victory, I considered leaving the Republican Party, but thought I would give them four more years to see how they behaved.
The jury is in. As of this writing, Pearl Harbor Day of 2017, I am relinquishing my membership in the Grand Old Party.
When allegations began to surface against Roy Moore in Alabama’s special election, I was incredulous. Democrats are not above manufacturing charges to sink a candidate. But when I saw the weak-tea defense mounted by Moore, his wife and his surrogates, characterized by an innocuous story, dubious vagaries and half-truths, I came to believe his accusers. Any parent with a modicum of critical thinking skills would ground their kid for a week if he/she told lies of such a poor quality. The charges of, “fake news,” and “Media hit jobs,” against the Washington Post do not hold up. I am well aware of the leftward bias of the Post, but their investigative reporting on Moore’s past was exemplary.
I took heart when Mitch McConnell, Cory Gardner, Ted Cruz and a chorus of other Republican voices called for Moore to step down. I was not a bit surprised when President Trump floundered, then ultimately endorsed Moore. Sadly, I was past surprised when I learned that the Republican National Committee was sending funds to Moore’s campaign in Alabama. It is one thing to support a man who has openly bragged about sexually assaulting women on video tape because he is the president. I respect pragmatism. And it is one thing to pull back from a candidate credibly accused of assaulting under-aged girls and to say, “Let the people decide.” It is quite another to actively financially abet said candidate. Couple the RNC’s opportunistic course correction with the bare fact that the GOP has no legislative accomplishments to speak of since they assumed power in 2017, and the picture is clear.
Enough! I will no longer be a member of a political organization who appears to have surrendered its soul in the name of a win-at-all-cost mentality. History is replete with political figures and movements who have subscribed to this way of thinking and nearly all of them lead to totalitarianism and doom.
I have removed myself from the several GOP Email lists of which I was a member. I will not attend any GOP events, or make any donations to the RNC on the national, state or local level in any future election cycle. I will now judge a candidate specifically on his or her own merits without the influence of a larger political umbrella. When it comes time for me to renew my official ID card in Nebraska, I will register as a conservative, for I still believe in many principles that used to hold sway in the GOP. How tragic that I no longer view the party of Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan as the most effective or tenable apparatus to advance those ideals.
“There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.”
Alexis de Tocqueville
Roy Moore lost. Was it worth it?