Over the last fifteen months, I have received numerous requests to speak at GOP events. In response, I have had to write numerous polite notes to my would-be hosts explaining that I must decline, as I am no longer a member of the Republican Party. Rewriting variations of the same note has become so tedious that I have decided to write a column I can forward to Republicans explaining why I can no longer speak at their events. But, first, let me say some positive things about why I joined the party in the first place.
My status as a left wing Democrat began to become a bit shaky in December of 1992. That was when a fraternity brother of mine was abducted and murdered along with his girlfriend who was also sexually assaulted before she was shot at point blank range in the head. Both were unarmed. I immediately abandoned my previous support for a federal ban on handguns.
In 1993, a family friend educated me concerning the scientific facts about abortion; namely, that abortion intentionally kills a distinct, living, and whole human being. After hearing her cogent argument, I abandoned my anti-science fundamentalism, which previously led me to accept the lie that the unborn was merely a “clump of tissue.”
In 1994, I sat in on my first faculty hiring committee meeting at UNC-Wilmington. After hearing the head of the committee reject an applicant because he was “a little too white male” I rejected race-based affirmative action. I realized it was just another form of racism advanced by illiberal leftists masquerading as enlightened liberals.
Eventually, enough was enough. I grew weary of rejecting the individual planks in the Democratic Party platform one by one. So I finally joined the GOP in 1999. That was also the year I joined the NRA.
Since joining the GOP in 1999, I can safely say that they have failed to nominate a single conservative over the span of five presidential election cycles. Three of those nominees have been particularly problematic with the last finally driving me over the edge and making me re-register as an independent. I will deal with each disappointment in chronological order.
George W. Bush. Candidate Bush had his finest moment of the campaign in debate No. 2 when he lectured Al Gore on the dangers of nation building. As President Bush, his view on nation building was close to the exact opposite of that of Candidate Bush. But long before our entanglement in Iraq, he began to display his big government utopian tendencies. In his first year in office, Bush worked with Ted Kennedy to expand the federal Department of Education’s stranglehold on public education. In addition to increasing the power of federal agencies that should never have existed he added more, such as the Department of Homeland Security.
By the end of his second term, the TARP fiasco revealed that our last two term Republican president had strong socialist tendencies. In a few short years, he had doubled the record for the highest budget deficit in American history. It was a record he had previously set with the help of a Republican Congress.
Mitt Romney. I am deeply ashamed of the fact that I pulled the lever for Mitt back in 2012. If there is anyone who can watch the video of Mitt explaining to Bill O’Reilly how he was “always pro life” and believe it then I can probably convince you that Madonna is a virgin. Candidate Romney was a liar and a bad one at that. Clearly, Mitt’s support for socialized medicine with $50 copay abortions should have been enough to keep him from gaining the nomination of any truly pro-life party.
After the nomination it only got worse when Romney started to praise Medicare as a “great program.” He also insisted that he supported a federal requirement that corporations track and report data to the feds on the racial breakdown of job applicants and interviewees. That kind of federal government control of the private sector mixed with identity politics is a dangerous combination. If this fits within your definition of conservatism then you simply don’t know the meaning of the word. To be blunt, Romney was just another big government northeastern liberal. The fact that he campaigned the way he did and still got the nomination shows that the party was simply no longer conservative in any sense of the word by 2012.
Donald Trump. I don’t even know where to begin with this embarrassment. I guess he just couldn’t convince me to vote for him with his assurances that he had a bigger penis than Marco Rubio. After a few debates, I realized that the Republicans were finally going to do the inevitable and actually nominate a Democrat for president. That’s when I finally jumped ship and left the party.
After the Trump nomination, many Republicans justified voting for him on a “lesser of two evils” theory. That is entirely reasonable. Indeed, the Gorsuch pick alone confirmed the reasonableness of this view. What was not reasonable was that hordes of Republicans were praising him as an affirmative good – some going so far as to characterize him as the reincarnation of Reagan. Please.
In the months following the Trump inauguration, the GOP showed us all that with control of the House, the Senate, and the White House they could neither dismantle Obamacare nor defund Planned Parenthood. Thus, it should go without saying that they are no longer merely a useless appendage in the body politic. They are more like a cancerous organ that needs to be removed.
While I will occasionally vote for Republican candidates I simply cannot speak at their events or lend my name to their fundraising efforts. The GOP is now driving rather than reining in big government. That is why I no longer call them my people.