SCC Member Kyle McDaniel Resigns from Virginia Republican Party
In what is perhaps one of the more public breaks from the Republican Party, 28-year-old Kyle McDaniel, who lives in Northern Virginia, offered a public letter of resignation Tuesday afternoon. It was quickly picked up by the Washington Post which was picked up by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
A member of the governing State Central Committee as well as active with the local party, McDaniel was a rising star within the party, a member of the millennial generation. To become a member of State Central takes a campaign and election against other candidates, something McDaniel did two years ago. At the time he promised transparent messaging which he followed up on, releasing an update after each meeting of the activities and plans of the Republican Party of Virginia.
However, the age of Trump has strained many Republicans including those in grassroots leadership, and that is what McDaniel noted in his open letter that he titled, “Moving On.” He prefaced it by writing, “Earlier this afternoon I tendered my resignation from the State Central Committee. My reasoning is deeply rooted in my belief system, and I struggled with this decision for several days. I believe I owe it to those who supported me to release the full text of my resignation. You will find it below. I understand that many will disagree with me, and that is okay. I have gained invaluable relationships over the last decade, and I treasure them deeply. But the time has come for me to move on.”
The letter was a mirror reflection of what has been heard from others within the party including a number of millennials but also many who span the generations from Gen Xers to Boomers. It was not a surprise to read his words — I feel them myself — but it was sad to realize that many with deeply-held values who were members of the former party of family values now feel politically homeless.
Some will read McDaniel’s words and weep. Others will, as they have time and time again, defiantly defend the actions of the current Republican Party. Each must do what they feel in their hearts, and what is best for themselves and their families.
McDaniel’s letter was addressed to RPV Chairman John Whitbeck and 11th Congressional District Republican Committee Chairman Paul Prados:
“Chairmen Whitbeck and Prados:
“Please consider this written notification of my resignation from the Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee and the 11th District Republican Committee effective immediately.
“I can no longer tacitly endorse or defend the prevailing views held by a majority of members of the Republican Party. When I ran for this position 2 years ago, I did so out of the desire to guide the party back to the principles of compassionate conservatism, and to fight against the then-emerging winds of nativism and populism.
“Events over the last year have, in my judgement, proven that a significant majority of self-identified Republicans do not believe in anything event remotely close to compassionate conservatism, and are happy to embrace nativism, with clear racial and religious overtones. I have, on more occasions than I care to recall, been forced to “bite my tongue” when in conversation with other party leaders about the issues of the day. I cannot in good faith continue to do that.
“I held my tongue when Fredy Burgos called Muslims “savages” and Islam a “death cult created by satan”, claimed that interracial adoption and marriage is a threat to western culture, claimed that calling refugees “human” “is a stretch”, characterized Catholics as worshipers of false idols, and claimed that Methodists are “humanists” doomed to hell. I held my tongue when members of the SCC defended white nationalists and neo-Nazis rallying in Charlottesville under the auspices of “the right” and promptly shut down any attempt to address that stain on our reputation under the argument that it may cost votes. I held my tongue earlier this month when the outgoing Fairfax County GOP chairman fervently attacked a colleague on our committee for raising concerns about Fredy’s continued commentary.
“I held my tongue for too long; hoping things would improve. I was wrong. I can no longer stomach those who support nativism, or their apologists and enablers. After a decade of work in the Republican Party in northern Virginia, it is time for me to step away.
“The President’s unnecessary and appalling comments regarding the Haitian people, and the defense of those comments by party leaders, are the straw that broke the camel’s back. I have been to Haiti’s slums, twice, and worked along side those who have to call it home; my wife and I are considering adopting a Haitian child. There is no rationalization of the President’s comments that makes them anything other than what they are: a claim that Haitians do not deserve a chance to be American. To keep holding my position would be a betrayal of my morals and values, and I cannot do that.
“It has become clear to me that today’s Republican Party is dominated by people who harbor deep anti-immigrant sentiments. The party has lost its way from the days when Ronald Reagan reaffirmed the United States as a shining city on the hill. That is our country’s heritage, not a walled-off nation turning a blind eye to, and mocking, the human suffering on our door step. For the foreseeable future, I am a political independent.”
The exodus from the Republican Party continues.