Saying Goodbye to the GOP

In 2015 I was honored to be the Republican nominee to represent the 74th district of the Virginia House of Delegates, but today it pains me to say goodbye and leave a party that I have fought for and worked to see succeed.

The present day Republican Party is a party where a majority believe in crackpot conspiracy theories such as QAnon.

The present day Republican Party openly embraces seditious tactics to satisfy a deranged base and an authoritative President in Donald J. Trump whose only goal is to stay in power.

The present day Republican Party is a party that largely remained silent when President Trump told the extremist Proud Boys to “stand by.”

The present day Republican Party is a party of corruption because they refused to check or admonish Trump for funneling millions of taxpayer dollars to Trump and his family via his business.

The present day Republican Party is a party that is willing to donate millions of dollars to millionaire (maybe billionaire) President Trump who claims to be using it to fight for candidates in Georgia, but is actually pocketing most of the money into his political slush fund PAC.

The present day Republican Party is a party that has said next to nothing about the unethical and perhaps illegal pardons of President Trump opting to turn its back on the rule of law.

The present day Republican Party is a party that turned its back on the Constitution, failing to hold confirmation hearings, allowing President Trump to illegally appoint many individuals in “acting” capacities. 

The present day Republican Party has permitted lie after lie from President Trump to go largely unchecked. Many of these lies have been embraced by the GOP and its members.

The present day Republican Party is a party that failed to denounce President Trump for deliberately lying to the American people about the severity of the Coronavirus. Rather, Trump and the GOP mocked science and made the pandemic worse.

On Sunday we heard evidence of President Trump, in his own words, demanding of the Secretary of State in Georgia “to find 11,780 votes.” This illegal shake-down of a state election official should have been rebuked far and wide within the GOP but, sadly, most were silent. This silence speaks to the control that Trump has on the GOP and the GOP’s willingness to overlook and willfully embrace authoritative rule and an attempt to overthrow an election.

On Wednesday, when during a Joint Session of Congress they will certify the Electoral College votes to officially make Joe Biden President-elect, we will see something that is purely disgusting in that a large number of Republicans (13 Senators and 144 members of the House thus far) will attempt a legislative coup d’etat.

There is such alarm about how President Trump and the GOP is trampling on democracy to overturn a free and fair election that on Sunday evening all 10 living former defense secretaries took the extraordinary step and wrote a letter calling for the peaceful transition of power and calling for a “refrain from any political actions that undermine the results of the election or hinder the success of the new team.”

Over the last 5 years I have fought from within the GOP for change as a NeverTrumper and was kicked out of “official party membership” because I would not cave to the crass and corrupt nature that is Donald J. Trump.

Since 2015 it’s become clear to me that the Republican Party is no longer the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush, McCain, or Romney. Sadly, the party has capitulated to a mob boss in Donald J. Trump to become the Trumpkin Party, a party that I cannot and will not support.

Politically I will not join the Democratic Party because, philosophically, I am still right of center just like where most of the country is. I am an Independent and will back candidates on a case-by-case basis. Given my right of center philosophy I will more than likely support many more Republicans than I do Democrats/Independents.

There are people currently in elected office still in the Republican Party that are fighting hard for democratic values such as Sens. Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, and Ben Sasse, Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, Governors Larry Hogan and Charlie Baker. All of these individuals are fine Americans that I enthusiastically support.

Leaving the Republican Party was not an easy or quick decision. It’s been my political identity since 5th grade. There are many in the party that will be happy to see me leave (which is sad since a political party’s goal should be to grow). Some will probably say don’t let the door hit you on the way out or something much more vulgar. In the end, the GOP has become unrecognizable.

Our current two-party system has failed us. To succeed in any party you must play to the fringes of that party. There needs to be a viable middle pragmatic party that is focused on solutions rather than sound bytes, something I will address at a later point. For now, though, I will embrace my right of center independence.

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