In previous posts like “Why I left the Republican Party” and “I Didn’t Leave the GOP – It Left Me,” I’ve discussed my history and involvement with the Republican Party and why I changed my party affiliation over a decade ago.
Those were the days when I, as an impressionable teenager who was brainwashed by years of growing up in the religious right, mingled with the likes of Ralph Reed, Oliver North, Alan Keyes and others. I was even on a first name basis with people like George Allen and Bob Goodlatte while they slowly but surely injected the radical right ideology into the Grand Old Party. (Source)
As it stands now, I can’t see myself voting for a Republican again (barring a situation where a moderate Republican ends up against a Tea Party candidate after a Louisiana “jungle primary“) unless they drastically change these five things, among others.
5. Homophobia: I used to be a homophobe, thanks to the years of conservative Catholic brainwashing I endured. While the few mainstream Republicans that are left have started to accept that marriage equality is a Constitutional right, they’re reluctant to challenge the radical fringe which runs the party now. When individuals like Rick Santorum are allowed to go on rants about Christians being persecuted by gay people and spreading outright lies without being confronted by those who should be the adults in the room, it’s obvious who is calling the shots these days. Just look at E.W. Jackson, who was the Virginia GOP’s nominee for lieutenant governor last year. Fortunately for my home state he lost and lost big, but the fact that this guy was nominated alone is quite troubling.
4. Pandering to anti-government nuts: The fact that Bobby Jindal mentioned a “hostile takeover” of Washington, DC at a convention held recently by Ralph Reed shows how even politicians that were previously moderate in comparison are now willing to cater to those who harbor fantasies of shooting government officials and people they don’t agree with politically. The recent Cliven Bundy incident where Republican politicians and members of the conservative media embraced him and his supporters (well, right up until his racial remarks) is another example of how far overboard the GOP as a whole has gone.
3. The War On Science: Climate change IS happening, whether people want to listen to the vast majority of scientists or not. What’s worse is that Congressional Republicans engage in bizarre, anti-science denialism on the behalf of the fossil fuel companies that fund them. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is the Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and who is one of his biggest contributors? You guessed it, energy companies. So it’s no wonder behavior like this runs rampant:
At a March 26 hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Republican congressmen took turns attacking President Obama’s top science advisor, John Holdren. On climate change, their statements became increasingly heated, accusatory, and bizarre.
Southern California conservative Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) challenged Holdren on the fact that about 97 percent of the world’s practicing climate scientists agree that human activity is responsible for climate change. “Why can’t anybody admit that you’ve got a group of people putting out a bogus figure here?” he charged. (Source)
2. The War On Education: The religious right, with the assistance of conservative lawmakers, has been trying to insert their religious agenda into school curricula across the country while also using the same lawmakers to divert public money to private religious schools via voucher programs. The people behind this movement include members of my own family, as much as it pains me to admit it. Yet, at the same time, many conservatives are also falsely claiming that Common Core testing standards are an attempt to brainwash kids. Hypocritical much?
1. The War On Healthcare: Whether it is blocking a woman’s access to reproductive healthcare or blocking Medicaid expansion, the Republican Party has been on an absolute crusade ever since the Tea Party “small government” folks took control. Many of the most conservative states have refused to participate in Medicaid expansion which would save lives and reduce wait times at emergency rooms for everyone. Louisiana alone has almost a quarter of a million people who do not currently qualify for Medicaid and don’t make enough to afford health insurance on their own, but conservatives have refused Medicaid expansion, while passing some of the most restrictive abortion legislation in the country under the reasoning that they are “pro-life.”
These aren’t all of the reasons why I am now registered as NPA (No Party Affiliation), but these are some of the biggest problems with the Republican Party today. At some point, they will have to either jettison the religious right and the gun nuts, or they can continue that slow walk into the sunset of political history.
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