Why I left the Republican Party

George Allen and I, circa 1993

George Allen and I, circa 1993

I was raised in a very conservative family in a very conservative part of Virginia, a place where there still isn’t a strip club within at least 100 miles but there’s a church on almost every corner. This is old Dixiecrat country, not far from the snake handling and moonshine country that covers both sides of the Virginia/West Virginia state line. Kudzu vines cover old mom and pop gas stations that were put out of business by Wal-Mart at least a decade ago.

There are very few decent jobs here unless you work for the state or were lucky enough to get a management position at one of the local factories. Teen pregnancy, poverty and meth labs are the norm, not the exception. The factory jobs which allowed for single income households just a couple of decades back–they’re just a distant memory now.

But if you ask what went wrong, most people won’t blame corporations and the endless search for cheap and unregulated labor. They’ll point their calloused fingers at liberals, labor unions, immigrants, regulations and the government. They’ll blame just about anything other than the companies and their lobbyists who moved the jobs to China or somewhere else they could get away with paying a few cents an hour.

I watched the family owned hardware stores shutter up and the weeds grow through the cracks of the textile mill parking lots. The few factory jobs that were left, they usually started just north of the minimum wage and we were told we should be happy to have that.

All this time, I voted Republican and worked on state and national campaigns for them from an early age. After all, it was the way I was raised. We were told that Democrats had sold us out, that they were for the illegals who were “stealing” our jobs, that they were “fag lovers” and perverts who were out to indoctrinate kids and take away our guns. The “re-education camps” and black helicopters conspiracy rhetoric you hear from the lunatic fringe today? It’s nothing new, it comes out with a new spin and a fresh coat of paint every time a Republican isn’t in office.

I’m not sure when the switch flipped–when I chose the red pill over the blue pill, so to speak. I do know one major factor was the cutthroat tactics used by the Bush camp in 2000 to shoot down the McCain campaign. Another was the jingoistic, drum-beating way we were sucked into Iraq post-9/11, or the “Freedom Fries” gimmick, or the time I had my vehicle vandalized for having an anti-Bush sticker on it, and the list goes on.

The thing is, to be a member of the GOP base, you have to be afraid. Afraid of minorities having the same rights as you, worried that some government boogeyman is going to come and take your shotgun away or force your child into gay marriage.

As I got older, I found that everything and everyone I was supposed to be afraid of wasn’t a threat at all. I lived in a 99% poor, black community, worked 2 or 3 jobs to make it in college and realized I had more in common with the people the GOP liked to demonize, instead of the GOP itself.

I believe a real tipping point was the Iraq War. Watching your military friends come back suffering from PTSD (one killed himself) from a needless war we were lied into, that’s a hard thing to deal with.

These days, I’m registered NPA (No Party Affiliation). I don’t like any party to think they can automatically count on me for a vote in an election. Usually, my vote goes for a Democrat, so long as they’re a good choice. Democrats aren’t perfect in my book, not by a long shot, but their policies tend to work for me a lot better.

I’ll sometimes cringe when people like Harry Reid or Joe Biden say something dumb. I voted for President Obama both times and he has disappointed me on some things, but all I need to do is turn on Rush Limbaugh or Fox News to remember why I’ll never again be a member of the Republican Party.

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  • Jeri

    You have spoken my mind completely- these are the reasons I left the Republican Party also. Great post and thank you for posting it!

  • Lawrence H. Robertson

    Common sense is the least common commodity now, unfortunately. We are all humans, regardless of age, sex or orientation, education, social, religious or political beliefs, with way more in common than not. Perhaps if we can get beyond the winner/loser style interaction, to a more equatable style of full use, but no abuse of all of Life, than we may have a better at a future together, as humans. All Human Rights, Guaranteed to All. All humans encouraged and expected to negate as much negative impact to people, places and things as possible, regardless of who they are. Humanities next step in Social/Philosophical Evolution, taken Together.

  • EMY

    You speak for a large amount of people.. Well said

  • Iris

    The sad thing is that Republican politicians (not the fringe crazies but the ones in the middle) may actually have something valuable to bring to our country but they continue to let prejudice and hate of their constiuents rule their message. I’m a Democrat but even I know that we need two ideas from each angle to reach the perfect medium. Yet, how can we even have a conversation that brings us together when one half of them believe the most outrageous things? If they can’t drop the Muslim, Kenyan, anti-military, Libya coverup, welfare president bullshit, we can’t ever talk about policies!!

    • goldy31

      couldn’t have said it any better Iris!!

    • Annie

      What’s an example of their ‘prejudice?’

      What’s an example of their ‘hate for their constituents?’
      Statements like these need to be sourced or explained.

      “how can we even have a conversation that brings us together when one half of them believe the most outrageous things?”
      There’s a song, “There must be two sides to every story; and who’s to say who’s right or who is wrong?

      Just to get people to think before they speak. Critical thinking caps!

      • crucialcausaility

        I get your point, but do you honestly feel that every comment on a blog post has to source and cite every comment or claim ever made in it?

        If you want to be that picky, I think we could just as nonchalantly point you to the many blog posts on this site that do source news articles that cover those very issues. They’re not hard to find.

      • crucialcausality

        I will note that you’re not practicing what you preach elsewhere in this comments thread, by the way.

      • Desertmer

        What an utterly nonsensical reply…..

      • Glenna Jones-Kachtik

        Well, the fact that at least 80% of their constituents wanted gun control but they chose to vote with the NRA might have something to do with it…the fact that the whole congress has the lowest approval rating in history…the fact that the Republicans ran on jobs but have yet to propose or pass even 1 jobs bill; but have voted AGAINST any jobs bill that has come up???? What about the facts that the Republican controlled house has voted to repeal Obamacare 37 times now? That they have used the people’s tax money to defend DOMA even after the SCOTUSA said it was unconstitutional??? The fact that many Republican governors (including my dunce – Gov Goodhair) have decided that medicaid expansion won’t happen – even tho their states have the most uninsured kids. Aren’t the poor, gays & the middle class their constituents too??? Since Gov Goodhair has ruled that women are stupid, he sold out our women & our children. Since he decided that education wasn’t important (by the way, he didn’t fire any teachers {his legislature just cut billions from our Education Budget}) he shortchanged the children of TX. Women & children aren’t constituents?
        Every time Congress votes to expand our bloated military budget but cuts our education budget they are failing the millions of kids who are our future. Every time they vote to cut programs that affect kids, the poor & the elderly in favor of the rich, the bloated CEOs & the wealthy, they are failing the 98% of their constituents who aren’t. These guys even voted against a bill that would have allowed tax breaks to guys who brought their business BACK to the USA…..
        Are you serious?????? They fail their constituents every single day.

    • Desertmer

      Well stated.

    • marecek

      That’s the thing. They don’t WANT to talk about policies. It is patently clear that the cabal ruling the GOP since at least 1994 has two basic modes. The first mode applies when the GOP is in power – do anything to get your policies adopted, and insist on patriotism and servile obedience of the people toward the rules. Mode two applies when the GOP is not in power – do anything to get back into poweris and, in the meantime, do anything necessary to shut down government, including disseminating the most egregious lies about their opponents, undermining the rules of the game in our democratic process, and adopting backward policies to please the base. When in Mode Two, insist that patriotism consists in questioning all goverment, calling for smaller government and lower taxes (if not abolishing them altogether), and making people afraid of anything and everything so that they will be more malleable and compliant drones and zombies.

    • Socialmedic

      The left has moved so far right we no longer have a left. That is why Obama is disappointing to the left. The right is so far right that the left can occupy just right of center and appear to be left. The left has been bullied by the right ever since the first Reagan bid for presidency and it is no accident.

  • bleedingheartliberal

    Very good comments. Sometimes you have embarrassments when it comes to party affiliations on either side. The difference is what so many people find offensive for the other party, is ignored when they see it from their party. This isn’t Reagans republican party. I always respected his leadership ability. I have a different philosophy but the he at least really did put his country first. Carter, was a good man but not a great leader. A guy like George Bush would send our kids to war for his own legacy and to avenge his fathers military setbacks. I like that Obama listens to all sides. Maybe the decision isn’t always right but he seems to be a guy that takes his role very seriously. He tries to remain above the fray of the politics and that is important for me.

    I never was against the republican party as much as I am against the politics behind the party lately. The need to get back in power has clearly made some guys in the party I respected look bad. Sara Palin was close to being almost one step from the leader of the free world. Really? No republican can explain that to me..lol. Sometimes they make being intelligent a bad thing. I like Jon huntsman for example….but the party would never get his back these days because he puts country before party. It is negative for him to work on Obama’s behalf to his party. That is very unfortunate because we need the best of the best regardless of party working on behalf of the people.

    • Oline

      Sometimes I wonder if the move to make Palin vice president was to scare people into voting for Obama. I also wonder what the effect would have been if the choice had been Condoleezza Rice or some notable black and/or female figure that people could get behind and believe in.

      • Annie

        Are you saying that forces greater than McCain chose his running mate? Condi Rice would have been a better choice, but she didn’t want it and McCain’s too much of a rogue/maverick for her. She’d not vote along party lines and neither would he; but he’d cross them much more easily than she.

        Also, if Condi Rice were to have been the running mate, the force to vote Obama in would never succeed, so well-liked she is by the base.

      • Socialmedic

        Condoleezza Rice is a war criminal.

      • Bellalina Ballerina

        Condi should have been the presidential candidate..not the VP!

    • Phil

      it’s easy for you to say Reagan was a good leader but having lived during his terms and seeing what was before, what happened during and what has occurred since I would have to disagree with your assessment of him. Perhaps some did well under his ‘benevolent guidance’ but none that I know did. I, for one, ended up with 7 years of half employment or less, trying to feed and clothe 3 kids on unemployment insurance (which HE started taxing under his “improvements” to the Tax codes). I even had one year where my “Taxable Income” on my 1040A was a whopping $86. Carter’s problem was mostly that he wasn’t hawkish enough for the Iran Hostage affair and he tried to solve things as the Bible told him to and too many voters don’t like the “Turn the other cheek” concept except as a feel good sentiment in the Bible especially as long as it stays in the bible and doesn’t have to be employed as an actual concept or practice.
      Reagan didn’t beat Carter on economic issues, he beat him by playing on the Iran issue and the fears of conservatives over “big government” and ‘welfare queens driving welfare cadillacs’.

    • Annie

      You had to know I’d pipe in. “Palin was close to being almost one step from the leader of the free world. Really? No republican can explain that to me..”

      What’s to explain? She was one step, albeit a large step, from being leader of the free world.

      • Tim

        Phil meant explain how such a situation could have come into being… how anyone sane could have thought that Palin was able to handle that kind of responsibility or was anywhere close to being to best choice McCain could have made.

      • towl35

        There was one reason and one reason only that McCain chose Palin… To get the women’s vote. Period. He saw how women were rallying around Clinton and when Obama won the nomination, saw his chance at an attempt to secure that vote…and then she (Palin) opened her mouth.

      • kfromva

        don’t forget that many repubs thought that WE (women) would run to vote for her, simply bec/ she has a uterus. really?

      • Socialmedic

        Show’s how simplistic the Republican view is of women. They really think we are THAT stupid.

      • Lochness

        Palin’s mouth is only good for one thing…

  • Phil

    Yeah I left the GOP for many of the same reasons only my exodus happened under Reagan as I watched all the things he was doing and all the attacks on working people even then. I may not be a pure Democrat but I am very definitely an anti republican thanks to the GOP of the 80’s and onwards.

  • Oline

    not sure how I am currently registered. until recently I had both major parties canvassing me for money acting like I was one of them. I recently unsubscribed from each of their mailings. I was once registered as a GOP member because as an independant I could not vote in the primary and there was a GOP candidate I didn’t want on the ballot. So I switched to the party and voted against her. She didn’t make it to the ballot and I was quite happy with that.
    Thing is I seldom voted a straight party ticket and currently I feel what we as a nation need to do is vote for anyone but the 2 major parties. Well maybe not anyone but look for non-major party candidates and see if you can get behind their platform.
    Stop defending and associating yourself with the two major parties because currently they seem to both say the S.O.S. just in a different spin.

  • Excellent essay and logic, George Allen!
    We are still registered Republicans and have been for most of our life.
    We are successful capitalist investors, appreciate business friendly government, but have always been in favor of equal treatment for all Americans, opening the doors barring the underclasses from middle-class and above lifestyles and goals by encouraging labor to organize for better wages, benefits and opportunities. It is a fact that honest labor unions helped to create the middle class in America and opened the door to class mobility, along with easily available, inexpensive, higher education opportunities.
    WE HAVE NOT CHANGED!
    The Tea Party conservative dominated GOP has moved so far right that it opposes class mobility, punishes the middle and working class American families to benefit greedy over-bloated selfish corporations and mega-rich individuals. The ultra affluent have received the marvelous benefits afforded by this marvelous progressive and benevolent USA and should certainly pay their fair share to provide needed assistance for other American families.
    WE ARE STILL REGISTERED REPUBLICANS AND DEDICATED CAPITALISTS, but we are NOT GREEDY CONSERVATIVES.
    Mostly, we agree with George Allen!

    • harry grace

      This was not written by ‘George Allen’, he’s just in the picture. Manny Schewitz was the author. And if you ARE STILL REGISTERED REPUBLICANS AND DEDICATED CAPITALISTS, your support of the party IS support of GREEDY – REGRESSIVE – CONSERVATIVES, consider a new party.

      • Annie

        ” ARE STILL REGISTERED REPUBLICANS AND DEDICATED CAPITALISTS, your support of the party IS support of GREEDY – REGRESSIVE – CONSERVATIVES, consider a new party.”

        The absurdity of some of the responses is what keeps me coming to my mailbox is why I keep coming back, even though I know I’m not wanted here.

        Harry, because Ed Rudy says he remains a registered republican thought and ideology, how in heaven’s name, does that make him a greedy conservative?” I fail to see how being a registered republican, approving capitalism, makes one a greedy conservative.

      • TangerinO

        He didn’t say it makes one a greedy conservative, just that one is supporting greedy conservatives by voting republican.

      • Manny Schewitz posted this, perhaps George Allen wrote it.

      • George Allen is a Republican politician. He did not write this article. Manny Schewitz wrote it and posted it. That’s him as a kid on the left WITH George Allen the Republican politician. AND if Ed Rudy is STILL a registered Republican and votes for any of them, he is supporting greedy conservatives because the Republican Party supports greedy conservative policies. Is that clear now?

      • Geoff H

        Diane, it’s going to take level headed, fair minded people like Ed to take their party back from the far right zealots that have hijacked the republican party and bring it back toward the center. If he leaves the party, then he’s just surrendering it to the Tea Party and the wing nuts.

        Ed, stay right where you are and keep fighting the good fight! We’ll meet you in the center. : )

    • Jared Hefley

      Ed, as a mostly-life-long Democrat, I’d like to say “thank you.” Thank you for being one of the open-minded, rational Republicans left in America. Mr. Schewitz was spot-on when he said “Democrats aren’t perfect in my book, not by a long shot, but their policies tend to work for me a lot better,” and I believe that that sentiment goes for the country at large as well. We (meaning Democrats) are human, and therefore just as fallible as Republicans, and while neither of us is perfect, we do need the other to keep us in political check.

    • Yan

      Republicanism in itself is Not bad but in USA it’s become soemthing that Nobody wnat a Theocratie

      yes if You elect a republican in USA you will have elss freedom and you will become a Theocratic states

      Republicanism at the base is helping every citizen of a said county to have a House on their head and a Job to do ( with the minimum wages established of course )

      By the way Go ask a conservatives if they are happy that USA has a Minimum wages sinc eit’s established by laborers unions ( as in a socialist ideology ) yet They will bash socialism and communism at every turn

  • Shelly

    This is almost my same story. I grew up in a military family in Virginia. GOD, COUNTRY, then FAMILY! I voted for Reagon, TWICE! but then I started to question what I was doing whith George the First. I was concerned about some social issues, like a womans right to choose. SO I started to take a closer look. And I really didn’t care for this Rush guy on the Radio with his ditto heads. and took a step back from the GOP. and I have since take a huge JUMP back, then it seemed that a Grand Canyon sized gulf came between us. Yes I voted for Bill Clinton, proudly! and he was deemed the anti-christ. Now the republicans try to embrace him and his policies! as they demonize Obama. You know what? I’m smarter than that, and I remember. Like an elephant.

  • Annie

    “I started to question what I was doing whith George the First. I ” What does George I have to do with questioning your political thought The same thing for Rush; as you should-or ought to know, Rusn Limbaugh doesn’t speak for the GOP, he has his own thoughts and ideas-some of which are along Republican lines. But embracing the GOP isn’t the same as embracing conservatism.

    • Stop kidding yourself. Rush Limbaugh definitely speaks for the GOP and Conservatism both. Which is why whenever a GOP politician criticizes Rush, they always quickly apologize.

  • carlton

    I have also switched from Republican to Democrat although I am a registered, contributing member.
    It started with Bush one. How could we elect a President who had illegally sold weapons to Iran under the Reagan admin. Wasn’t that treason? But still I stayed with the right. I voted for Bush the second but all the while he was feeding us the lies about Sadam’s WMD and his ties with Al Queda I kept telling myself that I just wasn’t buying it on his evidence. The longer he was in office the more lies we got. Then the connections with Cheney and the Iraq war and his connections with Haliburton getting the no bid contracts for the Iraq war pushed me over.
    During the last two campaigns virtually everything the Republicans have said is a lie. They say Obam is anti -oil,anti-business, a big spender. We are pumping more oil than any time in the last 17 years and are a net oil exporter,we are creating more jobs than an at any time during Bush II, the increase in Gov. spending is the lowest since Eisenhower, etc,etc,etc. Yet the righties deny all of this,trying to create a Christian version of an Islamic state.
    They wear their t-shirts with the flag and freedon scrawled acroos the front. Freedom? Not for women to choose health care or get equal pay. Not for freedom of religion if a Moslem wants to build a mosque. Not for someone to become legally bound to the person they love if they are of the same sex.

    • Linda

      I’m so happy to read most of the comments here. As a long time Democrat, I have been against the policies of the Republicans for a long time, but I believe the two parties need to function so as to keep each other from making grave, grave errors. The Democrats failed at that when the country was attacked by terrorists and we ended up with the Patriot Act and being lied into war. With the rise of the tea party and libertarianism, I have become increasingly concerned that the Republican Party doesn’t have any more rational people who live their lives based on information rather than ideology. But the comments here are mainly from people who are well informed and base their opinions and political support on information. I wish that part of the Republican Party was back because I think it is necessary before we can solve the problems that the country faces.

    • HRock

      I switched for similar reasons when Rush Limbaugh – who claimed to be “non-partisan” (really, he did!) – supported Oliver North in the infamous four-way senate race in VA in 1994. Wasn’t he a felon? Didn’t he commit treason?? This is who I’m supposed to vote for???

      • Gary Kunich

        Oliver North is not a felon, nor a traitor. Explain your thought process.

      • Michael Anderson

        North was lying under oath, or he had amnesia.

      • Desertmer

        Uh….. Ever hear of Iran -Contra………?

      • gailillly

        @Desertmer ever hear of Iran-Contra….. Yep and that was another repukes involved, Ronnie boy Reagan. He did a lot of damage, a lot of people lose their jobs homes everything. We lost our home under Reagan and was never able to buy another. He got credit for ending the Nam War but that was going to end anyway. Never liked him and he was A LOUSY PRESIDENT and EVEN WORSE AT ACTING. I am proud to be a Democrat. I live in an ALL BLUE state, and with our special election next week, we hope to keep it that way which I think it will remain all BLUE. and loving it. I could never live in the red states in the south or the Midwest and TEXAS forget it, they need to secede from the Union. the majority are ignorant rednecks. Nope I’ll stay right here. where most have at least a half of brain.

      • Lochness

        I’ve always said that being president was the best acting part Ronnie ever got.

      • Socialmedic

        TRUTH!

      • Socialmedic

        I was studying sociology during the Iran Contra Affair and I couldn’t help but notice that the New York Times hid the story on one of it’s inside pages. Seems our supposedly blue publications, even the Nation, had turned red for the 1980’s and 1990’s which didn’t help matters for this country. But I agree with what Matthews said, it could have been front page news and the ignorant still wouldn’t see it, acknowledge it, believe it or even look at it. By the way what ALL blue state do you live in?

      • WolfHalton

        Reagan didn’t end the Vietnam War, That was Nixon. Reagan was President when the USSR dissolved.

      • Shane Miller

        Thank you. That was buggin me too. I voted for Reagen in his first term. I was a stupid kid.He started us on our full scale corporate
        owned path. Wish i’d voted for Carter. Much better man. I’m proud of him.

      • Patricia Halstead Jude

        I think Jimmy Carter received unfair criticism for his presidency. If nothing else, he was honest, honorable, & was not a hater! His work toward bringing peace was historic, & his life work since has been an example for all to emulate! I lived 31 yrs in GA after his life in politics, though have never considered myself a Georgian, nor a southerner, being a native mid-westerner. My liberalism actually grew in a northern suburb of Atlanta from my community in my episcopal church, led by our liberal existential charismatic priest!

      • Randall Martinez

        No, Ray-gun was NOT president when the USSR collapsed – THAT was daddy Bush. I was in the service when it happened. I was in Europe when the wall fell. Some of you people really need to learn your history. BTW – Saigon fell in 1975 – Jerry Ford was pres. Nixon DID pull MOST of our troops out, so you were close…

      • Thanks for the correction.

      • GriffinBibliotech

        Uh, Nixon gets credit for ending the ‘Nam war;Reagan got credit for telling Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. (Which was going to come down anyway.)

      • Yes North is a convicted felon and traitor. When you work for another government while you are working for ours, you are a traitor. North helped put Manuel Noriega in power and supplied him weapons through the Iran/Contra affair. It takes a lot of balls to ask someone to explain their thought process, when you yourself, don’t have one at all. So here are just a few of the facts for you, that any idiot can look up in about 30 seconds, without making a total a$$ out of himself:

        In November 1986, as the sale of weapons was made public, North was dismissed by President Ronald Reagan, and, in July 1987, he was summoned to testify before televised hearings
        of a joint Congressional committee that was formed to investigate Iran–Contra. The image of North taking the oath became iconic, and similar photographs made the cover of Time and Newsweek, and helped to define him in the eyes of the public.[citation needed] During the hearings, North admitted that he had lied to Congress, for
        which, among other things, he was later charged. He defended his actions by stating that he believed in the goal of aiding the Contras, whom he saw as freedom fighters, and said that he viewed the Iran–Contra scheme as a “neat idea”.[13] North admitted shredding government documents related to his Contra and Iranian activities, at William Casey’s suggestion, when the Iran–Contra scandal became public. He testified that Robert McFarlane had asked him to alter official records to delete references to direct assistance to the Contras and that he had helped.[14]

        North was tried in 1988 in relation to his activities while at the National Security Council. He was indicted on sixteen felony counts, and, on May 4, 1989, he was initially convicted of three:
        accepting an illegal gratuity; aiding and abetting in the obstruction of a congressional inquiry; and ordering the destruction of documents via his secretary, Fawn Hall. He was sentenced, by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell on July 5, 1989, to a three-year suspended prison term, two years’
        probation, $150,000 in fines, and 1,200 hours community service. Oliver North performed some of his community service within Potomac Gardens, a public housing project in Southeast Washington, DC.[15]

        When will republicans learn to shut their pie hole before making such outlandish statements. The truth is right in front of you and yet you still refuse to even look at it. That is the difference between ignorance and stupidity. At least a stupid person will pick up a book and actually learn something. Ignorant people will still try and discount it until their dying breath.

        The truth is ALWAYS going to be the truth, even if NOBODY believes it and a lie is STILL going to be a lie, even if EVERYBODY believes it.

      • tina louise

        I think I’m in love!!! That was so awesome James Mathews!!! I’m nearly 51 yrs old and calling someone awesome, that’s awesome in itself, lol.

      • Glenna Jones-Kachtik

        Thanks…I guess because Ollie found the “Lord” (wasn’t he also one of those?) people figure they can forget the truth about the things he did. I’m all for forgiveness; but you can’t forget the seriousness of his acts either. So, this was awesome, James!

      • Reta Lane

        Thank you James Matthew. I learned something today because of you. I knew some of the things he did but not all.

      • Bruce

        absolutely brilliant Mr Mathews .. I’ll wait to see if if Gary Kunich has a rebuttal .. but I won’t hold my breath

      • Explain the planet you live on.

      • YouKnowMe

        Gary’s probably got an Ollie North poster on his wall to weep to.

      • Reta Lane

        Wow GARY kUNICH, YOU DRINK THE KOOLAID TOO. I have known what Oliver North did since I was a young woman.

    • rob

      What about Fast and Furious? Do you hold Obama to the same standard you held Bush I?

      • Bellalina Ballerina

        Oh honey there is a subject where the truth hurts too much to face. But work hard I am sure you can find a way to blame Obama for Iran Contra too…

      • rob

        Wait what? Who said anything about Iran and Obama? Why are you muddying the water here, it was a simple question. Will you hold people accountable for their behavior despite the letter R or D next to their name? Or are you an idealogue that will ignore or misinterpret any information that goes against your way of thinking? You can’t be so against someone based on some arms sales if you aren’t going to be just as harsh as another person for arm sales. You might have legitimate reasons for disliking Bush, but they can’t also be qualities found in Obama or you’re just a hypocrit. For the record, I’m an indepedent that votes probably 75% Dem and 25% Pub.

      • Lorie Emerson

        Spend some time researching F&F. A crappy program, but not one initiated by the Administration. Having someone in charge of the ATF probably would have helped. Obama had been arguing against supplying weapons to the rebels in Syria. McCain has been pushing it. Even now, with congressional authorization (The exact opposite of the Contras), supplying them with weapons is delayed. The agreement with Russia to get rid of the chemical weapons will probably post pone it further. The Saudis (big surprise) are the biggest supplier of weapons to the rebels.

    • Charles Vincent

      “It started with Bush one. How could we elect a President who had illegally sold weapons to Iran under the Reagan admin. Wasn’t that treason?”
      Obama is selling arms and military equipment to rebels in Syria that are or have ties to Al Qaeda. That’s definitely giving aid or comfort to a known enemy of the USA. Iran was embargoed not an enemy of the USA, and the arms were traded for hostages. Not condoning it just stating the facts.

  • carlton

    Many people I know,myself included, were scared silly over the thought that Sarah Palin might have become president if McCain died in office. Can you imagine having that nutcase running the Strongest military,economy etc. in the world.

    • Johnny

      She would have just quit like she did when Governor.

      • Magy

        And yet.. not scared that smokin’ Joe Biden could be running the country?

      • Julie

        Have you ever heard what Biden has to say, Magy? He has a lot of wisdom even though what most people see is his grinnin’ fool face. I sure in the hell whooped the pants off Paul Ryan in the VP debate! Palin, on the other hand has said and done some of the most absurdly stupid things that it’s a wonder people actually still think she’s relevant.

      • Carlton

        Well Sarah did have her own reality TV show. I guess that puts her way ahead of Biden. DO YA THINK.

      • Desertmer

        Joe Biden is perfectly capable of running the country. Just because you do not like him doesn’t necessarily mean he isn’t fully competent!!

      • Glenna Jones-Kachtik

        He has lots of wisdom. He doesn’t subscribe to end times theology & he doesn’t want to get us into war. He has great foreign policy experience….Really, you would want a President who made statements like “I can see Russia from my house”; & who really just pitted Americans against each other???? (the True Blue Americans v any other Americans)?????

  • I, too was a registered Republican for 45 years of my life. I finally came to the conclusion that to continue being a Republican demanded that I totally ignore data and facts. Not to mention the heavy-handed tactics of Congressional Republicans.

  • Joe Downey

    Sounds like Common Sense

  • John Parker

    Beautiful essay Manny! Maybe you should forward a copy to George Allen……

  • Marion Nelson

    Carlton I totally agree with your first comment about the idiocy of Palin running a country. But I just don’t get how her having a reality television show puts her ahead of anyone in office. The only thing I would like to see her “head of” is the head of an unemployment line. The sooner people realize how absolutely WRONG this woman is on everything she “feels lead” to comment on, the sooner we can maybe begin to wake people up to the idiocy of her cohorts.

    • carlton

      I was making a joke about the reality show putting her ahead of anyone. She showed what a real clown she is on the show.

      • Marion Nelson

        Sorry I misunderstood; I guess I have become accustomed to jokes with a bit more bite/sarcasm when she is the topic. Thankfully I was always “doing my hair”, “washing my car”, “insert any inane excuse you like”, while her “show” was on. Even did the oven one night to avoid it and you KNOW that is desperation to avoid something.

  • Buckeye1

    WOW! Can’t believe I read it all. You are so far off the mark, I am not sure that most of your statements are really worth a reply. Very touching opening describing your early years on the Virginia boarders. From coal fields of WV my self. In the 70’s I was chief negotiator for a large union in central Ohio. We had several companies relocate because of ridiculous contracts that paid people more for not producing than doing an honest days work. Government regulations is sending more companies overseas than any of the things you mentioned. Yesterday I bought new tires. Taxed thru the roof. Paid a $2.00 manditory environment tax. I am a conservative, independent by choice, and I am not afraid of any of the groups you named. I, like the vast majority of true Americans simply say, if you think you can take my gun, come and try. Gays? If you are a man and you want to go to bed and have sex with another man, go ahead. Just don’t make me sick telling me about it. I will only accept the Biblical definition of marriage. As for your news source, I think chose Fox News. There is not much out there. Just be careful of the network who has the guy that gets a thrill up his leg from the president.

    • Which Biblical definition? The one where you have to marry your dead brother’s wife, or maybe the one about polygamy in Genesis 4:19, or the provisions in the law God and Moses made for polygamy in Deuteronomy 21:15-17?

    • TangerinO

      “Just be careful of the network who has the guy that gets a thrill up his leg from the president.”

      As if FOX News wouldn’t have the largest boner on the planet for any republican in office, if they could actually get voted in these days.

      Just like that time, they forced that reporter to cover Reagan’s birthday at a local school, and then punished him because he couldn’t manufacture a more interesting story than kids who don’t care who Reagan is.

      More like be careful of the network that punish their staff for not bending the truth to their favour and who get a thrill up their leg for an ex-president who just happened to lay the ground for the mess we’re in today.

    • Phil

      “True Americans”? As if those who don’t goosestep the same political line as you are less than True Americans? That comment alone is enough to cast doubt upon your allegiance to the Constitution and Bill of Rights. As far as I understand it we ALL have the RIGHT to examine the evidences for ourselves and come to our own conclusions AND to speak our minds accordingly. NOT to be narrowly defined and limited by some puritan, sanctimonious, uber “patriotic” application of the Bill of Rights. As for your guns, the people in power don’t need to take them from you to win, all they need to do is keep you scared that they might be trying to while they steal your freedom WITH YOUR HELP AND CONSENT right under your very nose. Don’t be insulting, I am every bit as much a “TRUE American” as you and (maybe more so because I do try to respect the Rights of ALL people where Rights are defined that you have the Right to do whatever you wish AS LONG AS it DOES NOT adversely affect another person) and I disagree with your position in many ways and quite adamantly. DO NOT EQUATE my views with your false ideals of Patriotism or Americanism for such is the whims and tactics of tyrants, fascists, communist, anarchist and totalitarianists. REAL TRUE AMERICANS meet in the middle NOT at the extremes!!!

      • Did you have to say “goosestep”? Poor taste, man.

      • Phil

        Perhaps but then is implying that those who don’t agree with you supposed to be in good taste? Whenever one tries to force everyone into the same mold and suggests that those who don’t are somehow unpatriotic then they are acting in a totalitarian mode and need to be called on it. Only dictators question your loyalty based on whether or not you talk the party line, Democracies (and by extension Republics) are built on the freedom to believe based on your own experiences, education and research (or as is too often the case LACK of real research and reliance upon some party line rhetoric).

      • My objection was to the use of a phrase which is tied to Naziism; however, I have come to realize that it is also often used as a reference to various types of totalitarian regimes. I apologize, and withdraw my criticism.

  • molly

    I too was raised in a conservative Virginia family – and I’ve thought about writing down my reasons for leaving the GOP for some time, so I was so happy to just see the title on this. I even worked full-time for the Bush re-election campaign in 2004, but now I wonder if I was starting to leave the party even then. I remember seeing bumper stickers when I was growing up saying “Another Republican For Choice” and seeing a lot of non-religious Republicans. There were opponents and supporters of the death penalty on both parties. And everyone on both sides seemed to agree on staying out of war if at all possible. Somewhere after that 2004 election, I started looking around at the GOP and could no longer even pretend that I could be a pro-choice, non-religious, anti-death penalty, pacifist Republican. Google “republicans for choice” and you’ll only find an outdated page that looks like it was built on Geocities – the pro-choice Republicans just aren’t there anymore. The extremes took over and I got exhausted arguing with Republicans far more often than when arguing with Democrats. I could no longer show moderation on ANY issue, and was branded a RINO when I even considered the thought that gays should have the right to enter into a marriage-type contract or when I considered the fact that ten million uninsured children is shameful. So when I moved states and had to fill out my voter registration, I checked “unaffiliated” on my party affiliation. I didn’t leave the Republican party – the party left me.

  • Kathy W

    I have a very similar story but my tipping point was when I realized that being a gay person I would never have the same rights as others under the Republican Party. I very naïvely thought that it I was just as much as an American as anyone else so the marriage issue and all the rights it brought as well as not being fired for being gay, ect would be fixed very soon. This was 25 years ago. I remember seeing comic that was a drawing of a museum. It was labeled “Extinct Animals” and it had things such as the Dodo bird and dinosaurs and a Republican Lesbian. That kind of said it all for me.

    • Kathy W

      I am still very middle of the road politically. I agree with the Republicans on some things and with the Democrats on others. I have friends who are Libertarians who believe that everyone should have equal rights but think that the Republicans have finances right. America was not founded on finances we were founded on civil rights.

  • The Republican party has been hijacked by the extremists. They only represent a very tiny part of the American population. How any of them get reelected is beyond me besides the fact that they throw ridiculous amounts of money at it.

  • So you allowed talking heads that don’t even make decisions in DC think for you? Got it.

    • crucialcausality

      That’s about one sentence of the post, while the rest covers actual things that happened and references people who were in office and made decisions.

      Got it.

  • I’m very glad to see so many bi-partisan responses here! Maybe we’re starting to heal the artificial divide created by the Theocrats and the Plutocrats.

    The GOP and “conservative” side of the debate have become totally disfunctional. Here’s why we need true conservatives and true liberals who can work together to save our country:

    Liberals seek change. Without change, we stagnate, and wrongs and errors in the system never get fixed.

    Conservatives resist and question change. Change simply for the sake of change isn’t good, either.

    In a functioning system, liberals propose change because they see a problem and want to fix it, or see a way to improve something. Conservatives then question that change: is it truly needed? If so, is the proposed method the best one to correct the problem? Have we considered potential consequences? Will the proposed solution cause more problems than it fixes?

    Then they get together and hammer it all out. Sometimes it’s a change that needs to be done rapidly—for instance, what if we find out bribery of food inspectors is rampant? You can’t leave that sit for months, because in the meantime, more people can get sick or die from bad food being passed on to the public. So part of what they have to work together on is the urgency of the need for change. But for many issues, the problem is complex and finding a solution is also complex—and that takes more time to work through.

    Bottom line is this: our current GOP has sold out to the wealthy power brokers and to theocrats, who together push a line of psychological manipulation and dumbing down among their supporters (because the ignorant are easier to control). There are signs that this may fall apart in the not-so-distant future, including how more and more Americans are totally disgusted by it, but also in how the theocratic base is starting to make a lot of rumblings of splitting off because the corporate-driven GOP members are backing away from the theocracy instead of pushing even further into extremism. I really hope the split happens, because if it does, that’ll be the prime moment for true conservatives to take the stage, create a new conservative party (or *possibly* take back the GOP), and resume true bi-partisan representation of our people with the Democrats.

    One other advantage: we may also get enough reformer Democrats and Independents (like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders) who will jump at the chance to work with these new conservatives to pass proper regulation on various industries, re-work the campaign finance system to remove big donor ability to “buy” a candidate, and restructure our system so that companies stop shipping jobs overseas and resume keeping those jobs *here*.

    • I’d also like to see government get the hell out of our bedrooms and doctors’ offices. There’s a lot of laws now on various states’ books that have been passed that have tromped all over individual rights; we need to fix that. Talk about Big Government… bleagh. Also, I’m tired of seeing some people have equal rights and protections under the law while others don’t get those rights and protections. (And yes, I’m a Progressive Liberal currently listed as a Democrat—but I also have a very real appreciation of the need for good conservatives to help make our system work, and I’m very happy to see so many of them removing their support from what currently masquerades as a “conservative” party. Hopefully we’ll work together to get all this fixed, soon.)

      • Paisley Blackburn

        Great post Chris Allen. I think you were spot on with all of your points. Unfortunately, the Republicans today are big on expressing their distaste for big government until it serves their agenda. The party is out of control and needs a major enema if it is ever to work with the Democrats for the good of the American people. They are currently so interested in only one thing–derailing the Democrats–that nothing gets done for the good of the people they represent.

    • Gary Kunich

      Conservatives do not resist change. Conservatives want school choice, but liberals say it’s a bad thing. Conservatives wish to change the status quo where unions demand insurance that companies can’t pay, but liberals say that’s a bad thing. Your comment in and of itself is a stereotype.

      • It’s my observation that when people try to explain the views of other people with either a poor or warped understanding of those views, the result is somewhat inaccurate. Liberals don’t think school choice is a bad thing; liberals opposed to vouchers usually argue that sending public funds to private schools, the majority of which are religious, is flagrantly unconstitutional; not to mention that private schools are not required to refrain from teaching their students nonsense. “Your comment in and of itself is a stereotype,” says the man who attempts to speak for a whole political philosophy to which he doesn’t himself subscribe.

      • Gary Kunich

        How is it unconstitutional? Separation of church and state meant the state could not force a religious teaching onto someone, or force someone to practice a religion. They aren’t forcing a religion on someone if they go there voluntarily. Why do you say my views are poor or warped? They just don’t fit into your stereotype.

      • Phil

        Well for one thing IF we allow the giving of public moneys to one religious group then we are forced to give to all OR we begin showing favoritism to some and deciding which religions are ‘true’ and which are not (i.e. the government deciding what religions are real and acceptable and which are not). Also you are taking tax money from people of many conflicting beliefs to support the views of one belief. Why should secular humanists, deists, atheists, muslims, budhists, toaists, etc be requited to pay taxes to support southern Baptist church schools? (or Mormon or Jehovah’s Witnesses or Seventh Day Adventists for that matter). Would YOU be happy knowing your tax money was being used to support one of the non Christian “Pagan” religions? The only way to maintain fairness and an “unbiased to any religion” approach is to keep Government and Religion separate and to use PUBLIC moneys ONLY for non religious purposes. You can’t pick and choose what separation of powers you like nor can you pick and choose which of the Bill of Rights you want to honor or not honor. They come as a package deal until changed by Constitutional Amendment.

      • You’re really asking me how the use of public funds to support institutions which include religious messages in their teachings is a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment. To see where we both stand, I have to ask you how it isn’t.

      • Also, read my words again. You’ll see that the adjective “warped” is not being used to modify your views, but your understanding of the views of others.

        Edit: Er, modify the word “views,” but rather, the word “understanding.”

  • Freedom_Fighter

    This is my story also.

  • Joe

    I am an ex Republican also. During Bush’s second term and Obama’s first term, the Republican Party went to a level of stupidity and pure evilness that I was not willing to commit to.

  • The folks who brought you to the abyss work both sides of the aisle. Their purchased advocates reside in both parties. You have not had a President or a Congress since the era of Kennedy that gave a damn about you. (Carter may have been the exception but he didn’t get much of a chance when Ray-gun-zap committed treason and sabotaged the Iran hostage release.)
    SO if you did draw up a comparison chart, you’d have to admit the Repulsicans are still a tad worse than the Demoncrats.

    As Nader said, if yo keep voting for the least worse it always gets worse. So you here you are. Chumps to the last.
    It’s time to cashier these leeches and tell the ignorant dumbasses (kunich)not only are you wrong but shut the hell up. You are too removed from rality to know what you say and your beliefs are without content.
    Your heroes are pigs. Ollie North should have been imprisoned for life, better yet executed.

  • willward

    As one who also grew up in western Virginia, I know that many people approach their political affiliations like supporting a sports team. “I’m a Redskins fan.” “I’m a Republican.” Without thinking about the issues and what they mean to them on a personal level. I also cannot understand why people who say they “hate Sharia Law” don’t hate the similar anti-woman, anti-thinking rules of the religious right ministers who act and talk like mullahs.,

  • Anthony Buzzin

    I was raised in an all white, Republican family. My grandfather is the worst, as this is usually the case, old white man way out of touch, cant remember what he ate for dinner yesterday yet he remembers the McCarthyism garbage of the 50s in some fashion or another to blame liberals for everything. Liberals, immigrants, unions, government, etc. He watches social programs grow and believes its bc people are lazy, (like all of a sudden people became lazy since 1998) and want handouts. As if people would rather make less than 10K a year so they can get food stamps, or the working poor who work full time AND are still on social programs. It’s disgusting, he doesn’t even complain about the FRAUD of such programs, but the programs altogether. Just the other day I heard my uncle (his son) saying, “Bush did some things I liked and he did some things I didn’t like”. Well that doesn’t quite sum it up for me but that is a conversation for another place and time….Point is, they care about themselves, and themselves only. They don’t care about Americans, poor hardworking Americans who struggle to pay for rent, gas and food.

  • Phil A

    I could never be a Republican for the simple reason that they support the 1% avoiding taxes, which is at the heart of our country’s economic woes.

    • rob

      no it’s not and no they don’t. come on…..

  • Andy2x

    *George Allen and me

  • Nora

    This is so much bs. I get so tired of Democrats trying to fabricate the idea that Republicans (or any party that isn’t Democrat) are somehow the party of racists. They are forgetting that Republicans are the party that were responsible for the Emancipation Proclamation and that it was the DEMOCRATS that were protecting the slave-owners by voting against it. Also just a newsflash…there are minorities within the republican party, so does this mean that they are “fearful” of themselves? RIDICULOUS! What we are “FEARFUL” of is the government expanding it’s powers to the point where they feel it is THEIR right to keep your emails, google searches, lists of phone calls you’ve made and storing them forever in a multi-billion dollar facility. Fearful of the government giving the citizens just enough to scrape by on in welfare benefits so they can tell you how much “they care about you” so you will vote them into power again. All the while trying to make you feel as though “you can’t” possibly, because of the circumstances you were dealt have the self-reliance, ambition and drive to do it on your own. No you “can’t” possibly be smart enough to do it without the government. And why on earth would ANYONE be worried about the government taking their guns away, when we know that criminals get them illegally anyway. Yes I am sure that grandma who lives alone, or the young single mother with little children will do just fine waiting for the police to show up to save them. Our freedoms are slowly but surely being taken away by the Democratic party. If you live in NY, you can’t even drink a big gulp anymore. If you are lucky enough to have a job, and you are trying to do the right thing in providing for your family, you are still taxed heavily, so you are working 10-14 hr days just to barely scrape by. But is the constant fabrication of lies that keeps me from voting Democrat. Scandal after scandal after scandal. “No thanks” I would like to keep my “racist” bi-racial family far from a party like that!

    • Paisley Blackburn

      Wow your ignorance really shows. Yes, the Democrat party was against the slaves being freed, but at some point in time, the parties “switched.” No one I know thinks that getting temporary government assistance means that the government wants you to remain dependent on them. Quite the contrary. If you apply for government assistance, they require, at least for TANF, that you apply consistently each week for jobs. They want you to become independent as opposed to dependent upon government assistance. I suppose we all know where you get your “facts” from…..

      • Nora

        Now I understand why there are hardly any opposing views posted on this page..This is the 3rd reply I’ve attempted and the moderator has chosen not to allow any. Another example of how the Democrats are against freedom of speech as well, unless it is speech that agrees with them. Guess I will have to move over to a Republican blog spot where they allow ALL to voice their opinion, even if it disagrees with them!

    • Lorie Emerson

      You really might want to look at the current party, not the history. These are no longer Lincoln Republicans, they have switched places and its easy to see. Just look at the states rights issue if nothing else, then look at the ‘Southern Strategy’.
      The largest source of criminals getting guns is by stealing them from people who leave them unsecured. The vast majority of home robberies occur when no one is home, which is when they grab your auto from the nightstand and the AK from the closet. A lot of us ‘progressives’ have guns too. We just think there should be rules, and, living in Az, I can assure you that there are very few down here. In order to prove a ‘straw’ purchase (buying a gun for someone who could not pass a background check) you have to ‘knowingly’ sell it to someone who shouldn’t have it. Know how you get around that down here? Don’t ask/ don’t tell.
      If you would like to discuss ‘scandals’ then you need to look at how many members of Reagan and Bush’s staffs actually went to jail. Otherwise, you are depending on the manufactured scandals brought to you by Fox news.
      I don’t agree with any politician on every issue. Just as I don’t agree with any person on every issue.

    • Lorie Emerson

      Another point would be the NSA issue. Can you cite an example of Republicans in the House actually passing a bill to restrain the NSA or repeal the “Patriot Act”? I believe both parties are guilty on this front.

  • Frans

    For a European (Belgian), it’s impossible to understand how anyone can vote Republican. The things these people stand for, claim, do …. it reminds me of the Dark Ages. We have so called extreme right parties but W and his cohorts are far beyond these parties on just about any issue. Religion, guns, taxes, …. our so called fascists look like Commies compared to the Republicans !

    • rob

      Hahahaha, this is some crazy rhetoric. Bush was hardly a social conservative, you could make the argument he was even more liberal than Obama. Don’t paint a weird picture of him just because he was evangelical….check out his aid for africa program and no child left behind programs. His two giant issues, other than dealing with the war which was thrust upon him, are wayyyyyy left of any republican platform. Come on people…get educated.

  • Alva Smith

    The GOP control people through fear and smear, it’s a known fact that goes back decades, and it gets worse all the time.. People are becoming educated now, or at least the majority are.. which is why republicans tell their base it’s ok not to educate your children, and why they are trying to gut the education system.. I was born and raised Liberal and so glad my parents encouraged education, not to let that bunch scare me, and not to listen to their mud slinging.

  • Dadicated Independent

    We are being played by both parties. The Republicans play on our fears. It’s constantly “if you don’t elect us you are going to loose your rights.” Mean while the Democrats play on our hopes “If you elect us we will do all these wonderful things for you”. I distrust them both but I guess I would rather live in a world of hopes as opposed to a world of fears.

  • SlowCode

    Yep. Had my car keyed because it had an Obama sticker on it. Twice. But I’m still a registered Republican. That way I can vote in their primary and choose the “Talking Horse” candidate.

  • raymond quave

    get some of the facts right It was bill clinton who gave our jobs away over seas and not bush remember the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA back a few years that’s what spurred our global trade problems, Hello I will admit none of them have balls to stand up for what is right for our country big government without representation is our biggest problem

  • FactoryGuy

    Manny you sound a lot like me…..republican home growing up, dems were spending the country into oblivion, Rush was right (even read his books), Clinton was going to destroy the economy. When they took a surplus and turned it into a defecit in less than 3 years I woke up. Since then I’ve dug into the facts and they ain’t so pretty for what I thought I was supporting.
    Ted

  • Allison Moss-Fritch

    I’m sorry this has been a difficult adjustment, but you are to be commended and respected for actually thinking about your votes….for either party. The really important things are that you think, you inform yourself and you vote; what more can a free society ask?

  • 41progress41

    I’m knee jerk commenting here…but the first few lines turned me off. “Not a strip club in 100 miles and a church on every corner” Why would he associate strip clubs with being progressive values? Really? Isn’t SC and FL the strip club capital of the world? I’m as liberal as they come…but strip clubs? Hell no! And I have never seen more churches than driving through Milwaukee…not exactly a bastion of conservative values there…I want conservatives to stop owning religion…my favorite religious friends are VERY liberal.

  • Charlie Vasquez

    Same here…I won’t even tell my story.

  • Charlie Vasquez

    You wanna leave the Tea Baggins party? All you have to do is think carefully about the word “freedom” (I always say that the freedoms of some are the enslavement of others). How can you preach freedom yet try to bind people within the shackles of religion? You can belong to any religion you want, but trying set the rules of law according to the bible is just not “freedom”. It is also bad theology, since Jesus speaks about his kingdom not being of this earth…he clearly made a distinction between earthly matters and spiritual ones. Religion is personal and spiritual, government matters are earthly. Never does the bible ask people that they should try to rule by “biblical law”; rather, the Jewish law was made for Jews, not for the rest of the world, according to the bible. Ignorance and individuality has laid waste to the GOP…

  • carterchas

    I’m glad to see that more and more republicans are seeing what I have for years: The republican party is excellent at making a pitch, but, unlike commercial advertisers, they have no compulsion (or desire) to tell the truth. They call themselves “Pro-life”, but support war and heavy military spending; they also do not wish to support that life once it arrives. They like to call Democrats “Tax and Spend”, but they do far worse, they “Borrow and Waste” (on massive defense spending). The like to talk about trimming the national debt; Democratic presidents have been far better at this than Republicans. Republicans like to dress themselves up in religious freedom, but what they really push is freedom for THEIR religion. Both parties were reasonable enough that a middle road was visible to both sides. The GOP seems interested only in power now — and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Placing the desire for power above all else also corrupts absolutely. As a lifelong Democrat, I remembering my parents and mentors saying how important it was to have opposition; opposition that is truly interested in solving problems is beneficial. The republican party hasn’t been about solving problems for a long time. I have no doubts that Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt would be democrats if they were alive today.

  • Michael Rappaport

    Is this a pseudonym? Not that it matters, but Manny Schewitz sounds an awful lot like the wine.