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Sun Jun 17, 2012, 09:55 PM

Why I gave up on being a Republican (GOP "infected by... political rabies")

I'm a life-long Republican. My political affiliation has been woven intrinsically into the very fabric of my being.

My first political act was passionately lobbying my fourth-grade classmates to vote for Reagan over Walter Mondale in a mock election in 1984. As an adult, I continued to be a rock-solid Republican- I helped run my law school's chapter of the Federalist Society and its Republican club. And after the election of President Obama in 2008, I served as an officer in my state Republican Party. For the next two years, I devoted substantial amounts of my time, my talent, and my treasure to supporting local candidates running for office and to building the Party organization.

Today, however, I am a registered Republican no longer.

I came to the decision to leave the GOP not with a heavy heart, but with a broken one.


http://www.nj.com/hudson/voices/index.ssf/2012/06/stafford_why_i_gave_up_on_bein.html

The whole article is quite damning of his former party.

16 replies, 2870 views

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why I gave up on being a Republican (GOP "infected by... political rabies") (Original post)
UrbScotty Jun 2012 OP
gopiscrap Jun 2012 #1
Squinch Jun 2012 #2
freshwest Jun 2012 #5
mindwalker_i Jun 2012 #9
BillyJack Jun 2012 #10
mindwalker_i Jun 2012 #12
freshwest Jun 2012 #4
alfredo Jun 2012 #13
hrmjustin Jun 2012 #15
struggle4progress Jun 2012 #3
gopiscrap Jun 2012 #16
madamesilverspurs Jun 2012 #6
SharonAnn Jun 2012 #7
alfredo Jun 2012 #14
PopYoColla Jun 2012 #8
BillyJack Jun 2012 #11

Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 10:00 PM

1. People like this piss me off

they are part of the reason this country is in such a mess...low information voters and then all of a sudden things aren't going well for them and suddenly they see the light! WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 10:17 PM

2. Or we could say...

Welcome! And bring your friends, please.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 10:49 PM

5. +1 and welcome to DU, Squinch.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 12:00 AM

9. Exactly the right thing to say

The Republican party used to not suck, at least not anywhere near this bad. As liberal as I am, the conservatives (of olde) provided counter-arguments that were useful. For example, as a liberal, I want government to provide universal and complete healthcare, good education for everyone, and a robust safety net for when we get laid off. There's probably a limit to how far that should all extend though, and having conservatives argue against the liberals helps balance what we get to the middle of the range of possibilities.

However, this all assumes that both sides are actually trying to achieve the same thing: a functional country that is trying to achieve the optimal operating point. That is no longer true of the Republican party, unfortunately. They know that austerity won't help the country. They know that cutting all the social programs won't help the country or, in the long run, businesses. They have one goal: to get reelected. Getting the business vote (which is now working on short term gains - see housing bubble) and financial support in by far job #1 for them. Getting money to the rich, which partially comes back as campaign contributions, in far more important that doing anything to help the economy. Hell, not giving Obama a win is far more important than helping the nation at all.

So when a lifelong Republican comes to the point where they realize their party is fucked, welcome to the our side! We're actually pretty middle-of-the-road as it is, maybe too far right, at least for my ideals. And if that can help the Republican party unfuck itself eventually and become a good opposition to the Democratic party (and the Dems move back left), we'll all be better off for it.

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Response to mindwalker_i (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 12:25 AM

10. Meh......this democrats vs. republican stuff is ALL ABOUT divide and conquer from the global elite.

A sophisticated game, to be sure.....but that's what's happening here in today's world....here in america for sure.

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Response to BillyJack (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 12:48 AM

12. It is now

The Republican party used to have some integrity, but not no more.

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 10:47 PM

4. I know, but you have to consider the age. He was repeating his folks in the 4th grade, thinking that

Last edited Mon Jun 18, 2012, 02:43 AM - Edit history (1)

Mom and Dad or whoever, loved him and was telling him the right way to live. This is the reason that many people resist changing their minds because on a deep emotional level, you are disrespecting something that they saw as part of survival. Parents teach their children whatever they believe will save their lives.

Errors in that are hard to erase because of the bond. And the introduction of religion if not done in a grossly abusive manner, causes the child to feel they have reached something clean and wholesome, even if later one realizes it's not logical. And during the Reagan era this continued to go increasingly wrong. This is why there has always been a focus on education, and you can see where the right has been pushing for years to control those younger minds.

This man was a different generation. I was in the 6th grade when Kennedy was running against Nixon. There were plenty who felt afraid of any change, especially in the Cold War era. All they'd known in their lives was Eisenhower. And Nixon was supposed to be like him.

We had an election in our class and it was very close, but Kennedy won by one vote. Because we were a little bit older than this guy was, and the times were different. We had the League of Women Voters and what would be called a real liberal media at that time.

The issues brought up when Reagan got in office in 1980 and since, were completely different. The closest we got to discussing religion and the presidency in 1960 was when Kennedy assured the public, as Democrats always have, that they will follow the law of the land and not the Pope or something else. That changed with Reagan.

We can fault this guy, but he's a good witness in the long run, and could be a good chance to change the minds of people in the GOP. Very much like what I'm going to describe next.

One of the darlings of the religious right, Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer wrote a very popular book, A Christian Manifesto:

http://www.peopleforlife.org/francis.html

If you read this, and many evangelical churches gave the entire book to their members, you will see where they get their beliefs from. To fight these ideas you have to know their language. In any argument, railing does nothing but cause people to put up their defense shields because they are trying to protect their heart.

You must find the most humane, universally truth on why they are in error on some of this and your vision is larger. Schaeffer's son grew up around all the big evangelicals and he eventually decided that they were wrong.

He came out strongly for Obama in 2008 and maintained his support. Like the man in the OP, he had an epiphany. So some despise him now. A little bit about Schaeffer's namesake here:

Pro-Life And In Favor Of Keeping Abortion Legal,by Frank Schaeffer

December 9, 2008

Frank Schaeffer's parents, Francis and Edith, were best-selling authors who were instrumental in linking the evangelical community with the anti-abortion movement.

But after coming of age as an evangelist and helping to organize religious fundamentalists politically, Schaeffer had a crisis of faith: Though he is pro-life, he decided that abortion should remain legal.

Shortly after the presidential election, Schaeffer wrote an open letter on the Huffington Post explaining his views and urging President-elect Barack Obama to support programs that provide care for pregnant women and reduce the number of abortions. In the letter, Schaeffer disassociated himself from his former politics, writing, "The pro-life cause poisoned many of us who were part of it. Me included. It led to self-righteous hubris that extended to a general attitude of hate toward the 'other.'"


Listen, download or read about this here:

http://www.npr.org/2008/12/09/97998654/pro-life-and-in-favor-of-keeping-abortion-legal

So I think this is a good thing happening in the OP, although it's aggravating, I know. What do you think, is any of that useful for us?

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 09:12 AM

13. People grow and change. Democrats believe in the goodness of man.

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 02:26 PM

15. I see your point, but it is better late than never. n/t

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 10:43 PM

3. I'm pretty sure the GOP has been unhinged since the Nixon era

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 06:01 PM

16. No kidding I think Watergate caused them to have a nervous breakdown!

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 11:22 PM

6. He's in good company.

My mother was born the same year women got the vote. She's been a very active Republican for 71 years, her primary deviation from their influence being her vote for Obama in '08. She retained her affiliation, however, in hopes that it would open conversational doors in order to be a voice for positive, constructive action. Two months ago, however, she finally realized that her party loyalty was misplaced and unappreciated, and she formally left the party. She couldn't quite bring herself to capitulate to the Democratic party, probably because at age 92 that would be a bit much for her. She's now an independent, wants nothing to do with her former party, and continues to assert that Obama will prove to be the best president of her lifetime.


-

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 11:30 PM

7. That's the way I did it, too. From Republican to Independent. Then to Democrat.

It's hard to do it all in one, fell swoop. I did it a step at a time.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 09:30 AM

14. I supported Nixon over JFK. It was the anti Catholic bias in our home.

I soon came around because of JFK's civil rights stance.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 11:39 PM

8. smh

reading the comments on that page really makes me sad....

it's so terrible that people look at politics like it's the NFL or something...

bottom line, there's just no reasoning with some people...

and what makes it soooo sad is that the people doing the most screaming and name-calling are probably the ones who benefit from government the most...not one of them are rich enough to vote GOP....

at least all of Romney's million dollar pimps have a vested interest in his election...what do they poor Republicans get when Romney wins???

the right to yell "We won!!!!" and a bigger tax bill once Ryan's budget is passed....

fuckin' idiots....

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Response to PopYoColla (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 12:39 AM

11. this post should be an OP imo. Please consider making it an OP

Heck make it an OP on several other political sites.....it's true! Some will "get it".

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