Why I left the Republican Party

I made the following comment on Jeff’s blog which asked the question why would someone vote Republican? I have made some edits for clarity.

When I left the GOP around 2008 to become an independent, I had three principal reasons:

-the stance on climate change
-the unhealthy embrace with evangelicals and NRA
-the greater propensity to make things up

Republicans would typically see the last one and say both sides lie and they are right. But, it is not a normal distribution, being more heavily weighted to the right. And, in the age of Trump it has only gotten worse. I can argue policy with Democrats, but with Republicans I have to correct their misinformation (and sometimes disinformation).

I said this about ten years ago, but most Republicans are voting against their economic interests and have no idea they are. Poverty is not restricted to urban areas nor is it restricted to non-white voters, with more people in poverty being white. As an example, if the ACA was done away with, Republican voters would be harmed in great numbers. A picture pairing two sets of GOP voters speaks volumes. Note the picture refers to a wealthy GOP donor thanking the less wealthy and educated GOP voter who has been lured in by a values proposition.

And, what I find funny is the GOP is making such a big deal out of election protections based on the Big Lie perpetuated by Trump and his sycophants. Looking back to the Voter ID and gerrymandering bills that got passed in state legislatures since 2010, the GOP cheats far more than the Democrats do, although they both are prone to game the system. I have witnessed this first-hand in North Carolina with laws that were deemed unconstitutional and then rewritten to a retreating line in the sand level of acceptable cheating.

Yet, the issues that concern me are not getting enough airplay, as the focus is on perceived value propositions. If people are concerned about climate change, please do not vote Republican. If people are concerned with civil rights, please do not vote Republican. If people are concerned with healthcare access, please do not vote Republican. If people are concerned about voting rights, please do not vote Republican. If people are concerned with the environment, please do not vote Republican.

My former party used to tout being the party of values, law and order and fiscal responsibility. They do not check any of these boxes anymore. Lying is not a value. Rationalizing an insurrection caused by a Republican president is not lawful. And, increasing the debt and deficit just as much as Democrats do is hypocritical. But, in short, when the truth tellers are vilified and the liars are aggrandized in the party, that shows the party is untethered to the truth.

Democrats are not perfect, but I do not see the same level of lying and malevolence as I do under the GOP. Until the party leaders are told the truth matters and held to account, this won’t change. We must make them rethink this. Some of my Democrat friends disagree with this statement, but we do need a viable Republican party. What we don’t need is whatever this thing masquerading as the Republican party is. Truth must matter.

27 thoughts on “Why I left the Republican Party

  1. Thank you Keith for the shoutout. And, as always, your common sense and reason are what is lacking in today’s Republican Party. By openly stating your reasons for leaving the party sheds a powerful light on what has now become a party that is unrecognizable. You saw that back in 2008. And it’s been in free-for-all ever since. You were right then. And you’re spot-on now. Something needs to give and I don’t know that the party is salvageable. I’ve mentioned the possibility of a viable third-party that would uphold some of the virtues of Democrats, and some of the virtues of that once reasonable version of the Republican Party. Do you think that has any chance whatsoever of happening?

  2. There are too many people voting for the same party because it is a family tradition. They follow the herd because they never considered being an individual. And many of them are too afraid and of too little self-esteem to stand tall for their own opinion or even never considered that they are allowed to have one.

  3. Note to Readers: I read today where very conservative pundit Ann Coulter said “Trump is done” also referring to him as a “liar and con man.” She was a staunch Trump supporter before she turned on him after the election loss. I have felt Trump was done after his Big Lie and role in instigating the insurrection last January 6 (most of his heavy lifting was months, weeks and days leading up to January 6 not just on that day). Yet, I knew it would take some time for the party to realize it. Once the tipping point is reached, you will see a lot of rats jumping the sinking Trump ship. They need to avoid jumping on the De Santis ship, as he is just another version of Trump.

    • A great article Keith, thanks for including the link in your reply on our page! I can’t disagree with any of that.

      I’ve always felt there needs to be an opposing force between two different parties, as a single party will surely become corrupt. They might have different thoughts and methods in getting things done, but they must have in common a heartfelt belief in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. That’s the difficult part. I honestly think that may be just a pipe dream.

      I spend a lot of my time trying to find root causes for the basic problems our country has faced in its history, and I know I’m not the first to have the opinion that our worst problems began when the first slaves were sold. It set up our eventual civil war which gave rise to hatred of the blacks after the south lost. That hatred has never died and we see it in our politics today. (Actually, we see it everywhere we look.)

      Nobody who hates another race of people can have ever believe in our American Ideals, and that’s what we’ve always dealt with. It divides us. How do we get people to change? I don’t see that happening, especially not now.

      The world has changed in ways our founders could not have imagined. What worked before may not work in a world where one person can tell lies and have them heard and believed by 150 million voters overnight. We’re really in a jam with false information. I don’t think people realize just how big a problem that is.

      • Thanks for your comment and your post. I do agree that we have taken steps back and at the core of many of our problems is the slavery issue, but let me add two things. In general, it is all about cheap labor and land resources (and it still is). The slave owners biggest assets were the sum total of all the slaves, so that is why they did not want to cede their purchased labor. But, we should also not forget the land white settlers stole from Native Americans, who many were willing to share, until it became obvious sharing would prove difficult. When Native Americans pushed back, they were annihilated or moved. We cannot white wash away the two biggest forms of imperialism in our country – slave ownership and Native American genocide. Thanks again, Keith

  4. Thank you for the clarification Keith as to the values which once attracted voters to The Republican Party “the party of values, law and order and fiscal responsibility”.
    There was always a tendency in the UK to associate Republicans with The Conservative Party and Democrats with The Labour Party, which never quite seemed to square, as back in the 1960s to first decade of the 21st Century there seemed to ‘Liberal’ Republicans and ‘Reactionary’ Democrats.
    The party has sadly become something unsettlingly close to European Far Right Wing groupings…responsibility and rationality being thrown out of the window. Certainly not the Party of Eisenhower or Bush (snr).

      • PS – To me, the three people who played a heavy hand in taking the GOP down the untruthful path are former Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Vice President Dick Cheney and PR strategist Karl Rove. Gingrich was such an antagonistic presence, his own party ousted him as Speaker. Cheney had too much of a role ceded by George W. Bush which aided the petroleum industry and Rove played a hand in selling the contrived WMD reason to invade Iraq and one of his people went to jail for outing a CIA officer to discredit her former ambassador husband for denouncing the Bush administration for falsifying his reconnaissance on WMDs.

      • Imagine if Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice had been convinced to run as George Bush jnr’s successor? How things might have been so different.
        (Apparently Bush ‘wrote-in’ Rice during the 2020 election race)

  5. I would say the same about why I left the Democrat Party in 2002, turned Independent then Libertarian, now a Fredrick Douglass Republican. Living in the ghetto, I like so many other blacks voted over and over for Democrats. Dems ran the city(Houston) for decades yet the ghetto remained the same year after year. Dems would come to church during election season to preach for our votes then, get elected, then they didn’t talk to us again until next election. Always promising they was working on bettering the hood, but nope, it remained the same. Drugs, murder, high crime and horrible housing. You may not see their lies, but they lie to Black community for decades. They continue to get so much of the black vote, not because of their greatness but because too many blacks are uninformed voters and are easily mislead. Which saddens me greatly. Lastly, a top reason I left Dems is they insist Killing Black unborn humans is fine, even though Margaret Sanger created Planned Parenthood to rid the world of the unwanted “weeds” as she called it. Yes, it’s a choice but a choice that was designed in part to kill blacks.

    • Thanks for your well thought out comment. I did not rejoin the Democrat party (I was in it out of college), but today I find myself able to argue policy issues as to why, whereas with my Republican friends, I find myself arguing the truth. We need viable parties, but we need for them to stop focusing on getting elected or staying in office and focus more on doing their job. Politicians are very good at promising things, which are easy, and not so good at doing things. We have too many bumper sticker slogans and not enough analyzed problems with holistic solutions. All politicians want a quick fix, but there are very few panaceas out there. Thanks again, Keith

      • Thanks for responding. I guess it depends on what your truth is. Nowadays, ones opinion has become their truth. I have debated with Liberal Democrats that ignored facts and stuck to emotional kindergarten rhetoric. For example, I agued with my Democrat friends that Kyle Rittenhouse shot/killed 2 white men and wounded another white man. Even when I showed them the news article proving it, they didn’t want to believe it. Take care out there.

  6. Likewise on taking care. I did want to clarify that my concern is over the lack of veritas in the elected officials, not the voters. Our voters are not the most informed lot, as we as a country pay more attention to sports and entertainment news than the issues that affect us. We voters don’t recognize as well as we should when smoke is been blown at us. To me it is concerning when elected officials lie with impunity regardless of party. It frustrates me that the truth tellers in the GOP are getting vilified and getting death threats and are not getting the air cover they need from party leadership. Yet, they speak out anyway, which shows courage. Do elected Democrats lie, of course, but it is not a normal distribution. But, when they do so, they should be called out as well – I am thinking of names like Senator Menendez and Representative Rangel and even President Clinton on his sexual affair in the White House.

    • Thena, let’s hope they are not immortal like those folks were in The Lord of the Rings. Mixing metaphors, we do need a large wooden stake to put down the one who just won’t go away.

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