Over the weekend, I dropped a tweet showing my change in voter registration.
Coming this week: Why I Went from R to U. pic.twitter.com/Z1bJBMtls4
— A.P. Dillon – LL1885 (@LadyLiberty1885) May 15, 2016
I went from Republican to Unaffiliated.
When I first registered to vote over 25 years ago, I lived in New York and registered as a Democrat. I was the typical Democrat walking bumper sticker back then — keep your laws off my body, pro-choice, women’s rights this and that.
However, I began to have doubts fairly soon after while watching Bill Clinton lie to Congress and debate the definition of ‘is’. But I stayed in the party. Surely this is where I belonged, I thought at the time.
After leaving New York and heading south, I began to examine why I thought I was a democrat. My college professors had been pretty liberal and had asserted their views in various ways throughout my college experience. Their influence began to wane as the reality of work, taxes and the idea that I was responsible for my own choices, either good or bad, set in.
Still, I remained a democrat. But when the next election rolled around, I found myself voting for George Bush. Twice. I couldn’t help it. The realization that the democrat party’s pull on me as a young person was based on perpetuating a perverse victimhood — ‘vote for us because only we can solve your problems’.
No, I could solve my problems. So I left. In part due to that realization and in part due to 9/11. I’m sure many would argue this point with me, but in my view, Bill Clinton’s ineptitude in foreign policy precipitated what happened that day. He could have taken down Bin Laden. He didn’t.
Say what you want about George Bush, but I never for an instant questioned he loves this country. This has never been more clear than juxtaposing him with our current president and his disdain for this nation’s history, laws and principles.
So I was now a Republican. My eyes began to open and could clearly see the increasing social justice warrior attitudes of the Democrats. Louder, screechier and based on that same premise of perpetuating victimhood.
I felt the Republican party upheld the ideals of the founding of our nation. They respected the Constitution. They believed as I did in personal responsibility, accountability and the idea that our Rights in this nation were endowed to us by our Creator and not bestowed on us by government.
I want to believe.
But I can’t anymore. Not after this past election cycle.
I’ve watched as friends and colleagues I respected and admired joined a cult of personality much like the one we saw in 2008.
Yes, I’m talking about Donald Trump. And yes, I believe his following is cult like. (I can’t wait to read the comments later which will prove me right.)
I found myself watching excellent and true conservative candidates fall to the cult. I watched the GOP Establishment (GOPe) help knock those true Conservatives down by insisting on backing their pick for the American people — Jeb Bush. The GOPe learned nothing from 2012. Nothing.
Just like Democrats I know are unenthused about Hillary, the Republicans were feeling that way about Jeb. What part of ‘we don’t want any more dynastic political families for candidates’ do these two parties not get? No. Stop it.
When Ted Cruz dropped out, that’s when I dropped out of the Republican party. Watching the GOPe talking heads and figures like Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell and even candidates like Marco Rubio tear into Cruz instead of uniting behind him was the build up for my departure.
GOPe figures like Graham, McConnell, Boehner and McCain like their power. That’s abundantly clear. What they don’t like is someone coming in and fighting on principle instead of taking their appointed place in the Washington Cartel.
The more the GOPe disparaged Cruz, the more I knew he was the right candidate. This is how the GOPe has converted Republicans to unaffiliated and it didn’t happen overnight. There has been a drip, drip, drip of their shenanigans that goes back to before 2008.
It’s not just on the national level either. I’ve helped ‘true conservatives’ get elected only to see them do nothing once they get into office. Well, no ‘nothing’ exactly, they manage to line their pockets and those of their pals quite often. The same can be said of the Democrats. The Washington Cartel isn’t just in Washington. It’s in every state house in the country.
I used to think you changed things from the inside. I had stuck it out trying to make a difference in that respect. However, much like a surgeon who opens up a patient to find that the problem is far more extensive than they thought, I realized change from within was not possible. In the immortal words of Dr. McCoy, ‘he’s dead, Jim’.
I don’t think this is just Republicans moving to Unaffiliated either. The Democrats I know are leaving too. Not the progressive, far left racing version of the Democrat party that is Hell bent on social justice everything, but the Democrat party I joined over 25 years ago. You know, the Democrat party that considered compromise to be a dirty word unless it was an election year.
There is a realignment going on in both parties. A fundamental shift is in the works. How it plays out, I have no idea. For the first time in my adult life, I’m actually kind of scared to find out.
And so, this month I made my move to Unaffiliated. I know I’m not alone.