Ronald Reagan was his hero. He was a life-long Republican. In law school, he helped run his school's Federalist Society and its Republican club. He served as an officer in his state's Republican Party.
But no more. He's seen enough. He explains why....
I came to the decision to leave the GOP not with a heavy heart, but with a broken one.
I reached this point through a long series of awakenings and realizations- a path marked by literally years of wrestling with,,, the political implications of a number of difficult truths. It involved ever-increasing levels of cognitive dissonance, as I tried to square my experiences, concerns, and knowledge, with my continued loyalty to the GOP.
As a local GOP official after President Obama’s election, I had a front-row seat as it became infected by a dangerous and virulent form of political rabies.
In the grip of this contagion, the Republican Party has come unhinged. Its fevered hallucinations involve threats from imaginary communists and socialists who, seemingly, lurk around every corner. Climate change- a reality recognized by every single significant scientific body and academy in the world- is a liberal conspiracy conjured up by Al Gore and other leftists who want to destroy America. Large numbers of Republicans- the notorious birthers- believe that the President was not born in the United States. Even worse, few figures in the GOP have the courage to confront them.
Republican economic policies are also indefensible. The GOP constantly claims that its opponents are engaged in “class warfare,” but this is an exercise in projection. In Republican proposals, the wealthy win, and the rest of us lose- one only has to look at Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget to see that.
Those are not The Reverend's words.....even though I have repeatedly touched on every point Michael Stafford, 2003 graduate from Duke University law school, makes about his once-beloved Republican Party. Those are the words of an honest-with-himself conservative who simply cannot bear the burden of today's GOP "fevered hallucinations" any longer.
A similar epiphany confronted Charles Johnson, proprietor of the Little Green Footballs website. Once a rabid winger-right website....Johnson finally had had enough and broke with his GOP because of those same "fevered hallucinations."
No, readers......today's Republican Party has little resemblance to its former self. Even honest conservatives realize that now. Whether the "fever" will ever break is doubtful. However, one thing is for sure. If the hallucinatory state that the GOP is currently in isn't broken, the GOP will be kicked to the curb of U.S. political history. It's expiration date will have passed.
In his piece, Michael Stafford includes this excerpt from Thomas E. Mann and Norm Ornstein's recent eye-opener explaining that no, both sides don't do it.....it's the GOP which has become fevered with extremism and impossible to deal with....
“the Republican Party, has become an insurgent outlier—ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”
...and then adds....
Its (the GOP's) reckless behavior helps drive the political dysfunction crippling our nation.
Now, if you didn't know better....you'd think that all these smart and well-educated men have been reading Blog of Mass Destruction daily.....because everything these guys are now saying, I have been saying for 7 or 8 years online.
No, today's GOP wasn't always like it is today.....and more and more thinking people have come to realize that truth.
Between now and November, every effort that can be made by Village corporate media will be made to convince potential voters that "both sides do it", "both sides refuse to compromise", "both sides obstruct", "both sides are responsible for our incivility." But that is not true, and no matter how many times it's repeated, it will never be true.
Michael Stafford, former active player in, and fond admirer of, the Republican Party, sees it now, understands it now and can no longer conscientiously identify himself with such an extreme political party. Other honest conservatives can learn something from him.
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