I am a lifelong Republican who has faced the reality that the GOP no longer represents the values that best serve America: strong national defense, fiscal discipline and support of individual rights over group rights. Instead, the GOP of today has not only lost its mind, but also its soul. Witness these current realities:
1. The GOP has become a “small tent” party, almost exclusively representing politically alienated white voters. What other swath of America do the Republicans speak for – other than their traditional big business allies?
2. The GOP is the party promoting voter identification laws that disenfranchise our citizenry from their most fundamental right. Worse, their basis for such laws (voter fraud) is an outright lie repeatedly proven to be statistically nonexistent.
3. The GOP is the party of climate-change deniers; the only voting bloc in the Western world clinging to such a point of view. History will not judge the Republican Party kindly given facts no longer matter to them.
4. The GOP is the party encouraging more money in politics (e.g., support of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling). For decades, it’s the Republicans who have been the impediment to effective campaign finance reform.
5. The GOP is in lockstep with the NRA, refusing to allow any common sense gun control legislation, while an increasing number of U.S. citizens die preventable deaths.
6. The GOP has controlled the House since 2010 and Senate since 2014. Name one piece of legislation they’ve authored serving the greater public good. Meanwhile, America’s infrastructure crumbles.
7. The GOP plays a zero-sum game to either win at all costs or do what’s necessary to ensure the opposition loses. For example, the Republican Senate won’t confirm a duly nominated Supreme Court justice. The country loses thanks to being stuck in judicial paralysis with important decisions pending, all due to Republican refusal to perform their sworn constitutional duty.
8. The GOP refuses to support its own problem-solving ideas. Republican-generated concepts such as Obamacare’s individual mandate or reducing carbon emissions through cap and trade are both models developed by conservative think-tanks. Yet when these same solutions are offered by a Democratic president, Republicans deem them wholly unacceptable.
9. The GOP is the political party demonizing immigrants while encouraging bigotry. Bill Maher once said, “It would be both wrong and stupid of me to say that every Republican is a racist. But I’ll bet in today’s America, every racist votes Republican.” Just so.
10. The GOP is the party that has not only nominated a demagogue like Donald Trump but coalesced around him as its candidate for the U.S presidency – a betrayal of the conservative principles for which it has stood.
I’m no Democrat and continue to cringe at their more liberal empty-headed policies. However, they’re now the only adults left in the room. When it comes to my country, I insist its leaders be steady, responsible and act based strictly on an adherence to facts in evidence. That’s certainly not Donald Trump, nor is it a reflection of today’s Republican Party. This year, I’m voting for America instead.
Seth Marshall, who attended Ferris High School and Whitworth University, is a Los Angeles-area businessman.
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