Miss Manners might say that it is impolite to talk about politics or religion in public, but since most of what I talk about in private is politics and religion, and since these are such extraordinary times, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if I let you know what I will be putting in the mail tomorrow morning.
The Republican party establishment and the anarchist group Anonymous seem to be strange bedfellows, but it’s even stranger to watch a slate of seventeen of the best candidates the Republican party has had in years being boiled down to Donald Trump. When I marveled to my son that I had never actually met a Trump supporter, he replied, “Yes, Mother, that’s because you work in a library.” It’s true that probably most of the people I work with are Clinton supporters, and most of the people I go to church with are probably Cruz supporters. Until last week, I continued to be an ardent, though lonely, Rubio supporter, because he was super-smart, honest, and reflected my values better than anyone else.
Now that he is gone, it would seem natural for me to gravitate to Cruz, and while I would hold my nose and vote for him, he is just not my guy, for reasons that I cannot list without offending a lot of my favorite people. Not that it matters, because Trump is almost impossible to beat at this point. The rioters can riot, and the establishment can contest, but without a full-on revolution, he will win the nomination. And here is the story that the media have missed completely: The strongest group of voters opposed to Trump are traditional conservatives. Not liberals, not the Republican Party establishment. Conservatives.
At the very beginning of the primary season, when everyone thought he didn’t even have a chance, those of us who are people of faith listened to his hateful rhetoric and turned away in disgust. I have no problem voting for someone who does not share my faith if I believe that person is the best qualified, has good values, and will protect my right to religious freedom. I will not vote for someone who spreads hatred toward entire ethnic groups, or spews ignorant, misogynist remarks, or would force American soldiers to murder babies because of their fathers’ sins. Furthermore, it is so obvious that he has no particular position on– or even knowledge of– the many issues facing our nation. He was fine with partial-birth abortion not long ago; I can watch him saying so over and over. Now I’m supposed to believe that he’s pro-life? He has fallen flat on his face so often in the debates when trying to explain his positions, but his supporters don’t seem to notice! When asked about Cuba during the last debate, he danced around it, and then listened to Rubio explain the situation and his solution, after which Trump more or less added, “Yeah. What he said.” I texted my sister, “Look! He just evolved in 30 seconds!” None of this moves his supporters. I don’t understand.
Once his nomination began to look inevitable, the Republican Party and its operatives, such as Sean Hannity, began to announce that all good Republicans should rally ’round the nominee and support Donald Trump. Excuse me? I don’t know about you, but I chose a political party by seeing which one reflected my opinions the best, so that they could put people in office who would enact and enforce laws that I believe are just and right. In other words, I expect them to work for me. And what did I get? Weak, establishment candidates like McCain and Romney. Now I am supposed to support a ridiculous bigot for the good of the party. What has the Republican Party ever done for me? My votes are moral choices for me, and voting for this hateful man would be immoral. I will not do it. And as for the line, “But if you don’t vote for Trump, Hillary will win!” I say, “And?” I do not see Trump as the lesser of two evils, either.
The Republican Party and the media believe that the Evangelical vote went to Trump. I think that the church has a lot of soul-searching to do, particularly the parents who are sending their children to a certain large university, but in my mind, Trump got the “God and country” crowd, those who think that being a Christian and being an American are the same thing. Those who think that sending little children “back” to a place they’ve never seen is somehow consistent with Biblical teaching on compassion toward foreigners and sojourners. However, I go to church and know hundreds of other Christians who do not attend my church, and as I said, I’ve never heard any of them say that they support Trump. Most are openly supporting Ted Cruz.
How surprised the Republican establishment and the media will be when Trump secures the nomination and they hear that giant sucking sound as traditional conservatives pull themselves out of the Republican Party, finally acknowledging that it hasn’t been our home for quite a while. We’ve been used.
I had just been ranting about this to my longsuffering husband when I saw Franklin Graham on television talking about his Decision America movement. I listened cautiously, fully aware of other prominent clergymen’s recent sycophantic falls from grace, but when he started out with, “I am here to announce that I have left the Republican Party…,” I knew he was on to something. He is traveling the country, encouraging the church to repent of the sins of the nation, and he did not feel that he could be considered honest if he had a party affiliation. There’s a movement I can get behind.
So, I did it. I called the Board of Elections with my questions, and then downloaded and filled out the form on their website, and I am leaving the Republican Party. I am now an unaffiliated voter. No rallying ’round required. In North Carolina, I can still vote in primary elections, and I will vote in November for the other important races. I may write in a presidential candidate, as well, but I will never vote for Donald Trump.
I feel so free! Still doomed, yes, but free.
Sorry about the lack of pictures. I considered a picture of Trump, but I just couldn’t bear it.
2 responses to “Meanwhile, Back on the Right”
Thank you Cheryl. I don’t feel the need to change my affiliation – being registered as Republican doesn’t make me vote a certain way. But I respect your decision to do so. It is certainly something to think about. I may officially pull out as well, if I see anything obligating me to that piece of paper. What did you find out from the elections board that convinced you?
That I would still be able to vote in primaries. Also, how to go about the change.