Confessions of a Former Republican
Growing up, I quickly became enthralled by politics. It was the topic of discussion at dinner and during the holidays, and while I was not yet able to construct my own informed opinions, it piqued my interest enough to further explore the topic as I got older. My first opportunity materialized as an undergraduate student, where I interned on Linda McMahon’s second campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut. Six years later, I would work on Governor Charlie Baker’s re-election campaign. I took a lot of pride in affiliating with the morals, family values, small government, fiscal responsibility, and Constitutional originalism typically associated with American conservatism.
By the time the 2016 election rolled around, I was admittedly someone drawn to Donald Trump’s unique approach to politics with his demeanor, candor, and unfettered “America First” agenda. Now, in retrospect, I regret ever giving accolades to an individual who quickly transformed the Republican Party into the Trump Party – a party that now virtue signals the opposite of the very ideals they claim to exemplify.
The coronavirus pandemic quickly became politicized and the different responses to the disease exposed stark contrasts between the two parties. With the tone set at the top by Trump, the virus, according to his supporters, was “just a flu,” “a hoax,” “a plan-demic,” and a way for the government to “control us.” The paranoia and delusion became almost palpable. It appears that facts and science have become null and void and there is an uncanny insistence that the Deep State is orchestrating from behind the scenes, steering us from the truth and straying us further from God. Their platform is now largely based on fear, conspiracy theories, and the maintenance of cultural homogeneity at any cost.
Trump’s most loyal enablers among elected officials have made evident that there may not be separate factions of Republicans from Trump Republicans anymore, with the exception of a handful, but seemingly one-in-the-same. The unwavering support for his actions and excuses for his duplicitous behavior is truly astounding. Perhaps they do support Trump, or maybe they claim to in order to maintain the false illusion of party unity. Regardless, it is inexcusable, and their enablement of him will forever stain their legacies and undoubtedly haunt any further political motives.
The election results became the epicenter of conspiracy theories despite no evidence to conclude that the election was stolen, and the notion that Dominion voting systems switched votes still echo almost three months following the election.
The Capitol was mobbed by individuals carrying, among other things, Thin Blue Line American flags. Those same people viciously attacked the police they claimed to support. Perhaps they didn’t realize that the police had a duty to protect the building and its occupants, not the self-proclaimed “patriots.” The Black Lives Matter movement was harshly demonized and “why can’t they just protest peacefully?” became the question of the summer. BLM protested racial injustice while MAGAs protested on an entitled false premise of election fraud. They claimed, “at least we didn’t burn down buildings” but the Capitol mob intended to assassinate elected officials and hold hostages. You decide which is worse.
The George Floyd incident inspired me to become more informed about race relations and I started posting on social media about it. Every so often, I would get a message along the lines of, “I thought you were a Republican.” If being a Republican is synonymous with a blatant disregard for the experiences of minorities, then I regret ever associating.
The Bible states, “you shall have no other gods before me” and yet Trump has been worshipped as if he is one, even himself claiming, “I am the Chosen One.” Trump is not a man of God for holding a Bible up in front of St. John’s Church while concurrently being accused of sexual misconduct by 26 women, ruthlessly mocking anyone who doesn’t agree with him, appealing to white supremacy, and inciting people to violence. Loyalty and allegiance have been pledged to one single man. That is not what patriots do – that is what a cult does. Besides, I’m sure God wouldn’t have allowed over 600 children to be separated from their parents at the border.
The Republican Party has become unrecognizable. I was proud to cast my vote for Joe Biden, and while I never thought I would live to see the day, I was even more proud of having voted blue across the board.