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. . . .
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. As Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein have written, “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.” Its reckless behavior helps drive the political dysfunction crippling our nation.
In the end, it offers a dystopian vision of our future- a harsher, crueler and more merciless America starkly divided between the riders, and the ridden. . . .
Among all the difficult truths I’ve had to face, perhaps none has been harder than the realization that I, and those dissidents like me, are unrepresentative outliers far removed from, and largely unable to influence, the main currents of opinion within the GOP.
Ultimately, leaving the GOP was necessary in order to maintain my own integrity. Leaving is also a public act of personal protest. I am under no illusions about its broader significance- it will have no impact on the trajectory of the political narrative in this nation. But that does not make it futile. On the contrary, as the shadows lengthen, such minor individual acts of defiance and dissent are more critical now than ever before.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
A Sane Republican Quits his Party
Delaware lawyer Michael Stafford, until recently an official of his state Republican party, has offered this public resignation letter: