I’m a married man, but many don’t know this about me.
I’m also single.
It’s not what you think.
Many who find themselves on the right seem to have been either raised that way, or get into the real world and see that the more the government is involved in your life, the less free you really are. You see, I didn’t grow up in a “this is the way we think and vote” house. Instead I grew up in a “we vote for who we think is the right guy” house. I was 16 when I first took an interest in politics. I didn’t take an in depth look into the issues like I do now, I just looked on the surface of what the parties stood for. It wasn’t so much that I felt I was a Republican, it’s just I knew I wasn’t a democrat. Even then, to me the democrat party seemed to have “we know what’s best for you” approach. Call me simple minded, maybe even naive, but I have always believed in people. I believe that left up to their own devices, people generally are good. And what makes our country even more special is the fact that Americans are good people. I trust my neighbors, but yet it felt natural to me to have a distrust for anybody in political office. So if I am not a democrat, I felt I must be a Republican and I generally agreed with what they said. I turned 18 in 1996 which was an election year and while most of my friends were more concerned about Green Day’s new album, I was watching the debates and was proud to vote for Bob Dole (insert joke here).
I worked the polls on Election Day as a Republican, and in an area that was 80% African American. I helped people at the polls blindly vote for Bill Clinton, though it was obvious they had no idea why they were voting for him. Just like a married man who runs to the store for his wife, you may be the one doing the shopping, but you are simply getting the stuff your wife told you to get (or maybe that’s me). Just do what your told. It was this blind allegiance that concerned me. I stood with the Republicans against Bill Clinton. Are there worse things a president could have done? Sure, but at the same time no one is above the law. I kind of thought this under oath thing meant something. No one, including our president is above the law. You hear of other world leaders not living by the same rule of law as everyone else and you knew that is what made America special. When it came down to George W Bush vs Gore, to me the choice was obvious. Texas was a well-run state and Al Gore was, well Al Gore.
I remember sleeping in my apartment on September 11th and as my girlfriend (now my wife) was getting ready for work and woke me up and said “Hey, you may want to see this, a plane just hit the trade center” I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and thought to myself “What moron flying a plane didn’t see the world trade center in the way?” Yeah those twin Skyscrapers came out of nowhere I guess. Little did I know that I wasn’t leaving my living room sofa for the next 12 hours. And while America was dealt a blow that day, just like I woke up that morning, our country did the same. No longer were we talking about hanging chads or having partisan bickering back and forth. We were all New York, we were all FDNY, we were all Americans. “It’s ok for me to beat up my brother, but no one else can” was the overall feeling we had. When George W Bush went to Ground Zero and echoed the famous words “I hear you, the world hears you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon” our country rallied around our commander in chief. You may have not voted for him, heck you may not like him at all, but that time was not a time for partisan bickering.
I stood with “my party” when it came to going after the people responsible. I really never understood how you fight an ideology like terror. I mean, going to war against another country has been done before but going to war against a belief that is shared among many, how do you win that? But nevertheless I was furious just like anybody else on what happened.
Under George W Bush the Department of Homeland Security was created “for our protection” and our liberties quickly were stripped away, for our security. But hey as long as it keeps us safe from those terrorists right? With my eyes still awash in red, white and blue, I supported the Patriot act. I felt what they were doing was an overreach and not constitutional, but again, as long as it keeps us safe. And plus, I’m not a terrorist, why do I care? And then we “fix” Medicare and Medicaid by simply pouring obscene amounts of money into it and basically paying what the pharmaceutical companies want for prescription drugs, just on the tax payer dime.
But you still had me in your corner.
Then again in the interest of security, you guys grew the government more and more and thus when it came to money spent more and more. You said all the right things in the state of the union speeches and when people were paying attention, but it seemed more and more that the President and the rest of his fellow republican colleagues were acting similar to the people they will tell you they disagree with so much. Then this war on terror thing isn’t going so well, oh and don’t forget the classic “we need to abandon free market principles, to save the free market system comment. You infused cash into some big companies, while you let others die, as if you pick and choose who continues to survive and who doesn’t. Why did AIG get bailed out but Lehman brothers didn’t? For someone or a party who believes in the free market, why would you be ok with the Federal Reserve simply printing money and giving it to Wall Street to prop up the market and give this impression that everything is fine? It was at this time however, that conservatives around the country started to make noise. See, it wasn’t about the current president we now have in office or the fact that a black guy was in office, see many started to wake up sooner than that.
It was at this time that men, women, black, white, old, young, neighbors, Americans started to come together and ask that their voice be heard. This infusion of energy and passion was something that your party hadn’t seen in quite some time, and out of some of these average people came people who felt they could run for political office with the idea of a limited government that was fiscally responsible and got its guidance from our Founding Fathers, from God and from their constituents. This novel idea that we are a republic.
But you seized on that momentum and the people who were in favor of the bailouts, and the patriot act or now all of a sudden down with the Founding Fathers and the Constitution huh? Weird. And in 2010, this belief essentially caught fire and led to unprecedented victories in congress. Giving the majority back to the party. But shortly thereafter and once you were in power of some sort, things changed. See some of those people you helped support and elect are now freshman congressman who are going to Washington to do something not often seen or discussed, their job. They went to do the things that got them elected and say and do the things in congress they said they would say and do on the campaign trail. It was then that you really showed your true colors, because the new blood was not doing things in Washington, the way they have always been done and the new blood didn’t embrace things the way you always have. To quote one of your leading party relics John McCain “ how things work here in Washington”
I saw you time after time, fighting the president on a budget, hoping it would get guys like me to trust you only to come out with a budget that was just slightly less ridiculous and either way was the wrong direction. You fault the president for wanting amnesty and some of you even made a large portion of your campaign about fighting that tooth and nail, only to be the first ones to the table with an amnesty deal of your own. You claim that you won’t budge on the debt ceiling. Then the president plays like Wimpy from Popeye and says he will give you tax cuts later for increased spending today, and you buckle time after time. You campaign and deliver speech after speech talking about how lawless and unconstitutional Obamacare is, only to try to now come up with your own slightly less invasive big government health care system. And when someone in your party has the courage to stand up against those you say you disagree with so much, you call him dangerous and obtrusive. You call John McCain a maverick, but someone like Ted Cruz dangerous? You go to the mainstream media, or Fox News and cry how outraged you are about this current administration when it comes to Fast and Furious, the continued pen and phone tactics of this administration.
Your solution 6 years later?
You have been spineless this entire time but now all of a sudden I am to believe you are outraged? We have a manufactured humanitarian crisis on our border right now, with this administration not only not enforcing the law, but encouraging it and you predictably are outraged. Yet, when you were in power, did you do anything to secure the border? You campaigned for decades about building a fence, did you do it? If in power right now, would you do it? Or are you so in bed with the chamber of commerce that you too will look the other way on illegal immigration and want amnesty too?
You see, like a high school kid, I had a crush on you at one point. Many I knew said they didn’t see what I saw but that’s ok. You were different, you weren’t like the others. And just like many relationships, you see the flaws in them, but you accept them for who they are.
As time went on, I saw that you are all the same. It’s not about what is right for the people, or for this country, it’s about what is right for you and what you can do to maintain the power you so desperately cling to. You claim to want to stand for the average American, the David if you will. But just when the David’s among us rise up to fight back, you play the role of the jealous King Saul, and will destroy good people just to hold onto the power you hold so dear.
It has been 20 months since our separation. And it feels good to be single.
See, you and the other party convinced me and many Americans for far too long that we have to be in a relationship with you. You and the other party have created an environment of us vs them. You can’t possibly be friends with a LIBERAL can you? How can you be friends with someone as hateful as a REPUBLICAN? See most of us aren’t so different, it is you who lead us to believe that there is an incredible divide between us. I have friends Chris and Emily. They live within their means, Chris and Emily and their kids are involved in their local church. They live in a specific part of the area because they care so much about their kids’ education and school. I love them dearly, and have known them almost half of my life….and let me let you in on a secret, they are democrats. My childhood next door neighbor and still good friend who I have known for 25 years Marty is a liberal atheist. I have a friend Cassie who is liberal feminist. My goodness do we disagree on almost everything, but yet we could sit and have lunch and laugh and have a great time. We don’t talk politics often, but if we did, I bet we would agree on a lot more than we could ever imagine. I have several gay friends. Some liberal, some conservative, some not interested in politics at all. They are great people. See, if I listen to the parties, I am supposed to hate those people. I am supposed to have nothing to do with them. And they are told the same. People on their side say guys like me are racist. People on their side think guys like me don’t even see someone who is gay as a person. People on their side say guys like me want to impose on women’s rights. People on their side say guys like me don’t care for the poor or less fortunate. Those who know me know that is not who I am. They aren’t friends with me for my money or looks that is for sure. They are my friends because I hope to think they think I am a good person and someone they would want to be friends with. To cry with, to laugh with, to celebrate and have a beer with. But I know who they are as people, and when we start basing our opinions on people on their political beliefs or their favorite sports teams instead about who they are as people, we will self-destruct as a nation. As conservatives we criticize the Muslim faith for slaughtering or beheading anyone who isn’t on their religious side. Many atheists immediately paint this mental picture of who they think people of faith are. And people of faith paint atheist as these crazy godless heathens who are without a path. Thinking like that is crazy, yet when it comes to our political affiliations, we are no different. We feel we must destroy what other people think and feel and if you don’t think the way I do, I can’t talk to you, I can’t be your friend, and we can’t be seen together. This division is what fuels your entrenchment in our nation’s capital. Vote for me or the other side wins and we can’t have that right?
Immediately when I criticize this president or the left, I am immediately painted as a Republican and then hear all the cries of “What about your guy and what he did?” You are right, the person I thought was “my guy” turned out to be a person who subscribed to a big government lite approach.
You see, I know I am welcome to your party, I’m just not coming. There are many recently who are dumping you as you exposed yourself again last week. When you solicit the help of the party you say you are so diametrically opposed towards to win an election so that an entrenched old fossil who is out of touch with his constituents and the times in Mississippi can keep his power, you show us who you really are. I applaud those who had their awakening last week and separated from you. I encourage more to stop giving money to you. You see it’s not about principle it’s about party for you. At one point, many of you in the party probably had the best of intentions. A Mr. Smith goes to Washington type of approach, but in the end you end being just like the people you vowed to fight against.
For the most part, you and the other side do a good job of optics. You dig in on certain issues, hold press conferences saying the other side is the problem and then the news we listen to and watch every day does the same. It’s the other side that is destroying America, join our side. I’m done with that.
Think of who we were on 9/11 and the days thereafter. Was I a white Republican Christian male? Was my friend Marty a white male Liberal Atheist? No, for a brief second, we weren’t labels, we were Americans. We were one nation that day, indivisible. If we again become one nation, indivisible, the political power structure will crumble and rightfully so.
So, Republican Party, don’t call me maybe. Don’t text me in the middle of the night wanting to hook up again. A house divided against itself will not stand and your party and those you claim to fight against, both have the same goal, to hold on to power. You may still convince others that you are going to keep throwing killer parties, but I’m ok with not attending. And for those of you getting request to RSVP back to the Republicans, simply reply back with Return to Sender as we the American people, return to principles.