I’m not married to a political party, I just …………


………………………. support the truth, honor, dignity and fair dealing, that have made America the great nation it is. 

Up until the mid term elections of the second GW Bush administration, I almost always voted and identified Republican. Because the GOP took clear stands on limited government, fiscal conservatism, free trade, racial equality, freedom of and from religion, equal rights for all, and laisses faire social policies. 

What jarred me loose from my comfortable seat in the GOP was the issue of torture of prisoners. I had a lot of respect for GW Bush. I Voted for him twice and donated to both his campaigns.  I still don’t think he would have signed off on torture of prisoners, if not pushed in that direction by VP Dick Cheney. Cheney had no moral compunction about torture, and he sold it to GW as patriotic, which it certainly is not. But, that one issue broke me loose from the GOP. I’m a combat vet, and torture of prisoners, is immoral, un American, and a bridge too far for me. 

At about this same time, just as Barry Goldwater had warned back in the 1960’s, the evangelical preachers began to control the GOP. The small “r” republican principles, that the Big “R” Republican party had championed were discarded and the evangelicals turned the GOP into the party of racial hatred, which prior to the late 1960’s and early 1970’s had been the Democrats. Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy lured all the racist out of the Democratic party and into being Republicans. This change was like slowly boiling a frog in a sauce pan starting with cool water and gradually raising the temperature to boiling. I was an active Republican long after the racists and the evangelicals slowly hijacked the party. 

After the torture of prisoners issue woke me up, I realized I was part of a party, the GOP, that wanted to force evangelical religion down people’s throats, and that the only thing the GOP stood for at that point was vilifying and punishing poor women who sought abortions and trying to get automatic weapons of war into as many hands as possible.  That was not for me, so having been thus abandoned by the GOP, I began to do a lot of thinking. 

Like lots of bright folks new to thinking, I tried being a Big “L” Libertarian for a few years, but I soon discovered, that being a Libertarian was an all or nothing thing. According to those Big “L” folks, if I favored Social Security, Medicare, Fire Departments, clean air and water or licensing guns, I was an heretic and soon shunned. 

So, after that I investigated the Democratic party. I found out the Democrats didn’t care with whom I slept, what I did in bed, or whether which if any church I attended. The Democrats consider those to be personal choices, and nobody else’s business.   I completely agree. The Democrats also told me that whether or not a woman had an abortion was none of my business, unless I was her physician. The Democrats had also picked up the banner of racial justice, that the Republicans had abandoned back in the late 1960’s.  Prior to Nixon’s Southern Strategy, the Republican party lead the charge for sensible liberalism. But after that, the liberal wing of the GOP, which dated back to Lincoln, fled to the Democratic Party. 

Today, I identify as a Democrat, for the same reasons, I once identified as a Republican. The Democrats now represent those values that have made America great, just as the Republicans did prior to Nixon’s Southern strategy. If it changes back again, I shall change my party affiliation again. I’m not married to either party, I’m wedded to the values that make America the greatest nation ever to exist on this planet. And, I’m proud to be an American, sir. 

Ron Nesler posting from New Harmony, Indiana

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