A Belle's Eye View

CHRISTINE BARR

Former Democrat Ronald Reagan once said he didn’t leave the Democratic Party — it left him. I feel the same about the GOP.

I first campaigned for a Republican candidate when I was 12 years old, going door to door with a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives.

In college, I was an officer (eventually chairman) in the College Republicans, helping grow it into the largest student organization on campus.

I worked to preserve student voting rights, and was credited by Texas Monthly for helping elect the first Republican state senator since Reconstruction.

So it’s hilarious when someone throws “snowflake” or “libertard” or other erudite epithets at me.

I thought I would be a Republican for life, but now I won’t vote for any, as I see them abandoning what had been core values.

I started to say I wouldn’t vote for a Republican unless he was the second coming of Christ, but then Trump said he was, and besides,the actual Jesus wouldn’t have enough money.

It’s fair to ask what values, or policies, I’m talking about when I say it caused me to leave. The first is the national debt.

I well remember debating the Young Democrats during the 1984 election. We were wildly successful, no doubt due to the policy book given us by the GOP.

Keeping the national debt down was a huge selling point for many voters.

While the GOP gives it lip service, the fact is it has risen to astronomical heights ( $22 trillion as I write this — that’s trillion with a T).

It has done so while the GOP has given huge tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy.

The Brookings Institute wrote in 2018, “So far, corporations are using their added profits primarily to buy back shares and boost dividends, not to invest.

“In addition, rising productivity in recent decades has not been fully shared with workers, suggesting a less competitive economy than many assume.

“Finally, deficit financing means that middle-class households will likely be hit with big tax increases or spending cuts later ,and interest rates will rise in the interim as government borrowing explodes.”

The Republican party I supported was concerned with the middle and lower classes. I see no such concern any more.

The second affront is the lack of respect for the rule of law. The ever-growing list of Trump associates who have been accused,convicted and, in some cases, sent to jail, is an abomination.

The party I worked for demanded that its candidates, and those who worked for them, work for the good of the country, and not to line their own or their leaders’ pockets.

At least, that is what they gave the appearance of, or what was the ideal. When President Richard Nixon went down, it was due in no small part to the disgust, and action, of his party.

This administration has degenerated into a Machiavellian cesspool, where anything goes. We have a president who judges everything by what it will do for him, and not the good of the country.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply not paying attention. One glaring fact — he refuses to release his tax returns, which has been the accepted norm heretofore.

If he has nothing to hide, he wouldn’t. The easiest thing in the world to prove he is worth what he says he is (spoiler — he’s not) is to simply release the tax returns.

But he won’t, lest it expose the dirty dealings he and his brood have engaged in, not to mention the hold Russia and others have over him.

It’s an Orwellian nightmare of double-speak and political pandering. Trying to overthrow the judiciary and the legislature by ruling by executive order? No problem!

Saying you support farmers and coal, while engaging in Tweet storms and enacting policies which hurt them? Great Leader must be obeyed!

Choosing not to be informed on the very issues he is supposed to be leading his party to resolve? Hooray!

Exhibiting signs of dementia? Eh. No biggie. I’m embarrassed for those who make Trump their god.

That leads me to the most persuasive reason I have left the GOP. It has made a religion out of worshipping Trump.

President Reagan came under scrutiny for being divorced. Now, two divorces, well-documented adultery, liaisons with porn stars and the kind of language which I wouldn’t accept from my middle school students, never mind the president, are no problem.

Someone who is so out of touch with the Bible that he calls second Corinthians “Corinthians two” and who doesn’t attend church, who brags about being called “the King of the Jews” and “the second coming of God,” is now held aloft as the golden calf of a variety of so-called “Christians,” worshipped and glorified, and no one bats an eye at the blasphemy.

It’s like living in Bizarro world. Cruelty is now celebrated, be it from the heartless treatment of immigrants and people of color to the denigration of women and the LGBQT community.

I have been horrified at the acceptance of this, and also at the fact that the GOP has no problem with a foreign government — and not just any foreign government, but old nemesis Russia — exerting control.

Why else would Mitch McConnell refuse to advance legislation which would seek to keep our elections free from outside interference? Moscow Mitch, indeed.

On both ideological and personal grounds, I simply cannot align with a party which is so far removed from my political and religious beliefs.

While I disagree with many aspects of the usual Democratic platform, I love this country, and its Constitution, too much to support its downfall.

 

CHRISTINE BARR is an educator, mother of four and former Henry County resident who now resides in Texas. Her email address is belleseyeview@aol.com.

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