June 14, 2012

"Going off the rails on a crazy train"

So this op-ed appeared in my hometown newspaper today, which rather surprised me; I was always under the impression that if my newspaper's editor ever printed something like this, s/he would be run out of town. 

First, the writer lists his Republican bonafides. 

Indeed, my first political act was passionately lobbying my fourth-grade classmates to vote for Reagan over Walter Mondale in a mock election in 1984. As an adult, I continued to be a rock-solid Republican- I helped run my law school’s chapter of the Federalist Society and its Republican club. And after the election of President Obama in 2008, I served as an officer in my state Republican Party.

Then he lowers the boom. 

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. Large numbers of Republicans--the notorious birthers--believe that the President was not born in the United States. Even worse, few figures in the GOP have the courage to confront them.

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. 

He is not the first
prominent Republican or moderate to say things like this, nor is he the first to leave the party over it. The comments to this article are instructive; of course some of the commenters get into fights, but many of them call the writer a "RINO"--Republican In Name Only--thus proving his point. 

As far as I know, the writer didn't become a Democrat; I believe he registered as an Independent. Nevertheless, it's a sad and terrifying comment on a major political party that has gone completely off the rails, to the point where they drive away those who view themselves as sincere, honest conservatives. 

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