January 20, 2017, was my last day as a registered Republican. Today, February 13, 2021, is my first day since 1973 as a registered Democrat. In the interim I was unaffiliated.
Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and subsequent election was—to that date—the Republican Party’s lowest point in its 167-year history. Today’s vote by 43 cowardly Republican senators to acquit Trump of his heinous behavior since his 2020 election loss easily surpassed that 2016 descent into unprincipled madness.
Today’s vote by 43 cowardly Republican senators to acquit Trump of his heinous behavior since his 2020 election loss easily surpassed that 2016 descent into unprincipled madness.
I still disagree with some Democratic policies, but principles are more important than policies. The Republican Party no longer has any principles. With a few exceptions, its leaders—and I use the term relatively—care about nothing more than hanging onto their official positions of power, prestige, and possessions.
I understand that my little party-changing protest will change nothing within the nation’s lawmaking institutions. But if enough Republicans and Independents were to register as Democrats that the media and then politicians were to take notice, then change might begin within the GOP. But that’s not likely; it’s too late; the party has gone too far.
Actually, regardless of whether masses of angry Republicans and Independents officially join the Democratic Party, change is on the way. According to a July 2020 Gallup poll 50 percent of American adults identify as Democrats or lean toward Democrat compared to 39 percent who identify as Republican or lean toward Republican.
Now, with Trump expected to start his own party—likely pulling well over half of all registered Republicans with him—Democrats should dominate the political landscape—at least at the national level—for the foreseeable future.
And the Republican Party will have no one to blame but themselves. During the 2016 primaries I warned my Trumpist friends that if they succeeded in elevating their lowlife hero to the presidency, following his tenure, Democrats would regain control of both houses of Congress and that it would be years—or more likely decades—before this nation would ever entrust the White House to another Republican.
I’ve been proven almost perfectly accurate. I say almost because now it seems obvious that America will never again elect a Republican president. I knew Trump would break the Republican Party, but I didn’t foresee that the break would be utterly irreparable.
That does not mean, of course, the end of Trumpist “conservatism.” Trumpists have given abundant evidence that if they can’t win with ballots they’re willing to fight using other means, including bullets and other forms of violence. When a group abandons any and all principles, the only prize left them is winning, and no cost or method is out of bounds.
On the one hand I feel liberated, free from a political party that set itself adrift from reality and morality. But on the other hand, I fear for this country that probably will never again know anything close to a semblance of national unity and peace.