To be honest, I’d argue they left me, but it’s a pointless debate. Since 1976, when I turned 18 two months before the election and registered in the Grand Old Party, I’ve been a faithful and reliable Republican voter. I classify my votes in three ways. I enthusiastically voted for Ronald Reagan and a few Senate and House candidates along the way. I really liked W early on. I’ve voted for other Republican candidates with moderate enthusiasm. And quite a few times I’ve held my nose and hung a chad for a Republican I had no enthusiasm about at all. Bob Dole. McCain. Romney.
But I have limits. There are lines I won’t cross. My party allegiance comes second to my allegiance to the Kingdom of God and when those conflict the choice is easy. My congressman in Cedar Rapids was Jim Leach, one of the more liberal Republicans in world history. He never got my vote.
I made a commitment during my Dallas years that I would never vote for someone who believed that killing a baby in its mother’s womb was morally acceptable. I mean, honestly, if you think it’s okay to enter a mother’s womb and kill a baby, your morality is so skewed, you just don’t get my vote. Jim Leach was pro-death and never got my vote.
As time has gone on, I’ve grown increasingly disappointed in the GOP. The party seems to find a way to lose, and when it wins, it messes that up. In 1994, the GOP had a brilliant strategy known as the Contract with America. They made promises, they kept the promises, then they somehow allowed Bill Clinton to take credit for what was done and they descended into such a moral cesspool that the good was undone. Since then, the GOP has been a Keystone Cops roadshow. Hypocrisy. Ineptitude. Brutal stupidity. Betrayal. Since the Reagan Revolution the GOP has had so many opportunities to make genuine changes in the direction of this country and they have squandered those opportunities.
The only reason I can see to remain part of the GOP is this: they aren’t as bad as the Democrats.
Well, whoop-de-do! The flu may be better than ebola, but that doesn’t mean I want the flu. I will grant you that the GOP is better than the Democrats with their socialism, their death-loving, American-values hating, secular, perverted ways. I remain amazed that any follower of Jesus Christ would ever be part of that party. I don’t get it. But just because the GOP is better than the Democrats doesn’t mean the GOP is worthy of my involvement and membership. I have decided it is not.
I am officially renouncing my membership in the GOP.
Let me spell out why I’m no longer a Republican.
1. I’m no longer a Republican because….Donald.
He’s not the only reason, but he is the straw that broke the camel’s back. I cannot and will not be part of a party that has this debauched and despicable man at the top of the ticket. A party so immoral and amoral that it would nominate Donald Trump is not the “family values” party that the GOP once at least pretended to be.
Donald isn’t the reason, he’s the trigger, the final straw, the bridge too far.
2. I’m no longer a Republican because…they are social conservative frauds.
The issues that drive me are abortion, family issues, etc – yes, I’m one of THOSE guys. I believe in traditional marriage and the right to life. The Republican party has SAID that it believes in those things, but every time it has a chance to stand on pro-life principles or so-called “family-values” it sells them out.
Most famous of these is Renee Ellmers from North Carolina, who ran as a pro-life, family values Republican, but spiked a pro-life bill when she had the chance, for personal and political gain. I hope she loses this time around, but there are dozens, maybe hundreds, like her in the GOP. They talk pro-life but in Washington they run away from taking stands or supporting legislation that is pro-life.
The Democrat Party is pro-death. The Republican party power-structure is fraudulently pro-life.
3. I’m no longer Republican because…they are buffoons.
Clowns. Since the Reagan Revolution the GOP has had a lot of power in Washington, but their bumbling ways have squandered every bit of it. Had the Newt Gingrich-led GOP been effectual, the nation would have been very different today. Time and again the GOP had opportunities because of the horrible stupidity, dishonesty, and radicalization of the Democrats – and they blew it every time. Boehner became Obama’s biggest supporter. Hastert evidently was more interested in molesting children than making policy. Newt Gingrich was too busy changing wives to change the country.
4. I’m no longer Republican because…this seems like a good time to walk.
I have a lot of friends who are independents and they seem content with writing in nobodies or voting for independents or third party candidates who have as much of a chance of getting elected as I do. I can’t be content doing that.
But there seems to be Donald and Hillary inspired moment when the frustration with the two parties has reached critical mass. Is it possible that new movement will form that will make a difference? Marty Duren has written about this, even showing that perhaps this time there is a real chance that the election could be thrown back to the House. Of course, that puts the election in the hands of the very people I’ve despaired of, but they can hardly do worse than Hillary and Donald.
But there seems to be a real chance, at this point, to form something new. I have nagging doubts – such a new movement may flounder on issues like foreign policy, immigration, and social morality. But if we are ever going to do it, now seems to be the time.
5. I’m no longer a Republican because…the GOP is on life-support.
Donald Trump will destroy the Grand Ol’ Party. He is nuclear bomb who will detonate and bring down not only himself but the party that was foolish enough to nominate him.
A friend asked this question. Is it too early to impeach him?
But it’s no joke. Nominating Trump is the end of the Republican Party.
6. I’m no longer a Republican because…I honestly can’t think of a good reason to stay.
7. In the meantime…
Long ago, I read a book by Dobson (Ed, not James) and Thomas called, Blinded by Might. It was a review of the failings of the “Moral Majority” from two faithful warriors. They contrasted politics, which is about power gained by compromise, and Christianity, which is about the truth proclaimed without compromise. The danger is that when we enter the political realm we take that one step too far and begin to compromise truth to gain and maintain power.
Every time someone tells me I have to vote for the “lesser of two evils” I hear that warning. Are Christian leaders really advising us to vote for evil? There’s a place where politics becomes heresy, where we put love of country and party ahead of the love of Christ. It’s a squiggly line, but I’m not crossing it.
So, maybe its time we focused on the gospel, on proclaiming Christ, on building the church, and on preparing for the days when we will be more like the church of the New Testament – counter-culture, persecuted, hated, and rejected. Bible Belt Christians are so used to living in a “Christian Culture” that we have a difficult adjustment in learning to live in a spiritually hostile culture. We must become, as others have said, the prophetic minority instead of the moral majority.
And there’s one more thing. I know most of you have rejected the view that I still hold about the end times. But can we all agree that this would be a GREAT time for those clouds to roll back, the trumpets to sound, the dead in Christ to rise first, and we who are alive and remain to be caught up together with him in clouds to meet the Lord in the air?
In the meantime, as long as God leaves me on this earth, I want to preach Christ and devote whatever time I devote to politics to something more productive than the GOP.