As a former Republican I have certainly felt anxiety for many years. After numerous let downs I now consider myself an independent who happens to be a conservative. I just can not carry the label anymore. It’s a personal choice and there is no doubt that a Ronald Reagan type could make me proud to call myself Republican again, but I haven’t seen that type of leadership in a long time.
I decided to get some feedback from the readers of The D.C. Clothesline to see if I was alone. Ultimately the people are the experts. These are the voices that should be heard. We don’t need egg-headed political scientists and right-wing journalists to tell us what the American people will gladly tell us. The thing that our representatives have forgotten is this… All you have to do is ask and people will tell you how they feel. And if you listen then you might just find some answers.
There is no doubt that the Republican Party is in trouble. I simply needed to hear what others thought the root of the problem was. I found that the answers most commonly fell into three categories. There were other answers that were not as common. I would like to thank everyone who helped me write this article. I just couldn’t include everyone, but that doesn’t mean I did not read and appreciate every single comment.
The most common answers come from the perception that the Republican party is no longer about limited government, no longer a voice of conservatism, and a belief that there is little distinction today between democrats and republicans. Let’s turn it over to the readers.
Is the GOP really about limited government?
We need a strong stance on Constitutional based small government. If they can’t provide that, it is time for a third party that will. -Scott Atherton
Although the GOP “talks” smaller government, the government (and taxes) seems to grow when they are in office just as when the dems are. -Kim Baxley
The first time I voted was for Ronald Reagan’s first term. That man was truly the last republican president I voted for. I have always voted republican since, but did not receive a republican as president. Both parties are in the big government camp. I would classify myself as a constitutionalists conservative with libertarian leanings. I am so not voting for any big government candidates any more. Is there any hope for me? -Hal Thompson
Republicans claim to be for smaller government, but their actions belie their words. Neither party is truly interested in reducing spending, and though the Republicans claim to be, they never actually take action to affect change. -Kate Kilbourne
I’m interested in as little government interference in our daily lives as possible. Just keep our country secure and provide for infrastructure, and let us go about our business. Republicans have tried to establish themselves as the party of “smaller government,” but then they go and introduce legislation defining marriage and getting in between a woman and her doctor. True advocates of “smaller government” would not impose morality on citizens with more laws. I voted Republican for many years because I’m fiscally conservative, but within the past two presidential election cycles have voted Libertarian instead. The extreme views on personal issues that have no place being decided by government have turned me off to the GOP. -Kimberly Walters Ratliff
Republicans talk a big game about limited government and fiscal responsibility, but go to Washington only to vote for pork spending like the Hurricane Sandy Relief Act. They continue to kick the can down the road and enable our President to operate this nation with out a budget. -Troy Cox
Is the GOP still the party for morality and conservative values?
My problem with the Republican party is two-fold, it seems, to me anyway, that they have moved too much to the center, away from the more conservative end of the spectrum. I know the world is changing but a lot of that change is not for the better, and by the Republican party trying to cater to those who wish to see a softer side they are hurting themselves with their base constituents. My second complaint with them is that they seem to be afraid to stand up for right and denounce the wrong, they have become spineless. -Jim Prince
Total lack of testicular fortitude! The GOP just can’t stand up for their (our) principles, therefore as far as I’m concerned, they have none. -Dave Kappler
The Republicans we put in office ( they seem to forget they work for us) stop being Conservative when they get in office. Someone tells them they need to compromise, so they do. Im tired of putting someone in office and watching them compromise on my beliefs (again i voted for him because we believe the same things, or so they say) Instead of standing strong and fighting, they give in. Then they tell us well we have to work together here in Washington. Why? I sent you there to relay my thoughts, the same thoughts you said you had. I have just lost faith in you to do the right thing for this country that I love. -Terry Goodman
Well, I believe STRONGLY in the Constitution. As written. I realize there are many people out there who have been taught that it is supposed to be a “living, fluid” document that changes with the whim of society. NONSENSE. The Bill of Rights are OUR rights…those that exist for the citizen, before government. Rights to protect us; to allow us to protect ourselves; to allow us to live in privacy; to define what the limitations of our government are, and the freedom of ourselves as individuals. As such, I have voted conservatively for most of my adult life. However, in the past 12 years or so, it seems the Republican Party decided to leave ME. And the ONLY party that spoke to me in this last election (2012) was the Libertarian Party. While they may be liberal with some social issues, I’ve found that most of those issues concern personal freedom. They are fiscally conservative, and that is something we, as citizens, DESPERATELY need at this time. I don’t see the Republican Party EVER making a comeback…it is far more likely that the conservatives among us will migrate to a party that is more responsive to our beliefs. In my case, I believe I’m just here ahead of the crowd… -Wiley Live
I think the republican party hasn’t been losing touch, they’ve lost touch a long time ago! They just haven’t been as blatant about it until recently, and this has been shown clearly through all of the major bank bailouts (not just in previous years) as well as exemptions of prosecuting the CEOs, corporate leaders, and party affiliates from the home foreclosure mess. -Da Pyster
The only principle that the party stands on any more is toeing the party line. From partial-birth abortion to the recent tax increases to indefinite detention, the Republican label is absolutely meaningless. -Sean McConeghy
No spine, they stand only for their own power and self enrichment…just like the donkeys…maybe half dozen good ones in the entire bunch…what happened to principles??? -Vance Boettner
I also am not part of a party. I vote for a person. We need less government, less laws and more family values. We need people in the white house that enforce the Constitution and look out for the people and their freedoms. Our parties like to hide little agendas between the lines to get votes for things that should not be allowed. -Bobbie Bonner
They all forget that there is a constitution and a bill of rights when it comes time to vote on something that affects our rights. -Sean Port
I am for America and our citizens. Government is too big for its britches and that also goes for the Senate and Congress…these folks seem to keep forgetting that they work for us. Not the other way around. The Constitution was written the way it was for very good, intelligent reasons. We need to stick with it or we become something unrecognizable. Heed us…we will get louder. -Leigh Corfman
These comments need to be passed on to the GOP to get them to take a gut check why they can’t even beat one of the worst presidents in history . I am a fiscal conservative . Social issues have no place in politics . I am for cutting off funding to abortions . Gays can have civil unions ,but to ‘marry’ is pushing it as a slap to Christians more than anything ….. Economics ,energy ,and defense are the most important issues . If these are strong the country is strong . Elimination of patriot act and other laws against Americans freedoms needs to be dropped , or at least more limited to ‘known’ threats rather than fishing us all to see if we are a threat . -Chris Collins
After the treatment of Ron Paul during the primary, I will never look at the GOP again. Instead of giving support to a man who actually had out best interests at heart, or at a minimum giving that man an equal opportunity to be heard, they instead chose to run a war-mongering, anti-constitutional statist…against a war-mongering, anti-constitutional statist. -Mark Morrison
The GOP has compromised on principle time after time. I understand that the demands of politics are ugly, but I am not convinced that backing down on what you KNOW is right is the way to get anything but bad stuff done. -Margaret Bassett
Plain and simple, they stopped being conservative. they appear to be democrats in elephant clothing. -Terry Poynter
Are the words republican and democrat starting to become synonymous?
A hardcore distinction between the GOP and the Dems is needed. -Steven Bergstrom
…the Republican Party has become the lap dog of the Democratic Party. -Skip McDowell
The parties have divided the nation, not brought them together. Democrats walk out of sessions, push through taxes without reading them, and try to micro manage people’s lives. Republicans, also, are responsible for pushing through legislation without reading it, as well as seemingly being in the pockets of the democrats. No one will take a stand for the people anymore…but they sure will stand to give themselves a raise. -Cynthia M. Yarde Kiernan
I use to be a dem for 30 year then a rep for 10 now independent because they’re both down right dirty… they both got away from what is important… our republic and the constitution . and that’s just a fact. -Terrence O’Brien
There doesn’t seem to be much difference anymore between Republicans and Democrats. Both parties seem to be have far too many career politicians, who feel entitled to their cushy jobs and benefits, and do not really do anything to solve the huge problems facing our nation. -Kate Kilbourne
We need to take “politics” out of government. Elect common sense working class people, instead of “politicians”. To be a viable candidate, one must have worked in a real job in the private sector within the last ten years. REMEMBER: to define politics you must break it down into syllables> poli = many, tics = bloodsuckers -Kim Baxley
…both parties are financially backed by basically the same groups and are expected to do favors for them once they are in office. -Sean Port
This archaic 2 party system has reduced our government into a corrupted temple by the money changing elitists who have usurped our Republic! They are both only 2 sides of the same tarnished coin in this incestuous, media sensationalized, “pop cultured”, theater of the absurd! -Chad Miller
It is no secret that the GOP has a problem, but I, for one, get sick and tired of hearing stuffy journalists arguing on shows like “Meet the Depressed.” If the party which I grew to love, in my youth, is to ever make a comeback, the GOP needs to forget about political strategists and listen to the people.
I couldn’t print all the comments that I received, there were just too many. But please, don’t stop voicing your opinion. Take some time to leave your thoughts below.
I think if there is one quote that will sum up the entire subject for today it would be from Deniece Ricks Hopkins, “I didn’t leave the republican party, they left me.”