October 17, 2016

Why I'm Leaving the Republican Party

What follows is the letter I wrote a couple of days ago to the chairmen of the Republican Party Central Committee in my county, on which I served until, well...when I sent this letter.

Co-chairs ___ and ____,

I write what follows most regretfully, and not without much thought and prayer. I am resigning my place on the Central Committee and plan to change my voter registration from Republican to Independent. 

I determined many months ago that I would not, and in good conscience could not, vote for Donald Trump for President. I was content to keep that opinion largely personal unless asked for it, and hoped to see Trump mature, while surrounding himself with quality individuals as others in the party simultaneously worked to move the party writ large in a more conservative and constitutional direction. 

What has happened has been precisely the opposite. Trump has continued to show himself for exactly who he has always been: a bombastic, small minded, morally repugnant, deeply corrupt, endlessly narcissistic con-man. His policies are, in many cases, far ​more
​ progressive and liberal than those of Hillary Clinton, and his character is about what one expects from a reality TV star. This is no great surprise. However, what has surprised and saddened me is the widespread continued support for his candidacy from Republican leaders and politicians, and, more disturbingly, from the average Republican voter. 

I have always known myself to be something of an outlier in Republican circles. I don’t think Big Business is always right, I think cutting spending is more important than cutting taxes, and I don’t like Neo-Con interventionist strategies. But where I once thought I found myself solidly allied with the party, namely, matters of Religious Liberty, the Sanctity of Human Life, and the necessity of moral character from our leaders, are areas which I find myself on the outside looking in at a party who, ​by virtue of its nominating action,
​ apparently values none of these things. Party platforms are meaningless when we nominate candidates who are diametrically opposed to the words in such platforms.

How can it be the the party, the people, who so rightly held Bill Clinton’s feet to the fire simple turn a blind eye, or shrug off, or excuse ​the same type of actions
​ from its own nominee? The only answer can be that politics have replaced principle as the rule of the day.

I understand fully the threat a Hillary Clinton presidency poses to the future of this nation we all hold dear. If folks want to roll the dice and hope that Trump will be better, that is between them, God, and the ballot box. I can’t judge an individual for trying to make the best of a bad situation. But for the party as a whole to continue supporting any candidate so abhorrent as Donald J. Trump, tells me that I can no longer in good conscience participate. 

I continue to hold the members of the committee in the highest regard, and am grateful for the opportunity to have gotten to know some of you, and to learn a great deal. 

Best regards,

Charles W. Dole

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About Me

Follower of Jesus. Husband of one. Father of four. Pastor at Remsen Bible Fellowship (remsenbible.com).