I left the Republican Party in 2000, after 35+ years of active participation, including stints as a precinct committeeperson, appointed government official and candidate for Congress. Despite that level of participation, a number of those in the party shrugged off my departure (or said “good riddance”) as the foreseeable decision of a “liberal” who had never really belonged.
What they refused to see–or admit–was that I hadn’t left the GOP. It left me–and many others. The party I had joined was fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Goldwater Republicans believed in limiting the power of government in both the boardroom and the bedroom. We believed in fiscal responsibility. (Those Republicans would never have gone to war without bothering to pay for it, to give just one example.) The party I left, on the other hand, was fiscally liberal and socially conservative.
Since my departure for an occasionally uncomfortable berth in the Democratic party, I have watched the GOP steadily shrink, as control has become concentrated in its most fanatical, hateful and reality-challenged elements. And it is getting more difficult to attribute the growing pace of defections as coming only from “liberals” and civil libertarians. When notables who are clearly on the right have had enough, you know the party is on the verge of self-destruction.
This morning, MyDD reported that conservative blogger Charles Foster Johnson, founder of Little Green Footballs and co-founder of Pajamas Media, has parted ways with the right, and blogged on the matter outlining his rationale:
” 1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, Pat Buchanan, etc.)
2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)
3. Support for throwing women back into the Dark Ages, and general religious fanaticism (see: Operation Rescue, anti-abortion groups, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, the entire religious right, etc.)
4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.)
5. Support for homophobic bigotry (see: Sarah Palin, Dobson, the entire religious right, etc.)
6. Support for anti-government lunacy (see: tea parties, militias, Fox News, Glenn Beck, etc.)
7. Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech (see: Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Birthers, creationists, climate deniers, etc.)
8. A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech (see: Hot Air, Free Republic, Ace of Spades, etc.)
9. Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond simply criticizing radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide (see: Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, etc.)
10. Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarre conspiracy theories (see: witch doctor pictures, tea parties, Birthers, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, World Net Daily, Newsmax, and every other right wing source)
And much, much more. The American right wing has gone off the rails, into the bushes, and off the cliff.
I won’t be going over the cliff with them.”
Johnson, who is also a respected jazz musician, started blogging in 2001. In a recent interview, Johnson said the main reason that he has parted ways with “right wing blogosphere . . . is that most of them have succumbed to Obama Derangement Syndrome. “
In his post, Johnson went on to note the following:
“One “nontroversy” after another, followed by the outrage of the day, followed by conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory, all delivered in breathless, angry prose that’s just wearying and depressing to read.
It’s not just the economic issues either. I’ve never been on board with the anti-science, anti-Enlightenment radical religious right. Once I began making my opinions known on issues like creationism and abortion, I realized that there just wasn’t very much in common with many of the bloggers on the right. And then, when most of them decided to fall in and support a blogger like Robert Stacy McCain, who has neo-Nazi friends, has written articles for the openly white supremacist website American Renaissance, and has made numerous openly racist statements on the record … well, I was extremely disappointed to see it, but unfortunately not surprised.”
All this is just very sad. The party I joined over 40 years ago, the party I enthusiastically supported and worked for, no longer exists. What has taken its place is both dangerous and terribly depressing.