I was raised in a staunchly loyal Republican family. My uncle was a national convention delegate in 1988. I am too young to have voted for Ronald Reagan, but I voted for Bush Sr in 1992 (my first presidential vote) and for Bob Dole in 1996. Back then I never could have imagined the day when I wouldn’t vote for a Republican.
But, the Grand Old Party that I knew and loved as a kid doesn’t exist any longer. It’s been hijacked by people who, quite frankly, scare me. I was raised in a very religious family but my parents are hippies compared to some of the folks who supposedly now make up the “base” of the GOP. I went to public school. I dated during my high school years without adult chaperons. I wore pants- shorts even!- and makeup. I played sports (not well, but not the point).
If I am to believe what I hear from the leaders of today’s Republican party, in order to be a good member today I have to worry far too much about where people are peeing, believe that all the scientists in the world are somehow involved in some kind of giant conspiracy against the US, and believe that having an army larger than most of the rest of the planet’s combined somehow isn’t big enough.
It makes me sad to see how this party has evolved from something I admired to something I don’t even recognize anymore. If Reagan were still alive I’m pretty sure he would feel the same way.