Resignation letter

Yesterday I resigned my position in the York Township Republican Committeemen’s Organization. Below is the letter I sent to the chairman explaining my decision.

***********

Chairman Cuzzone:

We come together in political parties to magnify our influence. An organized representative institution can give weight to our will in ways we could not accomplish on our own. Working with others gives us power, but at the cost of constant, calculated compromise. No two people will agree on everything. There is no moral purity in politics.

If compromise is the key to healthy politics, how does one respond when compromise descends into complicity? To preserve a sense of our personal moral accountability we must each define boundaries. For those boundaries to have meaning we must have the courage to protect them, even when the cost is high.

Almost thirty years ago as a teenager in Texas, I attended my first county Republican convention. As a college student I met a young Rick Perry, fresh from his conversion to the GOP, as he was launching his first campaign for statewide office. Through Associated Republicans of Texas I contributed and volunteered for business-friendly Republican state and local candidates.

Here in DuPage County I’ve been a precinct committeeman since 2006. Door to door I’ve canvased my precinct in support of our candidates. Trudging through snow, using a drill to break the frozen ground, I posted signs for candidates on whom I pinned my hopes for better government. Among Illinois Republicans I found an organization that seemed to embody my hopes for the party nationally. Pragmatic, sensible, and focused on solid government, it seemed like a GOP Jurassic Park, where the sensible, reliable Republicans of old still roamed the landscape.

At the national level, the delusions necessary to sustain our Cold War coalition were becoming dangerous long before Donald Trump arrived. From tax policy to climate change, we have found ourselves less at odds with philosophical rivals than with the fundamentals of math, science and objective reality.

The Iraq War, the financial meltdown, the utter failure of supply-side theory, climate denial, and our strange pursuit of theocratic legislation have all been troubling. Yet it seemed that America’s party of commerce, trade, and pragmatism might still have time to sober up. Remaining engaged in the party implied a contribution to that renaissance, an investment in hope. Donald Trump has put an end to that hope.

From his fairy-tale wall to his schoolyard bullying and his flirtation with violent racists, Donald Trump offers America a singular narrative – a tale of cowards. Fearful people, convinced of our inadequacy, trembling before a world alight with imaginary threats, crave a demagogue. Neither party has ever elevated to this level a more toxic figure, one that calls forth the darkest elements of our national character.

With three decades invested in the Republican Party, there is a powerful temptation to shrug and soldier on. Despite the bold rhetoric, we all know Trump will lose. Why throw away a great personal investment over one bad nominee? Trump is not merely a poor candidate, but an indictment of our character. Preserving a party is not a morally defensible goal if that party has lost its legitimacy.

Watching Ronald Reagan as a boy, I recall how bold it was for him to declare ‘morning again’ in America. In a country menaced by Communism and burdened by a struggling economy, the audacity of Reagan’s optimism inspired a generation.

Fast-forward to our present leadership and the nature of our dilemma is clear. I watched Paul Ryan speak at Donald Trump’s convention the way a young child watches his father march off to prison. Thousands of Republican figures that loathe Donald Trump, understand the danger he represents, and privately hope he loses, are publicly declaring their support for him. In Illinois our local and state GOP organizations, faced with a choice, have decided on complicity.

Our leaders’ compromise preserves their personal capital at our collective cost. Their refusal to dissent robs all Republicans of moral cover. Evasion and cowardice has prevailed over conscience. We are now, and shall indefinitely remain, the Party of Donald Trump.

I will not contribute my name, my work, or my character to an utterly indefensible cause. No sensible adult demands moral purity from a political party, but conscience is meaningless without constraints. A party willing to lend its collective capital to Donald Trump has entered a compromise beyond any credible threshold of legitimacy. There is no redemption in being one of the “good Nazis.”

I hereby resign my position as a York Township Republican committeeman. My thirty-year tenure as a Republican is over.

Sincerely,

Chris Ladd

Postscript – Needless to say, the response to the letter has been stunning and overwhelming. I want to express my gratitude to the people who have shared so many kind thoughts. It was my intention to reply to each of the emails I’ve received, but I was snowed under by late last night and they keep piling up.

Some of the warmest regards have come from right here in suburban Chicago. When I posted this letter I was prepared to face some anger here at home from fellow Republicans. Nothing of the kind has materialized. The only official response from the local GOP so far has been support, for which I am immensely grateful. It gives me hope. We may all come out of this debacle in better condition.

***********

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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1,391 comments on “Resignation letter
  1. Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

    Lifer…I love this little internet space you’ve carved out here. I would be sad to lose that.

    I also appreciate the angst you’ve been going through over this and your stand. If only others would have put the pieces together as early as you did, and then done some things to stop it.

    I’m going to need to go back and re-read your outline of how Trump is causing this tear. I remember at the time that you had me thinking in ways I had not considered before.

    However, I’m just not seeing the end of the GOP as you, and admittedly many others have pointed out.

    Let’s say that Trump loses by a nice 7% to 9% in November. He’ll carry about as much electoral votes as Romney.

    The GOP loses the Senate (certainly not a given at this stage), but with the 2018 mid-terms, they win it back in 2018.

    The GOP loses seats in the House, but retains a comfortable majority, effectively stopping any Democrat shenanigans (or plans) they don’t like.

    Meanwhile, a majority of governors and state legislatures remain in GOP hands.

    In 2019, a slightly more sane GOP candidate emerges (Ryan/Rubio) to take on a tired Hillary and an electorate tired of 12 years of Democrat control.

    Imagine your Illinois governor running for president and freed from ever having to talk about abortion and gay marriage. The won’t have to talk about building a wall or any number of goofy things because those things lost in 2016.

    Not that Ryan or Rubio is the person, but if the GOP finds their version of a 1992 Bill Clinton, all of this is going to be forgotten.

    • Houston,

      2018 is a given. At least based on the rumor Democrats do not know there are elections every two years, not four! So the senate will probably be Republican in 2019!

      Sadly, i agree with most of what you say. Republicans have a hold on people who do not believe in science or any facts for that matter, who think vaccinations cause all sorts of bad things, who think that carrying an AR-15 strapped to your back while you buy milk at the local supermarket makes perfect sense, and who think tax cuts for billionaires are good for the economy. Not to mention Barry is a card carrying “Moooslum”! And there are a ton of those people!

      While i would love to see the Republican party change into something more like they were years ago, just to give a balance to the Democrats, i do not see that happening. The Republican party is so fixated on the above and a bunch of other crazy notions, made up of these isolated groups who vote one issue, loosing any of them would be catastrophic to the party. If Republicans even looked like they were giving thought to banning the walking around with assault weapons openly carried, or giving any credibility to climate change at all, they would loose an important segment of their vote. And they know it!

      So i do not see any change coming soon. What would bring about a change to the Republican party, i do not know what that could be.

      Saying that, the country is screwed. Just my opinion, and I am not a pessimist. But i do not see, what with the number of states controlled by right wing Republican and their hold on gerrymandering, how the House will switch. And that means nothing will get past the House that doesn’t fit into the Tea Party’s agenda.

      I hate to say it! I know hope springs eternal. But i have to face facts.

      We are screwed!

    • I’d love for the GOP to find a respectable candidate that I, as a “libtard,” could respect as my president even if I disagreed with him/her. It’s not good for the country not to have the choice of several good people from various different points of view on how to accomplish the thing we all want: a proud, prosperous America for all Americans.

  2. Elyse J. Morris says:

    Thank God! A man with principles! Best of everything in your future! Chris Ladd, you have my respect and admiration .

  3. This made my day, Mr. Ladd, and I shared it on Facebook. Thank you for giving me hope.

  4. Fair Economist says:

    Sorry it came to this and congratulations on your stand for your principles. I hope you find a new way to participate effectively in politics now.

  5. Welcome to the blue side. We have cookies.

  6. Mot says:

    Good on you. Intellectual integrity is refreshing to see. You ought to run for office yourself.

  7. rulezero says:

    Have my condolences, Chris. I hope that your blog continues.

  8. Ed Crotty says:

    Once I reached the understanding that the GOP is so very full of folks whose main principle is white supremacy – even though they hide it under the guise of “small government” or “personal responsibility” – I just couldn’t be a part. See John Cole at Balloon Juice – https://www.balloon-juice.com/2016/03/07/ive-kind-of-made-my-decision/ . Welcome to the Light Side – we have cookies!

  9. aggiebrett says:

    Kudos– for your service, your painful decision, and your eloquent explanation.

    Fellow Texan here who had to make pretty much the same choice a few years back. This is not the GOP I grew up with and believed in. The inmates have taken over the asylum.

  10. Peri says:

    Yay!!! I applaud you sir 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  11. Charlie says:

    Jesus H. Christ. I had a nagging, almost in-decipherable notion you might resign. But when you actually did, publicly, it hit me like a Mack truck. I’m in my 70’s and it’s heart warming to see someone stand up for their principles. I salute you Sir. To see one of the most significant political parties in our history evaporate on prime time TV is gut wrenching. We need you around to describe, in your own eloquent way, this unstoppable train wreck/cluster f**k. That’s all, just keep writing.

  12. cjfarls says:

    I know that was a hard step Chris, having made a similar choice to leave the GOP a decade or so ago.

    FWIW, you are not alone. Your posts have resonated as strongly with my ideals as anything I’ve found. I don’t know if America will follow Trump down into the mudpit, whether the GOP can rise from the ashes, whether the Dems spiral into their own ideologically-driven idiocy, or really anything about where things may go…. but I do know that there are folks that “buy what you’re selling”.

    Best of luck to you, and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us through the years.

  13. tuttabellamia says:

    Chris, you may be leaving the GOP, but I don’t see you closing up shop here anytime soon.

    There’s still a lot coming up to discuss — Mrs. Clinton’s running mate, the Democratic convention, the debates, more polls, the general election itself.

    Perhaps after the general election is when you will really take a break from all of this. I think many in the GOP will do a lot of soul searching after the grind of the election cycle is over, no matter who wins. After the noise dies down, people will be left alone with their thoughts, and I predict there will be more defections,

    • 1mime says:

      Lifer may have some obligations relative to the blog that may dictate his departure. Here’s hoping he lands on his feet and keeps writing.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Ok, Mime, I guess we can’t hold him. We will have to let him go. 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        No, just meant that I’m not sure what Lifer’s situation with the blog and his party is. He mentioned it was an experiment of sorts months ago. It’s not any of my business as to what that meant but I would have to assume that if he plans to continue blogging, he will have to do so under a new name. Which is fine. We can have a naming contest (-; We’ll all be there…wither thou goest and all that rot !

  14. OppositeLocked says:

    As a lifelong Republican I have watched my party descend from the party of Lincoln & Eisenhower with strong ideals and a commitment to fiscal responsibility to a gang of petty, vindictive, repulsive bullies that love power and personal gain more than they love our country and the American People. All wrapped up in a blanket of cynicism and moral self-righteousness.

    Our legislative and executive branches of government are supposed to be representative of the citizens. While the judicial branch is supposed to be blind to political party, race, gender & creed. Our “leaders” no longer represent their constituents. (Hence we are no longer a republic.) They care only about the interests of their financial benefactors who keep them in power and the organizations where they can get huge salaries as lobbyists and consultants after they leave office.

    While our federal judges are chosen for how well they rule according to party agendas. Neutrality and objectivity are anathema. Radical interpretations of existing rulings and the Constitution have become the norm.

    I too have left the Republican Party. I find that Democratic candidates are closer to my philosophies of governance. But only a little closer.

    Mostly, I feel it’s important to prevent the theocrats and bigots from taking over the government and destroying the civil rights and protections our Constitution has afforded us.

    Thank you for posting your resignation letter. It’s heartening to know there others who feel at least somewhat similarly to how I do.

    All the best to you.

  15. David finney says:

    Dear Mr Ladd,

    My heartfelt thanks to a courageous and thoughtful man. Perhaps only a Republican of conscience can articulate the disaster of Trumpism, and the Manichean form of Republicanism that led to it, as eloquently as you have done. May many follow in your footsteps.

  16. Bob says:

    I think the republican leadership are terrified that HRC will have coattails.

    Don’t just counsel people to vote against Trump. Explain the easiest way to split the ticket.

    In this election, where the two main candidates are a lying, corrupt, inept politician versus a lying, corrupt, inept real-estate speculator, our best outcome is divided government.

    MACDONOUGH’S SONG
    Rudyard Kipling

    WHETHER the State can loose and bind
    In Heaven as well as on Earth:
    If it be wiser to kill mankind
    Before or after the birth-
    These are matters of high concern
    Where State-kept schoolmen are;
    But Holy State (we have lived to learn)
    Endeth in Holy War.

    Whether The People be led by The Lord,
    Or lured by the loudest throat:
    If it be quicker to die by the sword
    Or cheaper to die by vote-
    These are things we have dealt with once,
    (And they will not rise from their grave)
    For Holy People, however it runs,
    Endeth in wholly Slave.

    Whatsoever, for any cause,
    Seeketh to take or give,
    Power above or beyond the Laws,
    Suffer it not to live!
    Holy State or Holy King-
    Or Holy People’s Will-
    Have no truck with the senseless thing.
    Order the guns and kill!

    Saying–after–me:

    Once there was The People–Terror gave it birth;
    Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth.
    Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, O ye slain!
    Once there was The People–it shall never be again!

    • 1mime says:

      It’s best to let other people decide who is the lesser evil here, Bob. I am supporting HRC – voting FOR her rather than against Trump. We’ve had divided government for 8 years and it has been dismal. You can vote for whoever your heart desires, or not, but this election it really matters that Trump NOT be elected. If you think that will be best achieved by splitting votes, you haven’t been reading GOPlifer.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      “In this election, where the two main candidates are a lying, corrupt, inept politician versus a lying, corrupt, inept real-estate speculator, our best outcome is divided government.”

      Look, every single politician lies. Every single human lies. Instead of trying to hold politicians to impossible ideals that we ourselves are incapable of, how about we look at the totality of the package?

      Any argument that Clinton, because she has lied in her life, is no different from Trump because he has also lied, is a false equivalence as well as intellectual laziness.

      One need look no further then politfact. Here’s HRC:

      True (23%)(52)
      Mostly True62 (28%)(62)
      Half True48 (22%)(48)
      Mostly False33 (15%)(33)
      False25 (11%)(25)
      Pants on Fire (1%) (3)

      Compared to Trump:

      True (4%)(8)
      Mostly True19 (10%)(19)
      Half True31 (16%)(31)
      Mostly False32 (16%)(32)
      False75 (38%)(75)
      Pants on Fire34 (17%)(34)

      Just to clean that up a bit:

      True/mostly true: HRC (51%) Trump (14%)
      Half true: HRC (22%) Trump (16%)
      MF/F/PoF: HRC (27%) Trump (71%)

      If one wants to vote for Trump because of SCOTUS, or immigration, or even that they’re just racist and think “The Blacks” and Mexicans need to be put in their place, that’s fine, but they need to be honest about it. If they’re voting for Trump because “Hillary is such a lying liar” they are either uninformed, uninterested in considering facts that disrupt their own narrative, or is lying themselves (or some combination of all three).

      • texan5142 says:

        It is all three Rob.

      • flypusher says:

        “f one wants to vote for Trump because of SCOTUS, or immigration, or even that they’re just racist and think “The Blacks” and Mexicans need to be put in their place, that’s fine, but they need to be honest about it. ”

        These people still have enough of a sense of shame, I think, that they still don’t want to be seen as bigots, or associating with bigots. Too bad. Just like Paul Ryan and the other sellouts can’t endorse just the parts of Trump they like, and pass on the bigotry, those of you who endorse Trump own the whole ugly package.

    • unarmedandunafraid says:

      Vote spit ticket and leave all those mini-Trumps in congress. Nope.

  17. Tony Tyner says:

    Trust me the Democrat party has it’s faults but one of them is not inclusion. The reason the Republican party is failing is because it only cares about itself and the rich investors it protects. This outcome was inevitable and I for one say good riddance. When George W. Bush won in 2000, even though he was not my choice, I was hopeful. I had read about how as Governor of Texas he had worked with both sides. Turns out his Lt. Gov. was a Dem. and as we now know, George Bush let his underling run the show. After he brought us to war and showed no willingness to work with the Dems. I said no more. We now have to run whats left of the Reoublicans out of Congress and only reach back across the aisle when they are ready to deal. I look forward to hearing more about what you have to say.

  18. Charles Gaba says:

    Mr. Ladd–

    As a progressive Democrat, this may sound insincere or snarky, but thank you for this.

    While I’m obviously hoping that Clinton crushes (not just beats, but crushes) Trump this November, along with a big blue wave down-ballot, the reality is that the U.S. *needs* more than one functioning, rational political party (and yes, I know the Dems have our own issues as well, but that’s for another day).

    There was a time when the Dems and GOP could discuss whether it would be wiser to have lasagna or steak for dinner, debating the advantages and disadvantages of each.

    Today, the debate is over whether we should have lasagna…or shards of broken glass.

    There is no way to “debate” over something like that…which means the only sane choice every day is lasagna, even if you’re not in the mood for it that day.

    Not an ideal metaphor but you get my drift.

    • flypusher says:

      I could see the Dems getting the WH and flipping the Senate. They probably can’t flip the House, but I can see them gaining seats. That at least allows for work on the backlog of judicial appointments, but how can we get to work on things like immigration reform and infrastructure repair and managing some sort of economic transition for workers left behind if we don’t have a functional House? Paul Ryan has to power the help with that. He could suspend the odious Hastert rule the kills bipartisan efforts. Is that without political risk? Certainly not, but if you really love your country and want to help it, you will take that risk. But Ryan caved into that obnoxious bully Trump, so I have no expectation that he will put country first.

      • 1mime says:

        Maybe. But if Dems win the presidency and re-take the Senate, he’d be flying alone. He might find his irritation with having to continuously watch his back from FC attacks is just not worth it, and, like Justice Roberts with the ACA determined, he wants his legacy to be one of accomplishment, not obstruction.

        At least that’s what I hope. Abandoning the Hastert Rule is a critical first step. It’s frankly his only lever to counter the FC domination of the House legislative process. Ryan’s career has mostly been in the political arena. It will surprise you to read his wiki bio. Note how he deals with local constituents. Also note that he has only successfully passed two pieces of legislation, both minor. He is not the “lion king” we imagine from the positions he has and does hold. He got where he is because he’s been faithful, not because he has great leadership. Judge for yourself. I would imagine his great mentor and idol, Jack Kemp would not approve of how he is leading today.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Ryan#Early_life_and_education

      • 1mime says:

        Check out Mark Cuban on FB. He called into CNBC today while they were discussing which candidate was best for business (!!!??!!). Let me just state that he is not a Trump fan. You can pull up his tweets on the subject on FB if interested. Regarding HRC, he noted that she at least is trying to help the small business person whereas Trump is not interested. It was interesting. Cuban also was disturbed that Trump threw Melania under the bus for plagiarizing Michelle Obama. He should have handled that differently but he let her hang out, per Cuban….which, I have to say, was exactly my thought. She was an innocent and she was sacrificed. His own wife.

      • flypusher says:

        A very simple way to deal with the plagiarism issue- as soon as you are briefed about it say “Sorry, we made a mistake. We are looking into exactly what caused it so that it won’t happen again.”

        This basic approach, with situation tweaks when needed, will help keep a variety of problems from mushrooming out of control, from using the wrong e-mail server, to accidentally shooting the wrong person. The main caveat is that you must do this immediately (and actually follow on the promise).

        You’re welcome.

    • Sarah Francis says:

      I totally agree with you. How does it feel to have a human being nominated for a post for months now and the Republicans won’t even allow a hearing to discuss the nomination. They have forgotten that person who is day by day feeling so bad because all they see is party and what they don’t want Democrats to have. Discuss the person’s qualifications and if he is fit for the job give him , if he is not let him know. It is unfortunate that many of the ills we suffer is because of congress. Many bills brought forward never get discussed and that’s why things are so bad in the country. The candidates running for president now will suffer the same plight unless their party wins the senate and the house. Nothing will get done unless by executive order. Let us be honest here. the congress and house is the reason why many things don’t get done in America. so the republicans and democrats had better decide what they really want and the people need to let them know that they work for them not for their parties. It is really a shame that men who call themselves respectable can let others stand in public and call a lady running for the presidency , a mother be called ” a piece of shit” and no one call him out. Donald Trump’s disrespectful mouth alone should disqualify him from running for the presidency. He is too disrespectful and he is a revengeful bully, The only reason why he allowed Ted Cruz to speak is to let him be booed and then he came in at the end to gloat and make the hatred grow. He is mean and arrogant and he will never change. He is going to say what he has to , to try to win the presidency and then mock others as he has been doing all along. No one should be allowed to discriminate and berate others like that and get away because of power.

  19. My goodness., Chris, didn’t anybody ever tell you keep resignation letters short and sweet? Anyway, I’m sure they’ve got a seat for you to fill over at the Democrat precinct HQ. You’ll fit right in. Go get ’em, tiger! 😉

    • goplifer says:

      Hell, it’s one of my shortest posts in months!

      • 1mime says:

        I’d be curious to know if the resignation post was one of your fastest or slowest to pen.

      • goplifer says:

        It only took about six weeks.

      • 1mime says:

        Ha! I knew that it would be one of the toughest pieces you ever wrote. Most painful and that you would want to get it exactly right. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives, Lifer. With some issue/person or another. The only benefit is that it’s done and you can finally breathe. There is some peace in that although it will hurt for a while. Then you finally realize, man, I should have done this a long time ago. Your family has shared you and now you have more time to share with them. You’ll work through this because you’re smart, ethical and have many interests. Besides – your “pack” awaits!

  20. Rob Ambrose says:

    As Fly posted below, not that you need anymore validation, but today David Duke announces his run for United States Senate in the Republican Party.

    In his announcement, he said this:

    “I’m overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues I’ve championed for years,”

    If the Dems haven’t already started packaging this in ads ready to go out next week, they’re committing malpractice.

    • 1mime says:

      Sounds like a great Clinton campaign ad to me! David Duke’s name still resonates with a lot of people……..In a bad way.

    • flypusher says:

      “Most Americans”????!?!?!?

      I hope that’s just some echo-chamber hypoxia.

      And yes, play that in all the urban areas of OH, MI, PA, & FL especially.

  21. Black Sheep Yoda says:

    Reblogged this on Beers, Balls and Bacchae and commented:
    Perhaps, just perhaps, more state and local GOP committees could have rejected Trump’s nomination, with courage, like Mr. Ladd, the GOP could be sitting in a position to forge a future, maybe not a present, but a truly new future of American politics. Instead, we’re stuck in hyperbole, illusion and a cycle of fear.

    I only pray that Trump loses in a landslide, and the GOP is able to reach down and reject all that Trump embodied, and become a party of the future.

    • Jeff Furlington says:

      The GOP needed to reject Trump at the convention. He would have taken the fascist wing of the party with him, maybe giving the party a future. Now it’s the party that fell for an openly bigoted, pro-torture campaign that the rest of us have to stop.

  22. Rob Ambrose says:

    “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”

    – Edmund Burke

    You are a man of integrity, Chris.

    • What is there to do now, though? I’m terrified of a Trump presidency, so what would you say are the most effective things to do to prevent that?

      • 1mime says:

        Share what you know about Donald Trump. Do your homework. There’s plenty out there to draw upon. Rationally refute arguments against HRC. Get people registered to vote. Take them to vote if needed. Use your influence wisely and encourage those who value your opinion to vote against Donald Trump.

  23. Michael says:

    I guess leaving was an option after all.
    On a less facetious note – I enjoy your blog very much and I hope that the political world eventually turns around to something closer to your view. A Republican party as you espouse it would be a credible and worthwhile institution I could consider voting for. Let’s hope it becomes a reality one of these days.

  24. vikinghou says:

    A very eloquent letter, Chris. I’m curious to know if you’ve received any feedback from the recipient or other party officials.

  25. I have always believed that a person is judged by the company they keep, and even more by the company they choose not to keep. By that standard, Chris, you are judged very highly. Your politics are not the same as mine, but you are an honest and an intelligent man, and I mourn what’s befallen you.

    I wish you the very best in whatever endeavour you choose in future; and I am sure that you will choose wisely.

    EJ Grosskopf

  26. tuttabellamia says:

    What I find cool is the “kids'” of today. I grew up with progressive Baby Boomers as my mentors and role models, and I wanted to be just like them when I grew up.

    Now, I see a lot of the values of those Boomers in the youth of today, so ironically, the twenty-somethings are among the people I look “up” to now. It sort of takes me back to my own youth. I guess it’s true that history repeats itself.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I guess I’m in awe of how time flies, but I don’t feel left behind. I feel like the kids of today have caught up with me, or I’ve caught up with them, I’m not sure which, but I admire how they have turned out. It’s like they developed into full-fledged adults while I wasn’t looking. I was caught off guard, but I am delighted.

      Not MY kids, of course, as I don’t have kids of my own.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        So, my point is that I see hope for the future in the youth of today.

      • rightonrush says:

        Tutt, I’ve have grandkids ages between 10-28. They keep me young and in the loop. Fortunately we don’t live in Trump’s dark, bleak, without hope America. The America we live is still a shiny beacon on the hill.

      • 1mime says:

        Our children and grandchildren are important links to life and give us grandparents something to look forward to.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Rush, I’m glad to hear that.

      • texan5142 says:

        “The America we live is still a shiny beacon on the hill.”

        You got that right rightonrush.

  27. flypusher says:

    Hey Chris, not that you need any validation of your hard decision, but here’s some anyway:

    http://www.vox.com/2016/7/22/12257388/donald-trump-ted-cruz-jfk-assassination-lee-harvey-oswald

    This fraud has made all these promises without any of the details of exactly how he’s going to fulfill them, and how is he choosing to spend air time? Rehashing batguano insane conspiracy theories about Ted Cruz’s father. SHAME on the people who are trying to sell this immature, narcissistic, clownish bully as Presidential material. You are hawking poison, and you know you are hawking poison, but you don’t care because you want to cash in.

  28. Sorry for you Chris. I hope you keep the blog up. You are a rare voice of sanity who straddles the political divide.

    On the plus side, you are right. Not only on Trump, but on the country. Somebody is going to reclaim the center of the country, and I don’t care if it comes from left or the right, so long as they recognize reality and draw the best ideas from both parties.

  29. Stephen says:

    I am sitting right now in a down town Orlando IHOP eating brunch. There are diverse group of people serving and eating all around me. Sitting together in harmony. Two middle age men one white and one black are sitting a cross from me. A family of Black and Hispanic are directly across from me. One waiter is most likely gay. My little cow town of youth is all grown up and a major metropolitan city. No place has had as tawdry past in regards to racism. It is now minority majority city. The fastest growing party registration is none. We are pro business and socially progrssive. As we are the rest of the nation is heading. And this place could very well decide who Florida votes for in the presidential election which could decide the election. We will get pass Trump . And I think I am looking at one city shining on a hill.

  30. Shiro17 says:

    Meghan McCain just tweeted out “The party I was a part of is dead.” It is quite clear, especially if this site is anything to go by, you are not alone.

    Also looks like you got out just in time: David Duke just announced that he’s running for the Senate seat in Louisiana.

    It also appears that you were prescient about the Dems, too. Just from reading the comments from others, and if the primary wasn’t any indication, a lot of us millennials and Obama Democrats are really chafing against the machine and tenure structure of the party.

    • Koop in VA says:

      I sure hope it is dead (or dies quickly) and then quickly re-constitutes itself because we need two functioning, realistic parties in order for this to work long term.

      FWIW, since my first presidential election in 1992 I voted Bush, Dole, Bush, Bush. I would have voted for Obama if I had the chance in 2008 (was unexpectedly out of state on election day) and I did vote for him in 2012, so I have been out of the Republican tent for quite awhile. Anyway, my reasons for leaving pretty much are the same as Chris’ and so I’m guessing the reasons for me coming back to the Republicans would be if they:

      A) develop a science based climate change position
      B) develop a healthcare policy that covers everyone and would be done at a reasonable cost (yes, although I’m a “conservative” I support socialized medicine and I do so on conservative grounds)
      C) dump the anti-voting laws across the nation
      D) adopt libertarian social policies (i.e. end the culture wars)
      E) realize that we overspend on our military NOT that we need to re-build our military
      F) realize and adopt policies that understand that a top marginal tax rate that is 20% below what Reagan agreed to in his first term is NOT socialism (Reagan dropped the top marginal tax rate from 70% to 50% and a further 20% reduction is the current rate of just below 40%)

      Anyway, I don’t expect any of this to happen anytime soon and so I find myself in a situation where I’ve been voting Dems and will continue to do so for awhile.

  31. goplifer says:

    Can’t get this Foo Fighters song out of my head. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBjQ9tuuTJQ

    Really need something that will wind me down instead of up. Thanks for all the words of support.

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      Wow. That song (esp. the lyrics) in the context of your recent experiences makes whole lot of sense. One my favorite albums by them.

      • goplifer says:

        I had never looked at the lyrics before. Interesting.

        Keep you in the dark
        You know they all pretend
        Keep you in the dark
        And so it all began

        Send in your skeletons
        Sing as their bones go marching in, again
        The need you buried deep
        The secrets that you keep are ever ready
        Are you ready?
        I’m finished making sense
        Done pleading ignorance
        That whole defense

        Spinning infinity, boy
        The wheel is spinning me
        It’s never-ending, never-ending
        Same old story

        What if I say I’m not like the others?
        What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays?
        You’re the pretender
        What if I say I will never surrender?
        What if I say I’m not like the others?
        What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays?
        You’re the pretender
        What if I say that I’ll never surrender?

        In time our soul untold
        I’m just another soul for sale, oh well
        The page is out of print
        We are not permanent
        We’re temporary, temporary
        Same old story

        What if I say I’m not like the others?
        What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays?
        You’re the pretender
        What if I say that I’ll never surrender?
        What if I say I’m not like the others?
        What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays?
        You’re the pretender
        What if I say that I’ll never surrender?

        I’m the voice inside your head
        You refuse to hear
        I’m the face that you have to face
        Mirrored in your stare
        I’m what’s left, I’m what’s right
        I’m the enemy
        I’m the hand that will take you down
        Bring you to your knees

        So who are you?
        Yeah, who are you?
        Yeah, who are you?
        Yeah, who are you?

        Keep you in the dark
        You know they all pretend

        What if I say I’m not like the others?
        What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays?
        You’re the pretender
        What if I say I will never surrender?
        What if I say I’m not like the others?
        What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays?
        You’re the pretender
        What if I say that I’ll never surrender?

        What if I say I’m not like the others?
        (Keep you in the dark)
        What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays?
        (You know they all pretend)
        You’re the pretender
        (Who dares)
        What if I say I will never surrender?

        What if I say I’m not like the others?
        (Keep you in the dark)
        What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays?
        (You know they all pretend)
        You’re the pretender
        (Who dares)
        What if I say I will never surrender?

        So who are you?
        Yeah, who are you?
        Yeah, who are you?

  32. Ryan Ashfyre says:

    Take however long or however little time you need to catch your breath, but I hope you stay in the game, Lifer. As Lincoln said: “The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we shall save our country.

  33. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    To Chris:

    Sorry to hear this sir. You have my genuine sympathies. I wish nothing but the best for you and hope (perhaps vainly) that you suffer no significant social hostility or animosity in the wake of your departure.

    It would not be earned.

  34. tuttabellamia says:

    Reposting from yesterday:

    Lifer, you may exit the GOP, but I hope that doesn’t mean you will exit the blog. There’s always a need for excellent analysis and commentary of the kind that you provide, and it’s not as though politics is going away, plus you write on other topics such as technology, sociology. religion, and economics.

    In any case, you wouldn’t be letting down the commenters on this site if you leave the GOP, since most people here don’t identify with the GOP.

  35. 1mime says:

    It’s already been stated so well by so many here that a;; I can add is that whatever regrets you have, there will be greater peace from listening to your heart and mind. Please let us know how this decision will affect your blog because as a part of this wonderful family you’ve created, we need your intellectual guidance and the support of each member who contributes. Thank you for that and so much more. It’s time to move on.

    SCREW THE TRUMPSTERS!

  36. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Your earnestness has been a balm for my cynicism.

    I hope you can figure a way to keep us all tuned in. This is quite a community.

  37. csarneson says:

    Chris I respect your ability to put well-crafted words to what many of us former Reagan-Republicans have been feeling for the past few years. I also respect how committed you have been to saving something that has been steadily moving away from you. Now we just need to figure out where to start building our future politically.

  38. Michael says:

    If you join the Democrats, you instantly lose any moral or ethical advantage you might have gained.

    • goplifer says:

      That’s not in the cards. As previous posts have made clear, I’m pretty convinced that Democrats face their own similar reckoning in coming years. Really don’t know what’s next.

      • formdib says:

        ““There is a story about Robert the Bruce, who is Scotland’s first hero king,” says Alex Salmond, Sturgeon’s predecessor as first minister of Scotland and the architect of the SNP’s success over the past 30 years. In the early 14th century, Bruce hid in a cave after an unsuccessful revolt against the English. He watched a small spider fail several times to weave a web across the cave ceiling. “On the seventh attempt, the spider successfully spun its web,” Salmond says. “And that is when Robert the Bruce said, ‘I’ll have one more go,’ which was successful. Nicola Sturgeon has shown the same perseverance as Robert the Bruce’s spider.””

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-14/brexit-made-one-u-k-leader-look-good-and-we-re-not-talking-theresa-may

        Off topic? Not really.

        A leader of your character and principles may sometimes have to retreat to a cave, but there’s always options to give it one more go. I’m not saying rejoining or participating in the Republican party. But your knowledge and drive for local-level ground-game politics puts you in a good position to seek out likeminded exiles (from either party) and long-disassociated independents, of which there are larger numbers every day, to try to craft a new party built of ideas instead of ideology.

        What makes your opportunity stand out from others can also take instruction from Sturgeon’s SNP. The Green and Libertarian parties merely commit to playing the national stage, knowing they’re the protest vote but pretending that they’re building a party. But parties are not built from the top down, they are built from the bottom up. They start in local governance and prove their mettle with legislation and leadership.

        It may take a while, and will probably take longer than most of us are alive to see the results of, but one message did get out into the national dialog this year: ‘the revolution’ isn’t about the candidate, it’s about the infrastructure. ‘Bernie’ changes nothing, it’s the Bernie followers who now have to step up and craft their progressive party.

        Your opportunity, if you choose to pursue it, is somewhere in the same area: to either lead or support a new party development that aims to get mayors, county clerks, and commissioners elected, not act like the POTUS position is a panacea for all the country’s ailments.

        If you choose not to take that opportunity, it’s understandable, because it’s hard work. I just want to proffer forth the fact that from the outside, seeing not just your writing and your opinions but your actual thinking and activism, indicates to me that your spiderweb may be destroyed, but you’re the type of person who always finds some productive method of bounce back in the end.

        Take your time to observe and consider the options. I trust you to do the right thing.

      • Shiro17 says:

        Be like Teddy and recreate the Bull Moose Party?

      • Maud Essen says:

        You are right. The Dems are totally broken too, just in a different way.

  39. Maud Essen says:

    Thank you for your courage, Chris. I am a Bernie Sanders supporter who has been following your blog because you were the only sane Republican blogger I could find to help me understand the thinking. This resignation letter proves I was right to to pick you.

    Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your party, which has been so important to you for so long. I felt similarly in the 1990s when NAFTA was signed and I stopped considering myself a Dem.

    Welcome to the world of the political Independent. Let us create parties that will represent us!

    • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

      Not to get too far off topic, but I think the numbers suggest that NAFTA has been a pretty decent thing.

      Certainly all of the promise wasn’t realized (as is true in all things), but on net, a positive impact on all three countries.

      • 1mime says:

        I hope people like Maud will not abandon the Democratic Party at this hour. Every vote is going to count even if it is one that is with less enthusiasm than your first pick. What we all need to focus on , like Lifer, is that we cannot allow Donald Trump to win the Presidency of America.

    • Maud Essen says:

      1mime, I live in a red state and have decided to wait until November to decide how to vote in the presidential election. Frankly, it will depend on who’s left standing at that point, and the spread between them in the polls.

      In the meantime, on August 2 we have quite a few Berniecrat progressives running for local and state offices, and they will definitely get my vote! It has been very heartening to see how many people have understood and acted upon Bernie’s message of running for office to grab the reins and make a difference.

      Chris, I wonder if running for office would be a path for you?

      • 1mime says:

        Our son was an avid Bernie supporter. I told him I’d make a deal with him. If Bernie got the nomination, I’d vote for him. If Hillary got the nomination, he’d have to vote for her. He said he would. Of course if he hadn’t agreed, he would never get a copy of mama’s cookbook (-;
        I was proud of Bernies campaign but I haven’t been proud of how he has handled defeat. He could be doing a great deal more to educate his base on the importance of supporting a Clinton ticket. He, more than most, knows how dangerous a Trump candidacy would be for America.

        BTW, I live in TX. You don’t get much redder than that! I persist and I vote. Every time. Much to my neighbor’s displeasure, I put Democratic candidates yard signs in the front and bumper stickers on my car. (Yes, I’m one of those. I don’t equivocate about who I support.) As Lifer himself said, although he despises the Clintons (his words), he will vote for HRC because she is qualified and will be competent and do no harm. Think about that for a minute with regards to a D.J. Trump. Do.no.harm. That should be all the motivation anyone needs to support the only other candidate who has a shot at keeping Trump from being President.

  40. Turtles Run says:

    Chris

    I know this is a very difficult decision for you. We may not agree on a lot of topics but the reason I enjoy this blog is because of your ability to view the issues with the pragmatic vision that so defined the Republican Party of yesteryear.

    The goal of your blog has always been to fight for a better Republican Party and even though that is no longer possible, now lies the opportunity to begin a new party based on pragmatic conservative ideals that are willing to not just tackle today’s problems but also admit they exist.

    Thank you sir and I do hope your bloq continues.

    Turtles Run

  41. way2gosassy says:

    Dear Chris,

    While we have disagreed on a few issues we have agreed on many more and that is the way it should be. No two political parties, people or movements will agree 100% of the time but having respect for those differences and working for compromise to better our country, our political parties and ourselves has always been the bedrock of our democracy and you have represented yourself well in that regard. I sincerely hope that you continue to work for those principles that you believe in and that have brought together a strong community of diverse people and ideologies.

    I know that there is a place for you and your talents where you will once more feel at home and where your pragmatic and reasonable views will be welcome. We continue to need those opposing views to maintain balance and it comes from people like you who are willing to listen to both sides of an issue and look for common ground for sensible solutions.

    Know this Chris, you are not alone in your grief, there are many voices like yours that have been silenced for the same reasons.

    Good luck in your future endeavors but stay true to yourself. You have my respect for whatever that’s worth to you and my appreciation for all you have done.

    Best regards,

    Connie Williams-Devlin

  42. texan5142 says:

    Enjoy!

  43. MassDem says:

    I am sorry that it came to this, but there was no other option. Once the Trump phenomenon crashes and burns, as it inevitably will, people like yourself will be needed to pick up the pieces, and create a new, better vision for your party.

  44. rightonrush says:

    I know that wasn’t easy for you Chris. For what it’s worth I left the party years ago and have not regretted it.

  45. A Non Mouse says:

    It’s sad to see this happen. It is apparent from the title of your site alone that your political connections are important to you, and it can’t be easy to give that up. But, for whatever little it’s worth coming from some random guy on the internet, I think you’re taking a good, principled stand here. One unlike most in your party, unfortunately, but you’ll sleep better for it.

    One convention moment that stands out in my mind was Ivanka Trump’s speech, which could have easily been a Democratic stump speech. She quite literally inspired the convention hall to applaud the issues which Hillary Clinton started her campaign on (the ‘wage gap’ and child care). I increasingly feel that much of the Republican Party doesn’t know what it stands for beyond authoritarian machismo and cultural and racial grievances. Your past writings on this site make crystal clear that you don’t share *those* views, so one can see what would lead you to this point.

    I hope you’ll stay in politics in some capacity. The country is better for having people of your intelligence and moral fortitude in leadership roles.

  46. antimule says:

    You are the mensch.

  47. texan5142 says:

    The party left you Chris, remember that.

  48. flypusher says:

    My condolences Chris, but also my kudos for your moral courage.

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