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Burning My Republican Card, Leaving the Republican Party

March 23, 2009
By Chuck Hustmyre
The Jagged Edge

I've been a registered Republican for 27 years. Now, I'm ready to burn my voter registration card and re-register as an Independent because I'm disgusted with my party.

If the Republican Party were a prison inmate, it would be bent over a weight bench on the yard, pulling a train.

Can no one in the Republican Party ball up a fist and throw a punch?

A purely symbolic stand against the most recent Democratic spending onslaught doesn't transform a sellout into a hero.

British philosopher Jon Stuart Mill wrote:

"A man who has nothing he is willing to fight for, nothing he cares more about than his personal safety, is a miserable creature, who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

As Republicans, we've let our opponents dictate the terms of the battle. We pit our weaknesses against their strengths. We surrender ground and compromise at every opportunity.

Let me tell your something. You do not win contests, whether they be philosophical or physical, by yielding to your opponent. Nor do you win by defending yourself. You win by attacking and overcoming your opponent. You win by forcing your opponent to defend himself.

We didn't win World War II by shoring up American defenses. We won by attacking enemy-occupied Europe and Asia.

That's what the Republicans have forgotten.

For years, and with few exceptions, the Republicans have caved in on out-of-control government spending. They've caved in on fortifying our own borders against armed criminals, terrorists, welfare cheats, and squatters who don't want to assimilate into our culture but who insist we adopt theirs.

Democratic Congressman John Conyers has attacked an Arizona sheriff and succeeded in getting the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation because the sheriff is arresting illegal aliens. Meanwhile, Mexican drug gangs have made Phoenix the kidnapping capital of the United States.

The Republicans have caved in on defending profitable American companies and industries against Democratic efforts to put them out of business by burying them under mountains of government regulation and strangling them with crazy tax schemes. And they have signed off on pumping hundreds of billions of our tax dollars into bankrupt companies because they're too big to fail.

Nothing is too big to fail. The Roman Empire failed. WorldCom failed. Enron Failed. Even the Soviet Union failed. Yet the world kept turning. Nothing is too big to fail.

The Republicans have even caved in on defending their own members from made-up crimes, choosing instead to sacrifice them on the altar of appeasement. The Valerie Plame name game, the eight fired U.S. attorneys. Democrats spent oodles of time and money "investigating" who leaked the name of a low-level CIA officer, but how much did they spend trying to find out who repeatedly leaked entire classified CIA programs to The New York Times?

Since U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, how much outrage will the Democrats muster when President Barack Obama replaces all 93 U.S. attorneys, as is his right under the Constitution? And later, if some of his picks don't perform to his satisfaction, he can replace them, too. He's the president. He gets to pick his own staff.

Democrats, on the other hand, defend their own to the death, and, in some cases, beyond. They fought tooth and nail for Congressman Bill Jefferson of New Orleans. U.S. District Judge Alcee Hastings -- a Democrat -- was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for bribery and perjury and was found guilty by the U.S. Senate. Yet today, Hastings serves as a Democratic congressman from Florida, a proud member of the same deliberative body that convicted him of bribery and perjury!

And Democrats are always rewriting history. They've adopted Republican Abraham Lincoln as their own, while redacting from the history books the fact that their party waged pitched battles against granting freed slaves the right to vote or hold public office. The Ku Klux Klan was formed as an armed wing of the Democratic Party.

Many prominent Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, among them were party luminaries such as Robert Byrd, Al Gore Sr., and J. William Fulbright.

As the minority opposition party, Republicans should be fighting the Democrats at every turn, using the filibuster and every other Democratic-honed parliamentary and legal trick to defeat their opponents. That's what the Democrats have been doing to us since 1994. Why didn't one Republican senator stand up and read the phone book for 24 hours to slow down the vote on the most recent "stimulus" package so his colleagues could at least have time to read the 1,000-plus page bill?

Democratic Senator Strom Thurmond did that very thing to oppose Republican President Dwight Eisenhower's Civil Rights Act of 1957, which protected the voting rights of black Americans.

If I didn't disagree with them on nearly every issue and know how antithetical their ideas are to the principles of individual liberty that this country was founded on, I'd join the Democrats just because they at least know how to fight to win.

I won't join them, though, because I know Democrats are working night and day to reshape this country into their own version of a European-style socialist nirvana.

Meanwhile, the Republicans, like Neville Chamberlain, are busy trying to figure out new ways to give up more ground in order to appease their Democratic opponents.

I'm burning my voter registration card because I choose not to be a member of a party whose idea of strategy is surrender. From now on, I'm a conservative independent, not a Republican.
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