In the mid-1990s, the Republican Party left me.
I know that sounds trite, but I had been originally attracted to the GOP by Barry Goldwater and a handful of other small-government, classical-liberal politicians. Of course Senator Goldwater got clobbered in his presidential run, but just twenty years later Ronald Reagan swept to victory on the wings of his proclaimed (small-l) libertarianism.
Unfortunately President Reagan failed to govern as a libertarian, with ever-more bloated government and exploding deficits as well as clandestine wars. The final straw came with the Gingrich/DeLay betrayal of the Contract with America, an episode which left me no doubt that the Republican Party never had any intention, nor ever would, of returning our nation to real constitutional government.
Luckily for me I found the Libertarian Party. I am under no delusions the LP will enjoy massive electoral success anytime soon, it is too weighted down with an anarchical wing that is simply not reality-based, along with archaic rules that make it impossible to effectively build a party capable of actually winning majority support. But still we soldier on, if for no other reason than the LP is the only political party in the U.S. that still stands for government confined by constitutional limits and the individual as supreme per the classical-liberal philosophy of our Founders.
What is intriguing to me is the number of liberty-leaning folks, some of them friends, who doggedly stick with the Republican Party. One only has to review the history of state legislatures and Congresses when they have been controlled by the GOP over the past twenty years. The drumbeat is always the same, the people’s business, not to mention the Constitution, is a distant second to an undeniably anti-science, theocratic, misogynous, interventionist, and militaristic agenda. It is as if the Islamic Parties of God occupied the very soul of this once-proud party.
The time has come, it seems to me, to permit the GOP to collapse under the weight of its own self-righteous arrogance. Rick Santorum? Michelle Bachman? Newt Gingrich? Twenty-first century America does not need a flat-earth political party any more than, I would say even less than, a fascist-corporatist party under the guise of liberal-socialism. No real lover of liberty can, in good conscience, remain any longer within their bronze-age tent.