Although my dad registered as a Democrat when we moved to Florida -- for reasons he never explained to me -- I grew up with Republican Party principals. I remember riding in the car one time with my father when Ronald Reagan came on the air, and my father said, "Silence."
He also took me one time with him when he voted. And we watched every evening news program that was on: ABC at 6, NBC at 6:30, CBS at 7. So I grew up with a knowledge of current events and the idea that it was very important to vote.
When I went away to college, I went to Florida State, and in Leon County, you could register to vote if you were within six months of your 18th birthday. So I registered, and when asked for a party affiliation, I put down Republican.
The first time I voted for President, in 1984, I voted for Ronald Reagan.
I was young and ignorant in 1988, and I voted for Dukakis.
But ever since then, I voted Republican for president.
I've always believed in a rather limited government. I'm a moral, fiscal, and social conservative, and I don't believe that the government should be giving "handouts". (I also understand that there's a difference between a handup and a handout. There is a place for short-term help and for help for those who cannot work.) I worry about the increasing power of the federal government. Ronald Reagan is quoted as saying, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"
But the GOP has been sliding away from conservative principles for the last several years, and increasingly, I have grown very angry with their leadership. They say they have principles, and yet they abandon them for the sake of "getting along". You can say what you will about Sarah Palin, but in 2008, she did galvanize the conservative base of the Republican Party--a base that is now being ignored.
Over the past year, the Republican Party has rallied behind a man who, in my opinion, is not qualified for the Presidency. He has had success and failure in business, but knows nothing about foreign policy or how to work with Congress or foreign governments. If he HAS worked with foreign governments, it's in his capacity as a businessman and not as a world leader.
He has shot his mouth off about Muslims, immigration, Megyn Kelly, and other subjects, and he has refused to apologize.
He does not believe he needs to be forgiven by God.
People support him because "he says what everyone else wants to say but either can't or won't."
He wants to make America great again but has no specifics on how he will do it.
And one by one, the leaders of the Republican Party and conservative media have all fallen in line behind a Pied Piper playing his flute and leading the children, one by one, off to the side of a mountain, where the door will close behind them.
Last night, upon learning that Donald Trump had officially and formally secured the Republican nomination for President, I'd had enough.
My 35-year relationship with the Republican Party is at an end.
Conservative blogger Erick Erickson posted an article this morning that sums up much of what I also am feeling. He says that he cannot be a water carrier for Trump.
Neither can I.
So, here's my farewell to the Republican Party:
Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.