Demands for absolute purity and total party loyalty need to stop. This is something I have been saying for many years now, but it is at the forefront more this year than at any time in my memory. Cultists are destroying the Republican Party with these unreasonable demands, driving voters, volunteers and candidates away either to the Democratic Party or out of politics altogether. This is foolish.
Between county, state and federal elections, there will be 14 Republicans on my ballot in the general election. I plan on voting for 13 of those Republicans. Moderates have been telling me for years that a 70% ally is not a 30% enemy. In my case, I am a 93% ally of the Republican Party, or at least I will be when I walk into that voting booth. But for far too many people, it is not enough that I am standing with the party 93% of the time. No, I must be 100% pure or I am all kinds of depraved things and I am responsible for the destruction of my nation and my family.
This is what I mean when I talk about cult-like behavior. I have always faced this attitude to some extent, but it is far worse this year thanks to the cult following of Donald Trump, who far too many Republicans view as some sort of messiah. I imagine it would not be much different talking to Branch Davidian cultists before their compound burned to the ground in 1993. This time, it is not a cult’s compound that is burning to the ground, but a political party that controls both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate and a majority of governors and state legislators.
I said on Facebook last week that I will be so glad when this blasted election is over. This is the kind of year that makes me want to be permanently done with politics. I am tempted to completely drop out of doing anything for candidates, never write another letter to the editor, never comment on anything political on Facebook or any website comment section, expunge all political commentary from my Facebook and Twitter profiles and take down my blog and website archives. This has been, by far, the most frustrating year I have had in 20 years of being politically active.
When will the Republican Party stop immolating itself and start respecting that not every single Republican has identical convictions and may not agree 100% with everything the GOP wants and every single candidate the GOP puts forward? The Republican Party can be perfectly unified, with absolute purity, but it will no longer be a major political party. The choice the Republican Party now faces is between relevance and purity. Choose the former.