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Why I Could Never Be a Republican

just say no republicans

I am politically progressive and liberal. I make no attempt to hide my democratic socialistic tendencies. I am a registered Democrat and a supporter of Bernie Sanders. I am an inconsistent pacifist. I am of the opinion that the United States has not fought a just war since the two world wars. And even with these wars, the United States, with its immoral nuclear bombings of Japan and its firebombings of Germany, has shown itself to be as violently ruthless as its enemies. The same goes for the United States’ use of napalm during the Vietnam War. (Please read Napalm: An American Biography by Robert Neer.)  Americans love to think of themselves as kind, goodhearted people who only resort to violence when backed into a corner, when in fact the United States, thanks to its colonialist, imperialistic, and nationalistic tendencies, is a nation whose history is steeped in the blood of innocents. (Please read The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America 1500-2000 by Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton.)

Prior to the turn of the 21st century, I was a registered Republican — the party of my tribe and religion. The reasons I am no longer a Republican are many. Let me list a few of them. These statements reflect my understanding of the Republican Party at the national level.  I realize that not all Republicans believe/support the positions that follow.

The Republican Party is and I am not:

  • Pro-life
  • Pro-Christian
  • Pro-gun
  • Pro-NRA
  • Pro-war
  • Pro-Israel
  • Pro-big business
  • Pro-Chamber of Commerce
  • Pro-dark money political contributions
  • Pro-unrestricted campaign contributions
  • Pro-charter schools
  • Pro-unregulated religious schools
  • Pro-Pledge of Allegiance
  • Pro-Christian nationalism
  • Pro-American expansionism
  • Pro-American imperialism and colonialism
  • Pro-military as the world’s policeman
  • Pro-Patriot Act(s) and other government intrusions into privacy
  • Anti-welfare
  • Anti-Environmental Protection Agency
  • Anti-Department of Education
  • Anti-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Anti-affordable college
  • Anti-separation of church and state
  • Anti-LGBTQ
  • Anti-affordable healthcare
  • Anti-single payer option health insurance
  • Anti-immigrant
  • Anti-undocumented worker
  • Anti-Palestinian/Iranian/Afghan/Iraqi/Muslim/Russian
  • Anti-regulation
  • Anti-abortion
  • Anti-euthanasia
  • Anti-global warming/climate change
  • Anti-science
  • Anti-evolution
  • Anti-minimum wage
  • Anti-Black Lives Matter
  • Anti-atheism

And Best Hits of the Republican Party keep on playing.

And if these things aren’t enough, Republicans committed the biggest political crime of the modern era — electing Donald Trump president. And . . . four years later, knowing that Trump was a criminal who caused the deaths of thousands of people from COVID-19, and was unfit for office, Republicans tried to elect him again.

From 2016 to today, what have we learned about the Republican Party? With lips dripping with the blood of injustice, unfairness, and unequal protection under the law, the Republican Party has waged an all-out war against LGBTQ people, people of color, and anyone else who doesn’t fit in their narrow, defined ideological box. Whatever moderate, centrist politicians that once existed in the Republican Party no longer exist. Republicans are now the party of Trump, the fomenters of insurrection, culture warriors intent on turning the United States into a violent theocratic state.

It is for these reasons, and others, that I could NEVER, EVER be a Republican. They are the antithesis of everything I believe and stand for.

Readers should not assume from this post that I am pro-Democrat. I am not. I held my nose and voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020 for one simple reason: they weren’t Donald Trump. Neither Clinton nor Biden was my first, second, or third choice. (I voted for Bernie Sanders both times in the primaries.) Currently, I am considering leaving the Democratic Party, registering as an independent voter. I’m done with voting for the “lesser of two evils.” The Democratic Party is weak, feckless, and cowardly, given over to extremism instead of getting things done for the American people. Is there no whack-a-doodle position too extreme for Democrats? Evidently not. In many ways, extremists in the Democratic Party are not much different from right-wing extremists in the Republican Party. The two-party system is irreparably broken, controlled by corporate money and career politicians. The “house” needs to be razed so a just, equitable system can be built. The upcoming midterm elections will go a long way in helping me decide whether I am finally done with the Democratic Party. Here in Ohio, both at the state and local level, the Democratic Party is as dead and missing as Jimmy Hoffa.

Maybe none of this will matter. If warmongers in the Republican and Democratic Parties have their way, we could be living in a nuclear wasteland by Christmas. Thinking a war with Russia is “winnable,” and the use of tactical nuclear weapons will show the world we are still the only true superpower, our political leaders are leading us down a path that leads to heartache and devastation. Coming soon will be a push to expand funding for the military and security industrial complexes. To some degree, this already happened before the war in Ukraine. I can only imagine how much money the people who allegedly “keep us safe” and “fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here” will be clamoring for now that we are sending billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine and NATO. Nothing like a military conflict — and make no mistake about it, we are waging war against Russia and Belarus — for the bottom line.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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12 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Oldbroad1

    Amen, Brotha Bruce, speak truth to power! As a flaming liberal democrat in the republican political wasteland of the great state of South Carolina……….I feel your pain.

  2. Avatar
    Brian

    Yahoo preacher man! You remind me that there are wonderful human beings caught in the trap of American politics now. Sorry it has come to this… With the battle down to Clinton and Trump, the choice is clear but it is like choosing between a virus and a good beating!

  3. Avatar
    Charles

    From a news story I read yesterday, it said that the anti-LGBTQ amendment on reparative therapy to the new party platform was tabled awhile back because of some controversy that broke out, but just within the last couple of days, the party finally went ahead and passed it, so it is now part of the new platform for the Republican National Convention opening next week in Cleveland, Ohio. I just thought you folks might like to know if you had not already heard.

    As per usual, facts mean nothing to the fundie wing of the Republican Party. These are the people who still believe mighty George Washington threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River, regardless of the fact that silver dollars were first issued in 1794 when George was 63 years old and the Potomac in Tidewater Virginia is wide as all get out, meaning too wide for a MLB player to toss a baseball across at age 20.

  4. Avatar
    Daniel

    I am with you on most of the things, except I am pro gun. And, I am a registered Republican but refuse to vote for most Republicans. I’m a died in the wool “strong” atheist, until I see extraordinary evidence to the contrary.

    I saw a UFO one time in 1977 that is almost certainly an ET craft. I tend to agree with most atheists on woo woo, delusion, and the like, but I get ridiculed quite a lot by atheists (and theists) for saying I saw a UFO and being pro gun. I used to tell very few people about the UFO, but I got tired of being put down for what I have to say, so my attitude is that I will tell the truth and even if no one believes me, at least I know what I saw, and I will take the ridicule. The one response I most often hear to my UFO claim, is the hand saw fiddle sound (which sounds kind of like Slim Whitman’s music in the comedy movie, “Mars Attacks” where the music killed the martians–and I agree it should, LOL). I don’t get angry, because I know I have no proof (other than eyewitness, but my brother is dead and my wife isn’t exactly unbiased, but she is truthful) and people who consider actually believing me without proof isn’t skeptical enough, but we saw what we saw. I was so close to the UFO that I could see the pulsing electricity and the different colors (red, white, and blue–really) mixed together but still somehow distinct.

    I don’t think UFOs are supernatural, and I have only seen one that I “for 99% sure” believe was likely an ET. It took off so fast (“instant acceleration”) from a standstill (it was a sphere) in the air and, I’m not sure any living thing, if any, in it could withstand the G-forces. Or, me and at least three others were somehow hallucinating at the same time. My brother and I saw it up close. One other woman saw it who was in the same general area I was, and my future wife that was about 75 miles away and whom I hadn’t met yet, saw it.

    This uncalled for ridicule doesn’t make me a theist, but it makes me tend to mistrust many atheists who claim that atheists have an open mind. One of my religious sisters says, “well, I don’t have any proof that my religious experience didn’t happen, but it did, and you don’t have any proof your UFO sighting happened, so my experience is just as valid and true as your experience.”

    • Avatar
      Charles

      I am interested in UFO sightings from a purely scientific standpoint and am not close-minded to the very real possibility that you did encounter a craft from another world or another parallel dimension. I would very much and very seriously like to hear your story and will do so with open eyes and an open mind. You may contact me at tcbkjbbrown@comcast.net I am not a representative of the U.S. government.

  5. Avatar
    Jack Harper

    I like the “Ant-Evolution” typo near the bottom of the list. Makes it sound like ants will one day be our overlords.

  6. Avatar
    BJW

    Interestingly enough, there are too many leftists right now clamoring for a war. A first strike (even with nukes!) would take out Putin, they think. I follow Tom Nichols on Twitter, who is a retired Naval Academy professor and Cold War expert. He’s spent hundreds (thousands) of texts over the last month explaining how this would be a catastrophe, and how severe sanctions by the West are the best. Those of us who lived through the 20th century Cold War are much more interested in avoiding a nuclear war. Apparently, we’re cognizant of the fact that, as soon as nukes are launched from either us or Russia, there will be a counterstrike.

    I’m not actually actively afraid of this much, because this would be completely outside of my control. Still, I think the 21st century could’ve done without this on top of the pandemic.

  7. Avatar
    Chikirin

    Each state offers a certain set of freedoms. In blue states you can’t have a gun but you can smoke pot. In a red state you can have a gun but you can’t smoke pot. If you’re pro gun and pro drug, I think your only option is Alaska.

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Bruce Gerencser