Forty Nine years ago, I registered for my first election cycle, that of 1972. I proudly registered as a Republican which shook both the foundations of my Democratic family and many friends and teachers. I would be casting my first Presidential Election for Richard Nixon, who went on to soundly beat George McGovern.
In 1976, I once again cast my vote for President, this time the incumbent Gerry Ford. (As most people remember, Ford became President upon the resignation of Nixon.) This time, Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in a negative reaction to Nixon’s problems that led to his resignation.
Carter was to prove to be an absolute joke as President. Inflation rates soared to 14.8% and 18% interest rates, with the Prime Rate hitting 20%. Stagflation was the name of the day for that economy.
Carter was so unliked that in 1979 he faced attack from a Killer Swamp Rabbit while fishing in a boat on a lake. (Little did we know that the Swamp held creatures that would arise 35 years later.)
In 1980, Carter was to face Ronald Reagan in the election. Though the media tried to make Reagan out a feeble old man and foolish actor, Reagan won handily in a landslide. Once again, I was proud to cast my vote for a Republican.
A key point about this election was the first time that the Swamp raised its head. Republican elites would do their best to stop Reagan from being nominated, but failed. However, they did force Bush 41 upon him as Vice President.
In 1984, Reagan ran against Walter Mondale. The economy had greatly improved and it was easy to cast a ballot for Reagan. In fact, if you ask now, more people voted for Reagan than the number of votes he actually received. The end result was a landslide victory again. Once again, I was more than pleased to vote for the President.
1988 was the first time I had apprehensions when voting for President. The choice was between Vice President Bush and MA Governor Dukakis. The problem with Bush was that he was a Rockefeller Republican, more moderate than conservative. So I held my nose and voted.
Bush won and soon proved himself to be the Republican I feared. He began to dismantle many of Reagan’s accomplishments. But the end for me was after he reneged on his promise, “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Now I started to become more concerned about the state of the Republican party than ever before.
1992 brought forth the election between Bush 41, Ross Perot, and Bill Clinton. Like many other Republicans, I was dissatisfied with Bush, but held the nose again to vote for Bush. Large portions of the electorate felt the same and in the end, Clinton would win thanks to Perot siphoning votes away from both Bush and Clinton.
1995 brought us Bob Dole versus Bill Clinton. Need I say more? It was Dole’s “time” to run as a loyal Republican and he lost handily to Clinton.
Year 2000 brought a whole new look to things. It would now be Bush 43, the compassionate conservative, running against Al Gore, Clinton’s Vice President. The term compassionate conservative scared the hell out of me. It signified another Rockefeller Republican running. I elected to punch my ticket for him, instead of Al Gore. Voting for Bush was no more than the better of two bad choices, as was proven out in later years.
2004 saw Bush running against “reporting for duty”, John Kerry. This was a no brainer, but not something to get excited about.
2008 and 2012 brought real regrets in choices for the Presidency. First John McCain who was more Democrat than Republican and then Mitt Romney, who was just as bad, if not worse. My votes for them were wasted, and my opinion of the Republican Party was even worse.
After the 2012 election, I was essentially through with the Republican. It was only with the running of Donald Trump for President that I was persuaded to vote for a Republican. I did so, and enthusiastically. I cast my vote once again with great pride, the last time being for Ronald Reagan.
We have all lived through the Trump years and the November 3, 2020 election. We have all seen how the GOP treated President Trump and how he was betrayed by his own party and Deep State at each and every turn.
As a result, I decided that I would leave the GOP. I changed my party registration in January and learned late last week it had been confirmed. I am now registered as “No Party Affiliation.”
And with that, I end 49 years of being a Registered Republican. I am a fool, to be played by the GOP no longer. They can stick it and the GOP where the “sun don’t shine.”