In his October 24, 2008 radio broadcast, Rush Limbaugh told pro-choice secular
supporters of limited government such as myself that we should leave the
Republican Party. Many of us have already taken his advice and changed our
affiliation to "independent."
The news narrative for last week was the Republican Party in turmoil, with no leader, second guessing its mission. This is a good thing.
When I first voted I registered as a Republican and I stayed that way through the Bush 41 and Clinton years. But ever since I began voting I have been an agnostic, and this has been in conflict with the major force of the Republican party. For the past 25 years the Republicans have increasingly relied on the religious right to make up their base, a group with whom I disagree on almost every issue important to them: gay rights, religion in schools, right to choose, birth control. Bush won the 2004 election largely on the gay rights issue getting his "base" of strong Christian voters to the polls.
The power of this group over our national agenda has reached its zenith in the Bush administration, and the fall of the Republicans from power may be a reason for hope for conservatives like myself. There are a large number of younger conservatives that don't buy the social platform of the Republicans but don't want government being the dominant entity in our lives. Some have gone to the Libertarian extreme, but I linger in the limbo between parties still. If the GOP were to reform itself in the image of Barry Goldwater, perhaps I could rejoin.
I don't have high hopes.