A longtime Republican strategist has registered as a Democrat and will vote in a Democratic primary for the first time in four decades in an effort to “exorcise” President Donald Trump from his beloved GOP.
Over the last three years, Americans have watched in horror as Trump seizes more and more power for himself — power that he frequently abuses for his own personal and political gain while corrupting the institutions that helped turn America into a “beacon of freedom” and “city upon a hill” respected around the world.
Well, Mac Stipanovich is not going to take it anymore. He is taking action, which he began by penning an op-ed published by the Tampa Bay Times on Friday announcing his decision to join the Democratic Party.
“I and a number of other long-time Republicans have re-registered so we can vote for the candidate closest to the center with the best chance of winning the Democratic nomination and defeating Donald Trump in November,” he wrote. “I do not know how many we are. I do not know if we will make any difference. But I do know we must spare no effort in trying to exorcise the demon that has possessed the soul of the GOP.”
Stipanovich explained that he and other Republicans failed to see the growing “moral rot” that had taken hold of the party and that Trump took advantage of that rot to grab control.
“There has always been a seamy underbelly in the party, a sump where the paranoiacs, conspiracy theorists, radicals and racists pooled, whether it was the John Birchers in the 1950s who believed President Dwight Eisenhower was a communist or the right-wing populists today who believe the late Sen. John McCain was a traitor,” he continued. “Reactionary, isolationist, protectionist, nativist, small-minded, mean-spirited and redolent with racism, the Trump GOP is better suited to the 1930s than to tomorrow, right down to the America First slogan borrowed from that era. And while Trump is as much an effect as the cause of what I believe to be an existential crisis for American representative democracy, he is the accelerant that daily feeds the fires of division and dissolution.”
“So I am going to vote in a Democratic primary for the first time in 40 years,” he concluded. “For many of my like-minded acquaintances it will be for the first time ever. It may all be for naught, but duty calls nonetheless.”
Even if a centrist Democrat does not win the nomination, Republicans like Stipanovich can not afford to sit out the election and let Trump win a second term. Because if he wins, there may not be an America left to govern by 2024, and that assumes Trump doesn’t refuse to give up power at the end.
No matter who wins the nomination, the first duty Americans have in November is to make sure Trump loses. If that means America has a progressive president for four to eight years, so be it. Anyone is better than Trump, and at least Republicans can say they stood up to him when it counted most.
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