Confessions of a Disillusioned Republican
March 26, 2011
Judge Advocate General's Corps
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
As a GOP activist who saw the George W. Bush administration from within the outer circle, my naïveté about politics began to fade.
I should have known better because I was not fresh off of the turnip truck. By 2004, when I entered the circle, I had nearly 20 years of exposure to the party, working on every campaign at every level plus serving in various Republican capacities such as congressional aide, election commissioner, state legislative extern, county executive committeeman, delegate and alternate delegate to state and national party conventions, including the one that first nominated GWB in 2000.
I had also been practicing law for well over a decade which included experience as a criminal prosecutor in federal, state, and military courts. My experiences had helped make me aware of the dark side of our world but I was still not aware enough.
I have always been idealistic and passionate about politics, law, and government. I was a traditional values conservative from birth. My instincts rejected almost everything about leftist liberalism: feminism, socialism, racial and homo-demagoguery, the promotion of pornography and other forms of indecency, defamation of Christianity, modern art, sabotaging the criminal justice system, etc.
The only candidates out there who seemed semi-sane had an (R) after their names. My first vote was for Ronald Reagan. At the time, he seemed to be everything a president should be, despite being routinely denigrated in the media. Now, looking back, I can list many mistakes he made but yet he remains the best president in my lifetime - by far.
Because the Democratic Party is the party of the Left, I loathe everything it stands for. For the longest time, I could not figure out how those Dems could say the most fallacious, counter-intuitive things and yet get away with it politically. Later, I discovered the reality of media bias, who controlled it, and then many things began to come together in my mind.
GEORGE H.W. BUSH & BILL CLINTON
I wasn't a huge fan of Reagan's replacement, Herbert Bush, (Mr. "New World Order" - which I did not understand at that time). He never got my vote as party nominee but I was positively stunned to see him go from a 90% approval rating in 1991, due to his quick Gulf War "victory," to then only receiving a mere 37% of the vote only a year later.
Herbert, the youngest American fighter pilot during WWII, lost to an adulterous, draft-dodging, anti-American, protesting, pot head, punk. As I was a Navy JAG Officer at the time, the draft-dodger became my Commander in Chief.
I thought to myself, how is this possible? Of course, the answer was that the conservative vote was split between Bush and 3rd party candidate Ross Perot. The 3rd party option is only a form of political suicide. Realistically, we only have two options, a Republican or a Democrat. I knew that then but I still had much else to learn.
With the assistance of Monica Lewinsky, Clinton proved himself to be every bit as morally degenerate and otherwise corrupt as advertised.
While an active duty JAG, I filed a formal ethics complaint against attorney William Jefferson Clinton with the Arkansas Bar, alleging his perjury and obstruction of justice. I wasn't the only complainant, I don't know who filed first, but, at any rate, the evidence was there and Clinton's license to practice law was suspended.
He was impeached by the U.S. House for the same reasons. Of course, his job was spared because every Demonrat in the U.S. Senate voted to stand with their partner in crime. The media called that political rescue an "acquittal." But afterward, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to disbar him permanently on the same evidence.
Then along came Bush Jr. I was a participant in the 1998 Republican Leadership Conference and was shocked to see "W" win the straw poll even though he didn't show up.
I was too small a figure and nobody told me that the fix was in. He hardly even pretended to be a conservative. He called himself a "compassionate conservative" which I took as an insult because, from my perspective, genuine conservatism automatically includes godly compassion.
What Bush was really saying was that he was going to be a liberal. Again, I voted for another candidate in the primary but GWB had all the money locked up and the nomination was his. When Gore challenged his votes in Florida, I was tapped as an attorney for the GOP to cover the recount in Dade County but the recount was halted before I got on the plane.
It was very strange the way that Bush so quickly decided we needed to attack Iraq after 9/11 since Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. But, at that time, I was not suspicious of his motives. I was then a reservist and I actually begged to go to war. Thanks to God, the DoD had no active role for me at that time.
Because of the nature of my work, I could not run for office myself or accept a full-time political role. However, I encouraged my wife to enter the party. She had been reared in a political family and she had her own talents and connections. She became leader of a state party organization, hosted a local political TV show, and then received an appointment from GWB in 2004 with the title of "director."
She was not highly placed, we were nowhere close to the inner circle, but we were in the outer circle and I was on her coattails. Of course, it was a cutthroat DC environment, a political minefield. My wife tried to watch every step in front of her while I tried to watch her back. She was frequently called to the White House where I occasionally tagged along. Through her I met the president, a bit of an underwhelming experience.
I was extremely disappointed when I discovered the lack of idealism and pettiness of most of the other political appointees. Most were simply interested in making more connections, climbing higher, and sometimes stepping on people in the process. Most were younger and they struck me as spoiled rich kids who had little clue and little care about advancing American values consistent with party philosophy. But then later I wondered if these philosophical party differences were an illusion. Perhaps I was the kid.
My wife was also shocked to see blatant favoritism in the way that government contracts and loans were administered. I know the Dems are worse in that category but I honestly expected the Repubs to behave better than they did. I was also disgusted by the cowardice displayed by the senior appointees in their repeated failure to exercise discipline in the face of blatant laziness and insubordination on the part of tenured civil servants, especially when dealing with minorities and unions.
Next.. GOP DISILLUSIONMENT- Is the Tea Party an Alternative?