“I didn’t leave the Democrat Party. The party left me.”
– Ronald Reagan, 1962
On September 12th, 1974, I got to attend a Republican fund-raiser dinner in Indianapolis, where Ronald Reagan, the former Governor of California, was the Keynote Speaker. I walked in to that event thinking of myself as a Democrat. Since I grew up in what many would call a Blue Dog Democrat area of Indiana and I was raised by Greatest Generation Democrats, what else could I possibly be? However, due to the disillusionment I and many in my generation experienced over our nation’s failed leadership relative to the Vietnam War, in 1968 and again in 1972, I voted for Richard Nixon, the Republican Candidate for President. Understandably, that left me questioning my alignment with the Democrat Party. That evening, I went home with that questioning answered. As I listened to Governor Reagan express his views, I recognized that they were identical to mine and that I’d had the same experience that he did … I hadn’t left the Democrat Party, it had left me. I went home that evening clearly understanding that I was what would become known as a Reagan Republican.
“If the Republican Party nominates Trump.
I WILL HEAR FROM MY FATHER’S GRAVE
“I DIDN’T LEAVE THE PARTY THE PARTY LEFT ME”
– Michael Reagan, 2016
Though, at times, I have felt like this election season is killing me, I haven’t had to say it from the grave yet but I have been saying the very same thing. Sadly, now, the “if” is gone. Donald Trump is the presumptive presidential nominee of the GOP. My being driven back to the Democrat Party will not be the result of the Republican Party leaving me in this way, however. I will not vote for Trump but neither will I vote for Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democrat Party.