Denise Velez says it on behalf of her grandparents, I’ll say it on behalf of myself.
I was never really a Republican, but I was an Independent arguing forcefully against the stifling liberalism thriving in Canada and threatening the US for most of this decade. The Nanny-Statism and condescending moral superiority of self appointed social watchdogs. I voted for Bush in 2004, though I was pretty grumpy about many of his and the parties directions then.
Now, the party has lost more than my support, it has lost it’s compass.David Brooks in NYT sums it up well from a Conservative viewpoint:
The political effects of this trend have been obvious. Republicans have alienated the highly educated regions — Silicon Valley, northern Virginia, the suburbs outside of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Raleigh-Durham. The West Coast and the Northeast are mostly gone.
The Republicans have alienated whole professions. Lawyers now donate to the Democratic Party over the Republican Party at 4-to-1 rates. With doctors, it’s 2-to-1. With tech executives, it’s 5-to-1. With investment bankers, it’s 2-to-1. It took talent for Republicans to lose the banking community.
Conservatives are as rare in elite universities and the mainstream media as they were 30 years ago. The smartest young Americans are now educated in an overwhelmingly liberal environment.
Denise responded eloquently, in a comment that was highlighted on the NYT:
I was raised by Republican grandparents. One of whom was black. My grandfather loved his party, proudly proclaiming to all and sundry his feelings about “the Party of Lincoln”. My grandmother, a white woman from Kansas, was as middle America as one could be. Proud of her descendancy from forebears who fought in the American Revolution, the Mexican War, the Civil War; she was a poster child of American values.
Your party has no place in it for me, and millions like me. I am educated, female, fiscally conservative but socially responsible. I watched your convention, remembering my grandparents active participation in your party and I wept. There would have been no seat for them there.
My grandmother, a lady of the old-school, would not have invited Sarah Palin to her kitchen table, nor into her parlor. My grandfather, who was an advocate of education and hard work, in the style of Booker T Washington, would be aghast at the anti-intellectualism on display.
I don’t usually read your column, but today I did, and it struck a chord. I am responding for them. I achieved the dreams my grandparents wanted for me. A college education, a home and a family. At the age of 61, after a life of work I can now think about retiring, or I could, until my future was destroyed by politicians in collusion with Wall Street.
Yes, I am bitter. I will continue to teach until my health fails, and I pray I will have coverage. I will report to you that my students are all Democrats -except for one. Most come from Republican conservative upstate NY homes. They see no place for them at your table either.
The recent displays of hatred and vitriol at Republican campaign events have left them aghast. They are this nations future, and you have lost them. All but one, and he is embarrassed to admit openly his party affiliation. He shared it with me privately. I patted him on the shoulder and reassured him, that what was important was for him to participate in our Democratic process, and shared with him the story of my grandparents. But now I regret that sop to his feelings. Your party does not deserve him. He is a fine young man. I hate to see him tarnished by what has become a place for the dregs, the Know Nothings and the haters. Those of you who are still capable of cogent thought should fight to wrest your party back from those who now resemble most Germany’s Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.
The Republican Party is dead. An ugly doppleganger has risen in its place.
I am a fiscal conservative – a small-government and personal-responsibility fan – and you have no place for me. I believe strongly in a balance of power and ideals, that there should always be two intelligent voices (or more) discussing every important issue – and you have left one party alone to debate with itself how to solve the problems and challenges that threaten the world I would like my children to inherit.
You may say that I come here with nefarious purpose, but you would be incorrect. I want to see two strong, healthy, reasonable and vigorous parties in this country. Someone has killed one of them, and I would like to see it back.