I Didn't Leave the Democratic Party, the Party Left Me

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I wasn't always a Republican. I was raised in a majority Democratic Household. I was raised to believe that there were two sides to every story. But that the Democrats were the party of the people and Republicans were the party of money from an early age. I began to think being a Republican was a bad thing. So when I was 16 I pre-registered as a Democrat. I had helped elect Democrats at the local level through my local party. I helped on the Obama for America campaign in 2012 and I got a job on the Charlie Crist for Governor race in 2014. I had always believed in freedom and I had never questioned my own values. I had begun to watch videos of Ronald Reagan's speeches and Margaret Thatcher speeches and began to wonder if I truly was this American liberal I was raised to be. I realized after watching these speeches that I agreed with much of what Reagan and Thatcher were saying about socialism, freedom, republicanism, conservatism, individual liberty, and the rest. During the 2014 campaign was the first time I realized I was just a very moderate Democrat. I remember being on the Crist campaign and I couldn't question my own beliefs or have discussions of politics that didn't involve disagreement amongst my peers. I often was alone in that regard until we lost that November giving Florida Governor Rick Scott a second term. I was around people who felt that because they had college degrees that they knew all about politics and how to run a campaign when I had been volunteering and working on them since I was 16 years old.

Me and my colleagues lost in 2014 so after that it was off into the political wilderness for a few months until Hillary Clinton announced she was running for President. I was immediately on board but only hesitantly. I realized while on that campaign I was becoming more conservative by the day with the police involved shootings, the terrorist attacks on the American people, the Syrian refugee crisis, the tuition free college issue, and the talk of universal healthcare. Everything was fine until Bernie Sanders walked onto the stage and my political life changed. I was alone in my views. I was a centrist trying to survive the waves of a left wing populist of a deeply divided nation. I had voted for Clinton in the primary then as the election was on between Clinton and Donald Trump I thought Trump was too dangerous to govern for his rhetoric and dangerous proposals. I had gotten a job I wasn't sure about on the Clinton campaign and drove with a friend to Tampa for training. As I arrived I wasn't sure this was for me as I had already suffered a defeat two years earlier for a campaign. I was offered $3,000 a month for this job so I took it. I didn't like the training when I got there because it was full of a bunch of non-Floridians who knew nothing about Florida elections and politics. I finished my training and then finally went home and did my first day of work under my regional field director to help get voter registration forms for the campaign at a public library on Father's Day on a Sunday. It was the stupidest decision this campaign worker made on the campaign. It was one of many idiotic decisions made on that campaign. I went back to the office and one of the regional field organizers from California called me into his office to complain about my behavior and how I thought what we were doing to elect Hillary Clinton wasn't going to work because on many campaigns before win and lose I learned what worked and what didn't. He gave me an ultimatum. I either pick up my bags and get out and leave or stay and follow directions. I walked out of the office defeated and into the conference room and made my decision. I had closed up my laptop and my bags and walked out of a $3,000 a month job because I knew my integrity was worth protecting over anything else and I wasn't going to be treated like I didn't matter. It was the best political decision I had ever made. Immediately after I had people from the Crist campaign telling my former boss what I had done. I was told "I had humiliated them", "I was selfish", "I had gone against the party", "I just couldn't stay quiet", "I was to be the token faggot of the right". These were Democrats calling me this. These were people I thought were my friends. Unlike many of them I had integrity and I was willing to preserve it rather than stay on board for money or for the next job offer.

Bernie Sanders' candidacy had done it for me as well in that election. It was after the August primary in Florida that I registered as an Independent until I could help find myself. I thought he Trump was too ill prepared for the job of President as I walked into the voting both and took my pen to vote finally to make my decision. My pen hovered over Gary Johnson's name for a few seconds and I thought to myself by voting for the Libertarian ticket I'm helping elect Donald Trump. So I made my decision and bubbled in Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton lost that election and I felt a sense of vindication that me and so many people with experience who weren't listened to were right. I had left the Democratic Party to never return. I was an Independent conservative and I had finally registered as a Republican. I had joined the party I said I could never see myself joining. I am a gay American and realized the Democrats had been using me for years as their token gay. No more. I was a conservative American willing to stand up for freedom and liberty. I had joined the party that matched my values. Now as Democrats gear up for another round at taking down Trump I'm glad I'm playing my part in contributing to a Republican victory in 2020. Today Democrats have turned against people like me. They are now the party of post-birth abortion, blackface, open borders, and destroying private health insurance. To paraphrase President Reagan I tell people I didn't leave the Democratic Party three years ago, but that the party had completely left me. It left behind my values and gone completely insane. The Republicans at my first party function welcomed me with open arms and it was .a very different experience. I was respected, listened to, cared about. I was a person. My sexuality didn't matter to them. What I did mattered to them. I hadn't felt like that in any of the years I was a Democrat in the Democratic Party. Politics is a part of your personality and being a conservative was a part of mine. It's not a popular thing to be a gay conservative, but I deal with it. I realized after Clinton lost my party switch had become inevitable and so everything for me fell into place and I started reading books on conservatism. And I couldn't be more satisfied or happier even if people say I'm self hating which isn't true.

I know that in 2020 the Democrats are going to destroy the progress we've made in the past two years with tax cuts, regulatory rollbacks, getting rid of the individual mandate, putting conservative judges on the courts, and standing up for life. We must be a nation of moral values or we cannot be a nation at all. I'm devoted to preserving our progress. Everything that for years they are salivating at the idea of completely destroying with higher taxes, more government control, more regulations, more pro-choice judges, and the destruction of traditional values. If they win in 2020 all of our conservative progress will be lost and will be potentially gone for years to come. We must do our part as conservatives to stop them in 2020.

Patrick Murray's picture
Patrick Murray