Wow. This is extremely heartening news.
My cousin, a solid Republican from an extremely right-wing Republican family (he's actually fine on social issues, and is very progressive on environmental/alternative energy issues) just posted a bombshell post on Facebook.
While his post seems to be a pretty open letter, I won't include his name here; I've posted my response to him below as well:
My Broken Republican Party(I should note, by the way, that I'm not entirely sure what he means by the GOP getting "crushed in local elections"...the GOP did lose both the County Clerk and County Water Commissioner positions in November, along with a few other spots, but they still control the County Commission, Executive and Sheriff offices, and retain complete control of everything at the state level...for the moment...but that's a separate issue)
I write this note with sadness and optimism. My local Republican Party is broken. My comments may be harsh at times but are only meant to shine a light on some of our issues in order to make positive changes. I have been involved in Oakland Country Republican's for nearly 10 years. I have run in the past three elections. Two years ago, I made sure that no county commission seat went without someone running. I currently and proudly sit on the Executive Board of the County Party. I am a socially liberal, fiscally conservative Republican. Unfortunately our party has decided by their actions that they do not care about getting all branches of our local communities to vote and be proud to be Republican.
This past Thursday February 7th we had our County Convention. I have seen the conventions become smaller and smaller. I often wonder why I bother myself. Lack of inclusion is the issue at the heart of why we continue to get crushed in elections locally. Oakland Country is made up of voters from all different belief systems and religions. The Republican Party should be about fiscal responsibility, not about the moral views of some.
Inclusiveness is no small issue. We have painted ourselves into a small box. We don't garner the Jewish, Black, Hispanic, Muslim, Gay... and the list goes on. One has to wonder-- is there some truth when we are called a bigoted party?
We used be a big tent. There was lots of different views represented and discussed. We have become single minded, and bent on squashing dissension. People who used to be called Conservative Republican's are now called moderates or “Rhinos”. The Libertarian wing has been marginalized. We have successfully kicked out the log-cabin Republican's. I can't image why Jews and Blacks don't want to associate with our Party.
Change must happen and quickly. If we hope to survive and be a majority party, we must be inclusive.
I would be happy to address any specifics and some thoughts on how to achieve a welcoming party that can compete and win elections.
Executive Board Member
Oakland County Republican Party
Anyway, here's my response:
I thought about "Liking" this, but I figured that would seem like gloating or rubbing it in, which is not my intention. I actually used to be an independent, and while my views were always left of center, I did occasionally vote for a Republican (I think I voted for Shelly Taub once, mostly because she was a friend of the family). I became a Democrat about 10 years ago mostly due to disgust with the trends I was seeing on the Republican side of the aisle--I felt that events were forcing everyone to choose a side, and I sure as hell knew who I didn't want to stand with. Everything I've seen since then has only served to reinforce that decision.
As an obvious example, the truth that most Republicans (and, ironically, most Democrats) can't seem to accept is that, for example, Barack Obama would actually have been considered a moderate Republican only 20 years ago, even on economic issues. The ACA (Obamacare) was actually written by the Heritage Foundation, is almost identical to the plan touted by Newt Gingrich (and of course is based on the one passed by Mitt Romney), and so on. He's actually increased the number of illegal immigrant deporations, and of course there's been a lot of concern of late over his use of drone strikes in Pakistan; hardly the picture of a "far-left" President.
At the same time, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush raised taxes, and Reagan and Gerald Ford both supported the original assault weapons ban, among other things.
And yet the GOP has become almost blind with frothing-mouth rage at everything that Ty Obama does for the past 6 years (starting well before his first term).
While I may be a solid Democrat these days, I actually do not want the Republican Party to fall apart; complete single-party rule is not healthy in the long run. I want at least two parties (preferably more, but let's be realistic) that seriously debate the issues of the day in an intelligent and fact-based fashion, and while the Dems certainly have their nutbags and extremists, they haven't completely taken over the party, which--in all honesty--seems to be the case with the GOP.
I say this not with any glee or satisfaction, but with deep concern. I'm glad to see that at least a few individuals such as yourself are starting to see what's happened to your party.
I wish you luck, in all sincerity.