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Why I Quit the Republican Party
Introduction: In April of 2000, I finally gave up and quit the Republican Party after being a Republican my entire
adult life. This is a letter to my Congressman, the Honorable James E. Rogan,
Republican from the 27th District of California explaining my rationale. Oh...and I became a registered Libertarian.
09 April 2000
Dear Congressman Rogan,
It is with great dismay and sadness that I am reporting to you that
I cancelled my membership in the Republican Party today. I switched
to the Libertarian party. Although I will likely still vote for you
and George W. Bush in the November 2000 election given the specter
of an Al Gore Presidency and Democratically-controlled Congress,
I surmise this will be the last year I vote Republican.
I am relaying to you my reasons for giving up on the Republican Party
in the hopes that somehow you and your colleagues can right a sinking ship.
I am grateful to you for your representation of me in Congress thus far and
wish you the best in the future. I am particularly proud of your
integrity and behavior during the impeachment crisis. However, in spite
of your stellar representation during that troubling time, I found that
over the past few years your voting record continued to diverge from my
views to the point that I felt that you and the Republican Party no longer
best represented my values and principles. It's not so much that my
values and interests changed as it is the GOP abandoned its principles.
I quit the Republican party because:
- For the sake of political expediency, you increasingly adopted liberal
(i.e. statist) positions on tax reform, education, and increasing
federalization, all in clear violation of your constitutional
- You abandoned many of the reforms espoused in 1994. In particular, you
have abandoned real tax reform, significant reductions in Federal
government spending, and curtailment of unnecessary and wasteful federal
bureaucracies such as the Department of Energy and the Department of
- The GOP is inconsistent in its ideology. On the one hand, the GOP
supports (in general) individual economic freedom, yet at the same time
it advocates the intervention of the state in regulating the social
behavior of me and other citizens.
- Like the Democrats, you support increasing encroachment of the Federal
government into matters with which you have no right and in fact
are Constitutionally prohibited from entering. In each case, you
justify this encroachment by bastardization of the Interstate
Commerce Clause and in many cases with no justification at all.
This is born out in the continual repeal of many new Federal
laws by the courts. As another example, last September you wrote
to me and justified your support of proposed further Federal
legislation of firearms by stating:
"I want to stress that I remain a fierce defender of the Second
Amendment to the Constitution. No one should mistake me for a 'gun
grabber.' However, I also believe that a few non-invasive measures
designed to help cops and promote safety are not a threat to
law-abiding gun owners."
Yet the Congress clearly had no Constitutional authority to pass
any law on these particular measures -- these were matters for the
states to decide. The point was not that "a few non-invasive
measures" should be accepted to "promote safety", it was that
the Federal government had no business and no right to pass
such legislation at all.
- You vow to restrain the growth of government yet you continually
cave in on politically unpopular issues and increase the expanse
of the Federal government year after year. Even given supposed budget
surpluses, you support increases in spending for almost every
Federal program on the books or proposed for the future. How could
the GOP go from supporting reduction of the Department of
Education in 1994 to current proposals to expand Federal spending
on education by tens of billions of dollars?
- You either ignore or intentionally abandon Constitutional limitations
at almost every turn. In particular, you have supported legislation
that has weakened or ignored the First, Second, Ninth, and Tenth
- You have continually failed to pass legislation lowering taxes.
Over the last week, I have analyzed your CBO numbers on the US
Tax Burden and plotted them on my website:
You can see that our tax system has become confiscatory in its
levels, and amounts to lawful confiscation of wealth from those
who make it, and transfer to those who don't. Frankly, I'm
taxed out. I'm sick and tired of working harder, yet having
more and more of my wages taxed. The top 5% of American
families pay 50% of the individual income taxes. And the bottom
half of Americans contribute only 6% of individual income taxes
collected. A progressive tax system is one thing. This is
tantamount to legal theft. Enough is enough.
While I realize you in particular have fought against many of these
actions and in the name of political expediency had to compromise
at certain points, I feel you have comprised too much. The party should
stand up for its principles and not abandon them. If it feels that
it does not have the popular support for a position, then it should
stick to its principles and do its damndest to educate the public
about the facts of the matter. Abandonment of the fight in the
name of political expediency erodes the foundation of those
you purport to represent.
If the GOP is ever to regain my allegiance and support, it will have to
accept certain principles created by our Founding Fathers:
Thank you for your time, for your service, and my best to you in the
- Accept that I as an individual citizen have the right to
exercise sole dominion over my own life, as long as it doesn't
interfere with the equal rights of others. The founding
fathers sacrificed their property and their lives to escape
the tyranny of one overreaching state government. They wanted to
be left to their own industry and their own pursuit of happiness.
They fought a war to win that liberty. And since then we've
voluntarily given up many of those hard-fought liberties to the
state in the name of protection. I want my liberties back.
- Trust that I, as an individual citizen, am first and foremost
responsible for my own life. Stop trying to protect me from my
neighbors, from threats real and imagined. And stop trying to protect
me from myself. You are authorized only to protect me from foreign
threats. Lastly, stop making it more and more difficult for me
to protect myself and my property.
- Stop taking my money under the premise that you know better how to
spend my money than I do. While I accept and am more than willing to
pay my share of the cost for the government to carry out its
Constitutional obligations, do not take my money and turn around and
give it to someone else who is not willing to earn it through the
fruits of his labor, or spend it on frivolous, unnecessary programs.
- Accept that the Government doesn't have the answer to all of
life's problems. Accept that there are no solutions to problems,
only trade-offs. Present these trade-offs to us honestly and
forthrightly. Stop creating false crises that can only be
solved by further government intervention. Trust us citizens
to solve our own problems. And tell those citizens who complain
incessantly to stop whining and try to solve their own problems
- Accept that the Federal Government is one of limited, enumerated
powers and that all others are reserved for the state and for us
citizens. Read the Tenth Amendment and abide by it. Stop trying
to justify further encroachment on my rights under the false
justification of regulating interstate commerce or protecting
Federal agents or assets.
- Accept that I possess these rights naturally, you do not grant them
to me as you see fit. And also accept that you govern at my consent
and the consent of the rest of the citizenry.
La Canada, CA 91011