Why I Am No Longer a Republican

On October 14th I sent in for my political party to be changed to the Democrat party. With full disclosure here, because of the timing of the upcoming election on 11/06/2018, I won’t be official until after the election. None the less, my changes have been officially submitted.

new political party

I grew up in Oklahoma in a very conservative state and in a very conservative town. Some of their values have helped shape and made me a part of who I am. Some of their values I had to unlearn and go through some tough lessons before getting to the other side.

There are some Republicans I still admire and feel a sense of pride about them.  John McCain was one of those Republicans. His willingness to do what he perceived to be the right thing even if it meant going against the grain of his own political party is one of the things I admired most about him. He reached across political parties to try to get things accomplished and honor was not just a word, but something to strive towards. We humans, especially those in the political arena all make mistakes. However, when action follows words time and again, that to me is true honor. Civility, humanity, patriotism are not in a slogan or by being anti-something. They grow from the seeds of a movement that means something greater than themselves, hopefully with honor and keeping the darkest part of ourselves in check. No ends justify any means without some form of consequence.

These consequences have been seen a lot lately on the news. In the form of bombings that have been sent to our former presidents. Had these been from another country or group like ISIS, we would have declared war. However, since they came from someone who appears to support our President, and has distain for another political group we call him a “quack” or even worse try to say that it was planted by the own party that received them. When the President refuses to reach out to those in danger, he shows a severe lack of compassion, and a severe lack of leadership.

I wish we could for a moment break away from the political sides and discuss these things as “humans”. Because at the end of the day, when history peaks back they will not see what the “Democrats” did or what the “Republicans” did, and in fact one day believe it or not those political parties will one day pass. The Democratic Party has been around since 1792 and the Republican Party has been around since 1854. Both of their views have changed and their geographical location has changed throughout the years. Our actions will and currently are seen as the actions of Americans and not by our party.

I saw a Facebook post today where someone said that they were going to no longer watch the news. I get where they are coming from in helping their “mental state”, however I believe they have it all wrong. We are not depressed because we watch what is going on in the world. We are depressed from this news, because we watch it and do nothing. We watch as hatred is spread, and post a few things ourselves. We watch and we don’t vote. We watch and we delete those with opposing views, sometimes cussing them out in private or in public. And still we do nothing.

What we must do is something. Anything. We must vote. We must encourage others to vote. We must give rides to those to vote. If we are bosses of an organization, we need to make it our duty (because it is) to make sure everyone has the opportunity to go vote and it should be encouraged. Voting is where we start, but not where we end. Caring for our fellow humans, our fellow Americans needs to be a priority again. Wave to strangers. Smile. Talk to others you normally wouldn’t at grocery stores. Be the change, every day.

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I changed parties, because I can no longer associate myself with a party that supports hate speech. Because words do matter. Saying CNN sucks may get a laugh spoken among friends, but it takes a whole other context when given as stickers at a pep rally that are later found on a bomber’s car. As a human it is not okay.  Even though people like John Kasich would get my vote, when almost the rest of the party stands by and refuses to rebut Donald Trump when he comes out as a nationalist, knowing that most Americans associate that term with both White Nationalists and German Nationalists of WW2 I have a problem with that.

I didn’t have a problem with the fact there was a lack of evidence on Brett Kavanaugh, I had a problem with Republicans in office refusing to want to seek the truth, yelling, mocking a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by the Supreme Court nominee at that time. His lack of respect for female senators during his questioning was repulsive.

Another thing we need to do is call out the name callers. Speak to those with bullying behavior. Call out those who are using name calling as reasonings. Call out those that use past and present political figures as a reason to vote or not vote a certain way. We need to return to the age of reason where we no longer allow our views or opinions to be swayed by name calling, shaming, or even just being made to not feel part of the crowd. Below are a few principles that I believe in that help guide my views.

  1. Hate is not an option. Our choices must be driven by love for our fellow Americans and for fellow human beings.
  2. All Americans have the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not just ones that conform to our own religious or political views.
  3. The First Amendment – “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
  4. We can respect the Second Amendment while adding regulation that makes gun ownership safer for all Americans. Read more from “The Second Amendment Doesn’t Say What Your Think it Does” 
  5. Listening and respect for each other as Americans should be a top priority.
  6. No end justifies any means. There is always a consequence which usually causes more harm then ever expected. Making the hard choices for the right reasons are what should guide us and motivate us. They are the foundations for progress that last.

The movement that has thrown this country into an uproar have not been something that happened over night though they’ve seemed that way. And they will not be corrected overnight. This should be what motivates us to do the hard right thing. If we stick our heads in the sand, we will only arrive worse than before. Mold, bacteria, and weeds only grow if they are untreated. We as Americans must not ignore this problem anymore.

Sarah Popejoy, Vigilant Poster Girl SUSCRIBE

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Influenced lyrically by songwriters like Ani Difranco and Dar Williams, Sarah Popejoy’s folk introspection mixed with activism are the key ingredients that fuel her writing. At the same time, Sarah’s sound gravitates to the dirty, country blues akin to Lucinda Williams. Born into a musical family her father Brad Popejoy played bass guitar for a band called Front Page News released on Dial Records, while her Grandmother, Gwen Popejoy Bonnell, was part of a successful singing trio that toured Oklahoma in her younger years. With two studio albums recorded in Nashville under her belt, Sarah is no stranger to recording and producing. Her extensive touring credits include performances at Cambridge’s Club Passim’s Cutting Edge of the Campfire, Blue Bird’s Sunday Showcases, and opening for Debbie Campbell at her Summer’s Fifth night in front of a crowd of over 10,000 people. She has made appearances on BBC News, American Songwriter Magazine as a lyric contest honorable mention winner, her song "Father's Love for His Son" was talked about in Dar Williams latest book Writing a Song that Matters. Moving back home to Tulsa, what Rolling Stone calls the next Austin, Sarah is producing her 3rd studio album called “The Oklahoma Storyteller”, set to release at the beginning of 2024.

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