Why I Left the GOP

Over the last fifteen months, I have received numerous requests to speak at GOP events. In response, I have had to write numerous polite notes to my would-be hosts explaining that I must decline, as I am no longer a member of the Republican Party. Rewriting variations of the same note has become so tedious that I have decided to write a column I can forward to Republicans explaining why I can no longer speak at their events. But, first, let me say some positive things about why I joined the party in the first place.

My status as a left wing Democrat began to become a bit shaky in December of 1992. That was when a fraternity brother of mine was abducted and murdered along with his girlfriend who was also sexually assaulted before she was shot at point blank range in the head. Both were unarmed. I immediately abandoned my previous support for a federal ban on handguns.

In 1993, a family friend educated me concerning the scientific facts about abortion; namely, that abortion intentionally kills a distinct, living, and whole human being. After hearing her cogent argument, I abandoned my anti-science fundamentalism, which previously led me to accept the lie that the unborn was merely a “clump of tissue.”

In 1994, I sat in on my first faculty hiring committee meeting at UNC-Wilmington. After hearing the head of the committee reject an applicant because he was “a little too white male” I rejected race-based affirmative action. I realized it was just another form of racism advanced by illiberal leftists masquerading as enlightened liberals.

Eventually, enough was enough. I grew weary of rejecting the individual planks in the Democratic Party platform one by one. So I finally joined the GOP in 1999. That was also the year I joined the NRA.

Since joining the GOP in 1999, I can safely say that they have failed to nominate a single conservative over the span of five presidential election cycles. Three of those nominees have been particularly problematic with the last finally driving me over the edge and making me re-register as an independent. I will deal with each disappointment in chronological order.

George W. Bush. Candidate Bush had his finest moment of the campaign in debate #2 when he lectured Al Gore on the dangers of nation building. As President Bush, his view on nation building was close to the exact opposite of that of Candidate Bush. But long before our entanglement in Iraq, he began to display his big government utopian tendencies. In his first year in office, Bush worked with Ted Kennedy to expand the federal Department of Education’s stranglehold on public education. In addition to increasing the power of federal agencies that should never have existed he added more, such as the Department of Homeland Security.

By the end of his second term, the TARP fiasco revealed that our last two term Republican president had strong socialist tendencies. In a few short years, he had doubled the record for the highest budget deficit in American history. It was a record he had previous set with the help of a Republican congress.

Mitt Romney. I am deeply ashamed of the fact that I pulled the lever for Mitt back in 2012. If there is anyone who can watch the video of Mitt explaining to Bill O’Reilly how he was “always pro life” and believe it then I can probably convince you that Madonna is a virgin. Candidate Romney was a liar and a bad one at that. Clearly, Mitt’s support for socialized medicine with $50 copay abortions should have been enough to keep him from gaining the nomination of any truly pro-life party.

After the nomination it only got worse when Romney started to praise Medicare as a “great program.” He also insisted that he supported a federal requirement that corporations track and report data to the feds on the racial breakdown of job applicants and interviewees. That kind of federal government control of the private sector mixed with identity politics is a dangerous combination. If this fits within your definition of conservatism then you simply don’t know the meaning of the word. To be blunt, Romney was just another big government northeastern liberal. The fact that he campaigned the way he did and still got the nomination shows that the party was simply no longer conservative in any sense of the word by 2012.

Donald Trump. I don’t even know where to begin with this embarrassment. I guess he just couldn’t convince me to vote for him with his assurances that he had a bigger penis than Marco Rubio. After a few debates, I realized that the Republicans were finally going to do the inevitable and actually nominate a Democrat for president. That’s when I finally jumped ship and left the party.

After the Trump nomination, many Republicans justified voting for him on a “lesser of two evils” theory. That is entirely reasonable. Indeed, the Gorsuch pick alone confirmed the reasonableness of this view. What was not reasonable was that hordes of Republicans were praising him as an affirmative good – some going so far as to characterize him as the reincarnation of Reagan. Please.

In the months following the Trump inauguration, the GOP showed us all that with control of the House, the Senate, and the White House they could neither dismantle Obama Care nor defund Planned Parenthood. Thus, it should go without saying that they are no longer merely a useless appendage in the body politic. They are more like a cancerous organ that needs to be removed.

While I will occasionally vote for Republican candidates I simply cannot speak at their events or lend my name to their fundraising efforts. The GOP is now driving rather than reining in big government. That is why I no longer call them my people.

Some Animals Are More Stable Than Others

My university probably doesn’t realize it but they just accidentally micro aggressed the entire progressive population here at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW). And that is no laughing matter since about 99% of our “diverse” faculty see themselves as progressive in their political leanings. For those not aware, a progressive is someone who denies the humanity of the unborn, denies that there are biological differences between men and women, and characterizes political conservatives as “science deniers.” Regardless, it’s a good thing we have armies of mental health professionals on hand here at the university because we’re going to need them once they realize just how badly they have been victimized.

I began to notice the micro aggression of campus progressives the day after the election. That was when an email was sent to the entire university population acknowledging that some people were having trouble coping with the results of the election. But the email went further than that. It reminded people that the counseling center was there for people having emotional trouble in the wake of the election. In other words, it recognized that some progressives were too emotionally unstable to endure the consequences of living in a democracy where things don’t always go your way.

Of course, the email was not inaccurate. In fact, one of my colleagues was so emotionally devastated that she refused to teach any of her classes for two weeks. She was mourning the fact that voters rejected her bumper sticker, which clearly expressed her worldview assumption that “love trumps hate.” So if the email wasn’t inaccurate then what is the problem? And why am I writing a column about it?

The problem is that when Obama defeated Romney in 2012 there was no similar email to conservatives reminding them that counseling was available for those who were disappointed with the results of the election. The university administration just assumed that conservatives are emotionally capable of enduring the consequences of living in a democracy where things don’t always go your way. In other words, they assumed that conservatives are more emotionally stable than progressives. And anyone who has been through freshman orientation knows that is a micro-aggression!

Those checking their email last week at UNCW should now be painfully aware that this is part of a pattern of micro-aggression here at our little university. Just days ago, we all got an email about Charlottesville that stated, “If you think you may need to talk to someone about recent events, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our counseling center.” But why wasn’t there a similar email sent after five police officers were gunned down in Dallas, Texas in the summer of 2016?

The answer is very simple. The university responds to the actions of the new white supremacists (but not the new black panthers) because they have very different effects on the emotional climate here at UNC by the Sea. The very fact that white supremacists still exist reminds progressives of their failure to establish a secular utopia here on earth. It is also testifies to their failure to grasp the realities of human nature. Both of these things are deeply emotionally devastating to the so-called progressive.

In contrast, conservatives better understand the events in Dallas because they understand that we live in a fallen world. They are upset by such a tragedy but they still rise from their beds the following day to do the things they have to do. And the university realizes they will persevere even in the absence of a mass email reminding them of the availability of on-campus counseling services.

The condescending view that progressives are less stable than conservatives would be unbearable if it were not so accurate. But there will be hell to pay when progressives finally realize they are being micro-aggressed by their own university. The bad news is that some bureaucrat is going to have to craft a mass email informing them of this ongoing victimization.

At least it will give job security to other bureaucrats who provide emotional support for those unable to cope with reality. That is the point of college, right?

My Resignation from UNC-Wilmington

On August 12, 2017, I will get in my car and make my annual cross-country trip from my summer home in Colorado to my other home in North Carolina. After I arrive in the Tar Heel State and get settled I will sit down at my computer and do something the leftists at my university have been wanting me to do for years: I will pen my letter of resignation to the Board of Trustees at UNC-Wilmington.

However, before I submit that letter, I thought it would be a good idea to write a brief letter of explanation to all of the supporters who have stood by me in the UNC free speech and cultural wars in which I have been engaged over the last fifteen years. That is the purpose of today’s column.

In a nutshell, as of last week, I have now accomplished the five main objectives I have set out to accomplish since the administration started to aggressively fight against the free speech and due process rights of professors and students in the UNC system. Having accomplished all of those goals, I have decided that it is time to start enjoying life instead of fighting against my employers in federal courtrooms and state legislative halls. For those unaware of the struggles that have consumed my time in recent years, here are some of the highlights:

April 2011. Under the leadership of Tom Ross, the UNC administration tried to argue that professors who write columns and give speeches are protected by the First Amendment unless they later mention their protected speech in their annual productivity reports or promotion applications, which would then strip them of protection and allow the university to punish the authors for their viewpoints. With the help of the ADF and ACLJ, we defeated this effort in front of the 4th Circuit in Richmond and won a unanimous ruling. The leftist UNC faculty remained neutral in the case knowing full well that they would never have to fear retaliation from administrators who share their beliefs. A conservative (yours truly) was the lone dissenter and plaintiff.

August 2013. After it passed the house by a vote of 112-1, Governor McCrory signed into law the first right to counsel legislation for college students in America. The bill ended the practice of UNC schools expelling students and student groups in kangaroo court proceedings where they were forced to face university counsel after being denied their own representation. I was pleased to be a part of this effort from the beginning – and proud to have former student John Bell sponsor the successful legislation. While this was a due process issue, it also has implications for free speech – given that many expulsion hearings involve campus speech code and speech zone violations. When we ensure greater fairness in expulsion hearings, universities are less likely to convene them.

March 2014. With the help of my ADF and ACLJ attorneys, we won a major free speech trial in front of a federal jury made up mostly of Democrats. I have written about this elsewhere so I will not rehash the details here. Suffice it to say that the proceeds from the legal judgment were spent on extremely expensive guitars that now adorn the walls of my living room. Out of affection, I named each one of the guitars after a defendant in the case. I’m sentimental that way.

July 2014. Thanks to the leadership of my friend and personal hero Thom Goolsby, we now have the best religious liberty statute protecting university student groups in all of America. Robert Shibley of FIRE first brought the bill, which originated in Ohio, to my attention. I then took it to Goolsby who was then the head of the N.C. Senate judiciary committee. The bill got buried in committee the first year but it eventually became law when Governor McCrory signed it at the end of the next summer. The bill never would have made it without the support of FIRE, the N.C. Family Policy Council, and the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy (now the Martin Center for Academic Renewal).

August 2017. Finally, as of last week, North Carolina became the first state to pass a model free speech reform bill advanced by the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to effectively doing away with all campus speech codes and speech zones, it forces universities to educate students about the new pro free speech policies during freshman orientation, which was previously a place where students were introduced to anti-free speech concepts like “micro-aggression.” The best part of the bill is that it cracks down on students who attempt to disrupt the free speech rights of others. For example, the campus lunatics who tried to shut down a pro life display on my campus by surrounding the pro-lifers with a “human chain” so they could not speak to or share literature with passers by are now much more likely to face expulsion. We had to fight very hard to get this bill passed in light of public resistance by leftist anti-free speech newspapers like The Charlotte Observer – and relentless lobbying by UNC President Margaret Spellings. We will know it was worth the effort once we start to see heads exploding during the first freshman orientation.

I’ve been a busy guy with all of this so I am indeed looking forward to slowing down and enjoying my new life. For me, that will be spending the rest of my days ridiculing academic hypocrites. As for my letter of resignation, I will decide on my ride home to North Carolina exactly when it will take effect. I promise it will be no later than August 1, 2050.

In the meantime leftists, feel free to start another of your annual petitions to fire me. If you ever do succeed, it will mean more time on my hands to write the things that make you angry and keep sane people entertained.