It's a shame there aren't more Republicans like Charlie Crist, former governor of Florida. Here's his op-ed in which he endorses President Obama's re-election.
It's not his endorsement that matters, it's what he says towards the end of the piece. As he states, an element of the Republican Party "has pitched so far to the extreme right on issues important to women, immigrants, seniors and students that they've proven incapable of governing for the people."
There are those around here who accuse Democrats of pandering to interest groups to get their votes and that Republicans don't do that. The problem with that accusation is that it fails to recognize this simple fact. America is a land of many different groups, different ethnicities, different cultures, different religions, etc. Many, many differences. What Democrats realize is that to govern a county as diverse as ours, well, you actually have to be willing to govern them all. Unfortunately, it seems the Republican party has responded to the ever-expanding diversity of our nation by retreating to its pre-dominantly upper-class, male, and white enclaves and struggling to maintain a system that ignores everybody else.
I wish it weren't so. I'd love to have two major parties that go head-to-head on meeting the needs of all Americans.
But, back to Mr. Crist. He had one more piece of wisdom it's a shame other Republican leaders don't get. As he states, "Pundits looking to reduce something as big as a statewide election to a single photograph have blamed the result of my 2010 campaign for U.S. Senate on my greeting of President Obama. I didn't stand with our president because of what it could mean politically; I did it because uniting to recover from the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes was more important than party affiliation. I stood with our nation's leader because it was right for my state."
Again, it's a shame more Republicans didn't act the same way. There are those who accuse Democrats of acting inappropriately and without class. I'd suggest the lack of class began when President Obama was elected and the Republican Party responded with their stated aim -- of doing everything possible to deny his re-election four years later. Republicans weren't interested in doing what was right for their country, they were only interested in destroying the man America had elected President. They stomped their feet and became the party of "no" on anything and everything.
And, yes, I know Charlie Crist is no longer a Republican. He's an independent now -- one of many Republicans who are fleeing a party that is becoming more and more extreme and isolated with each election. Oddly enough, I know a number of Republicans who will be voting for Obama this year. I know a number of Republicans who are disgusted with their party's leadership. I know a number of Republicans who no longer consider themselves Republicans. I don't know any Democrats reaching the same conclusions about their party.
The Republican Party has lost its moderate voice in its tantrum-like response to the election of President Obama. In the course of that loss, it lost its soul as well, and as time goes on, it will also lose more and more of America. An America built on diversity, cooperation, and looking out for your brothers and sisters, rather than one built on "I got mine, go get yours yourself," and if you don't look like me or think like me, you don't belong here.