Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist recently officially left the Republican Party and, after a brief flirtation with being an independent, has now found a new home as a Democrat. I can identify with Crist's decision to exit the GOP given the GOP's growing extremism and alienation of those who increasingly over time will become the new majority in America. True, Crist has ulterior motives and may want to run for Governor under the Democrat banner, but overall, his reasoning is sound and parallels my own reasoning for resigning from the GOP over a decade ago when it became clear to me that the GOP base no longer accepted much less honored the concept of the separation of church and state For way of background for newer readers, I held a city committee seat on the Republican Party of Virginia Beach for 8 years and was the head of the Alanton precinct, a GOP bastion. Politico has a piece on Crist's denunciation of the extremism and toxicity of today's GOP. Here are highlights:
Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said Monday he did not feel “comfortable” being in the Republican Party today, blaming the party’s leadership for driving him and other “midde-of-the-road” Republicans out of the GOP during the past few years.
”I really think it’s the leadership of the party, more than the membership,” he said on MSNBC. “But what’s happened is, on issue after issue, whether it’s immigration, education, voter suppression — what the leadership of the party has done is say on immigration, we want deportation. When it talks about education, it’s talking about not funding it anymore. When they talk about voter suppression, they deny people the right to vote in a civil manner.”
The former governor, who officially became a registered Democrat on Friday, continued: “I think it [the change] started several years ago, two or three years ago. I left the party two years ago and became an independent, and I did so because of the fact that, you know, on all of those issues, it just wasn’t comfortable for me to be there anymore.”
I would argue that the change happened 10 years ago or more, not over the last 2-3 years - at least not in Virginia. And what started the GOP in its descent into insanity and extremism was the rise of the Christofascists who slowly took over the party the local level like a metastasizing cancer.