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I was a proud Republican, now I'm a proud Democrat thanks to Trump

After a long campaign season, I was scared the morning that America found out that Donald J. Trump was elected president of our country -to be the leader of the free world. Was I fan of Hillary Clinton? Yes, but with reservations; it didn't begin that way, though. I was an early supporter of John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, whom many believed was the most moderate of the Republican candidates running for office. He fit my ideology, as I never was a liberal or a conservative. But his failure to attract a broad coalition among the party only meant one thing... Donald J. Trump would be the GOP nominee.

After long consideration, I decided I was making the best choice for our country, which was to elect Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton's ideology was definitely further left than my own, but never would I ever doubt her ability to lead. A former first lady, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State... she was by far the most experienced person to handle the position. Having the opportunity to learn during her husbands administration, as well as having served in the legislative body of Congress, to serving as chief diplomat for our country, she had all the credentials needed to lead our country. But it wasn't enough. Only 30 percent of Americans voted based on experience; a huge departure from past elections. But the unorthodox candidacy of Mr. Trump made the race unpredictable since the beginning.

Though my close family are conservative, they were sure Hillary Clinton was going to be our next president. I was hopeful that that would be the case, but I had concerns. My hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, is a hot spot for blue collar liberals. Unionized labor hold the majority of jobs in the city, and continue to have a tradition to being a Democratic voting block. Lackawanna County alone voted for Barack Obama with 63 percent of the vote in 2012. But something told me that that number would be a lot lower this time. After talking to lifelong Democrats throughout the area, I was surprised to see how many of them were committed to vote for Trump. Only a handful were committed to Clinton. To this day, it still doesn't make sense to me why a billionaire business mogul is an attractive candidate to someone who lives a middle-class lifestyle. Nevertheless, my gut feeling was right. Lackawanna County's vote share for the Democrats fell to an all time low of 49 percent to 46 percent. A three percentage point swing for the Democratic candidate is unprecedented in any Pennsylvania race, let alone a presidential year.

Back to the day after election day, I could not fathom the result, but I learned to live with it. The only difference is, I now stand on the opposite side of the spectrum. Mr. Trump's vulgarity, brash persona and lack of self-discipline was almost intolerable to think, but the fact that the Republican party supported it made it ten times worse. I will never forget the day I watched Trump mock Senator John McCain as a war hero... "He was captured, I like people that weren't captured." Just those worse speak volumes. An American patriot like John McCain should not have to endure reliving the pain he suffered over vulgar comments coming from our 'to-be' president. That was where the line was drawn in the sand. I decided to join the Democratic party. As a gay American, I felt proud to finally make it known, like nobody was going to care what I had to say about it. Coming from a Republican background, I thought the GOP would lighten its stance on LGBT issues over time, but it appears to have only gotten worse. Comments brought upon by our Vice President Mike Pence while he was governor of Indiana were less than satisfactory, and upright insulting to the LGBT community. But my sexuality was only a piece of why I became a Democrat. The party of Lincoln used to stand for something - diversity. It was the party that fought for equal opportunity for black slaves during the Civil War, and promoted Women's Suffrage to gain the right to vote. That party is no more. I've only come to realize that the party of which I belonged to was only a vote for the past, not the future. When I see the members of the Democratic party, I see a diverse group of hard working Americans who come from different backgrounds, and whether they are black, white, Asian, etc. they have one thing in common, which is for a changing mind for a changing world. Diversity is not a bad thing, but the GOP has only furthered the divide among the people of America, and continue to do so under the lack of leadership of our president.

So there you have it.

tres borrachos

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Feb 20, 2012
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I enjoyed reading every word of your blog because it's as if you sat with me before you wrote it to get my opinions which are almost in complete sync with yours (I don't agree on the Hillary Clinton thing).

Like you, I have been a proud Republican, since I first voted in June of 1980. I have never looked back, never regretted a vote, and never thought that my party was anything but a great one. Like you, I am a fan of John Kasich, but on the primary day in NH I actually voted for Rubio (my husband voted for Kasich). I'm still a Kasich fan. Like you, I was horrified about what Trump said about McCain. Like you, I've been dismayed at the way the GOP has viewed gay people.

Unlike you, I voted for Gary Johnson on election day because nothing could compel me to vote for Trump. I don't regret that.

I also know that for the first time in my life, come November, I will be voting for the Democrats. The Republican Party has lost me. And that's on them.
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