On November 14, 2003 Don Sakers received a letter from the Maryland Republican Party. This letter invited Don, a registered Democrat, to change his party affiliation to Republican. The letter includes the following claim: "We elected Bob Ehrlich and Michael Steele to lead our state and they are doing a great job. They won by 65% here in Anne Arundel County, so there is a very good chance you voted for them too." It concludes with "Register the way you think and become a Republican Today!"
The following is Don's reply:
Nov 14, 2003
Republican Party of Anne Arundel County
PO Box 56
Odenton, MD 21113
You must be out of your mind.
I did not vote for Bob Ehrlich and Michael Steele; I would not vote for Bob Ehrlich and Michael Steele if they were running for the post of Most Despised Politician South of the Mason-Dixon Line and Second Most Despised Politician South of the Mason-Dixon Line, respectively. (Now if George Bush and Dick Cheney were in the running for that race, they would have my vote in an instant.)
Used to be a time when I was a Democrat-by-convenience. When I registered Democrat at the age of 18, my father (a lifelong Republican) asked me why? I replied that I lived in Maryland, I was voting for the first time in my life, and I wanted to have a choice in the Primary. My attitude toward the Democratic and Republican Parties was "a pox on both their houses." For a long time, my guiding principle was "vote against the incumbent."
No longer. Since the Republican Party has started making snuggle-bunnies with the evangelical Christian right, the choice has been clear and blindingly obvious. Your party is responsible for keeping my spouse of 17 years from getting medical benefits from my employer, you are responsible for shoving your brand of religion down the throats of my friends and family, and if you had your way, I and people like me would be imprisoned and executed.
Your party is responsible for running up record budget deficits, for taking my county to war in defiance of international law, for turning the United States into the worst rogue nation on the planet, for destroying international friendships and alliances that have stood for half a century or more, for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and thousands of Iraqis, for doing everything you could (legal or not) to turn the accumulated wealth of this country over to the ultra-rich and the bounties of our natural environment over to irresponsible, greed-driven corporate fat-cats.
Your party supports the Supreme Court when it subverts the electoral process in order to place your candidate in the White House, but screams against "judicial activism" when any court tries to safeguard a citizen's civil rights. Your party has been responsible for the warrantless arrest and illegal detention (without any hint of due process) of Americans and foreigners. You profess to despise big government, yet you have given the government unprecedented power to invade the privacy of citizens. In the name of fighting terrorism, you have created more hatred for the United States than ever existed before September 11, 2001, and you have made the world a whole lot more dangerous for Americans at home or abroad.
Unfortunately, I could go on and on. Suffice it to say that your party has made it clear that you wish to destroy everything about this country that I love; you have declared war on law, fairness, and civil decency. I would no more consider becoming a Republican than I would consider becoming a putrid turd floating in the Exxon-befouled waters of the kind of world you and your kind seem to want.
Yours most sincerely,