I know these are troubling times in the life of the Mississippi Republican Party. It's understandable. The Republican Primary for the US Senate race last month brought out the worst in our state's politics. From nursing home trespassing to getting locked in a courthouse to widespread outrage over alleged illegal voting taking place, the Republican Party has a quite mess on its hands. The worst of the mess has only begun.
Such a mess recently led former Mississippi College Republicans President Evan Alvarez to withdraw from the Republicans and join the Democratic Party. I empathize with his frustrations about leaving the Republican Party. I was similarly aggravated when the Republican Party left me in 2004. For years, I chose to sit quietly and support a political party that I knew didn't match my ideals. At the same time, I did not understand how I could support a party that did not share my values on economics, social justice, science, and the list goes on. Finally, I had enough of the Republican nonsense and made the switch.
I cannot help but think that there are more folks like Evan and me who were quietly so fed up with the Republican Party yet chose to say nothing until it became unbearable. It was liberating to make the switch to the Democratic Party knowing that this political party was more in line with my way of thinking. My conservative family was a bit shocked at first, but now we disagree without being too disagreeable.
My message to those quiet Republican dissidents is this: It's fine to be a Democrat, even in Mississippi. It may be difficult at first to openly switch fearing the judgement of family, friends, and coworkers. I get the concern, but it's your life to live. You only get one shot at this. Come on over to the Democrats! We may not be perfect, but the Republicans are just plain nuts!
Chairman, Rankin County Democrats
Treasurer, Mississippi Democratic Party
President, Young Democrats of Mississippi