The day I made it official ... July 31, 2019... Saying good-bye to the Republican Party I had loved so much. That taught me so much. That had given me so many wonderful opportunities. I was not ready for the barrage of hate mail and messages. Though very hurtful from those I once called friends, it was further confirmation I had made the right decision.
I'd been a Republican for 42 years. Forty-two years! Some of y'all haven't even been alive that long!
And recently I was so happy to join a local club with the goal of getting more actively involved in time for the convention in Houston next June, supporting my friend Lt. Col. Allen West for State Party Chair and then on to 2020-21!
I had texted the Colonel, told him I was in and we had a great exchange of possibilities. But I had a sinking feeling I could not shake.
But God knows, I can't. I just can't do party politics anymore because both sides are sorely lacking in the core values I hold most dear... true leadership, statesmanship, integrity, and courage.
Neither party is concerned about the welfare and well-being of the citizenry it seems. Only winning the next race by any means necessary.
I love my Republican friends just not my Republican Party anymore.
It used to stand for something. But under President Trump, whom like a good loyal Republican I voted for, I no longer recognize it.
I realize I will lose some people. But I'm good with that. Because those who know me well know that I am without pretense. What you see with me is what you get. I'm the same on Friday as I am on Monday and I'm the same in the dark as I am in the light.
I have the gift of good-bye. Meaning, I don't have that emotional gene that causes me to grieve when friends leave or when people walk away.
Given my life, God knew I would need that gift. When people walk away from me, I wish them well, and genuinely mean it.
But just as I had to finally cut up my NRA Membership Card, I have to finally cut ties with my party. It saddens me to no end. And I'm grieving because it has been such a big part of my life and so many good people who helped me along the way.
I hope they stay my friend but if they don't I wish them well.
It's like when you have been in a marriage for so long and you know it's over, but you go back one last time hoping against hope that it can be saved.
You soon realize however, that the flame is no more and it is really, truly over.
You turn around, walk out the door, glance back and stand for a moment reflecting on more happier days.
Pausing to relish past hard-won victories, hearing the echo of laughter and remembering the sights, sounds and giddiness when we won, and the somber but determined moods when we didn't.
Those really were the days. You marvel for a moment, thank God for the memories and then it's time to move on.
You glance back one last time thinking of all the people of days and years long past - some now home with the Lord - and together how we did some mighty good work.
And then, it's time to walk away. No looking back. No glancing back.
I have great Democratic friends, am married to a lifelong Democrat. But I doubt if I will ever become one. Most of their ideology is a bridge too far for me.
All my life the Republican Party was my life. It was especially tough for me as a teen and young adult being black and Republican because being a black, conservative Republican in Texas in college during the late 70's and early 80's was unthinkable!
I was called some of everything by those who looked like me! I was everything from a "coon" to an "Aunt Jemima" to a "house Negro" all of that.
I can laugh about it now. I loved my afro and disco but I also loved my Republican Party. I was part of the Reagan Revolution in college and darn proud about it. We changed the country.
So many memories. So much life... I just had to see if that old flame was still there. It wasn't. And I am sad. But, it's time now to not turn the page, but close the book.
God had to let me get it all out of my system for the sake of the work ahead of me. The work He has for me to do for the Kingdom is too important and would be impossible as a partisan.
Everything I learned over these 42 years about people and politics, having even served in elective office. And, everything I've learned about God as I have attended and graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary. All have prepared me well for the next leg of the journey.
It would mean almost starting over from scratch. From a strange place, in a strange place. I would have no party, no more coalitions, perhaps a lot fewer friends. Built up political currency wiped out over night. But... the Lord would provide and guide.
So, as Don Meredith used to say --- "turn out the lights, the party's over." I am turning out the lights and shutting the door. The party for me is over.
I'm out. See y'all down the road.
Published on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 @ 6:03 PM CDT