Commentary: Why this liberal is leaving the Democratic Party

My Word columnist

I am a 72-year-old woman who has been a liberal Democrat all of my life, although on rare occasions I have voted for a Republican or two. Today I am declaring myself an independent, and here is why.

In the past year or so, both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have swung so far right and so far left that they have become not only a huge disappointment, but so diametrically separated on issues that many of us are left longing for something better.

While I have no admiration for the Republican Party, I’ll focus here only on my former party: the Democrats. Extreme actions such as declaring all women of the “Me Too” movement automatically believable and, therefore, all accused men instantly guilty without due process or any regard for obvious different gradations of inappropriate behavior is blatantly unfair. Sen. Al Franken is a victim of this thinking, a perfect example of the punishment not fitting the crime.

Karilyn Rust
(Courtesy photo )

Removing all Confederate reminders of the Civil War is reaching far beyond political correctness. Regardless of the reason for or the outcome of that war, and even considering today’s more acceptable beliefs, this is still destroying part of our history. Tearing down statues and changing school and street names do not wash it all away. It was a different time, and we learned from it. Remembering the Confederate leaders is not only right; it’s important. They were good men fighting on the “wrong side.”

When I was in junior high school in the 1950s, the black children in my school were called the other “N” word: Negros.” That was the preferred label of the day. Now African-American or black is considered correct. Was I wrong to call them Negros back then? Of course not. In today’s far-left-leaning, politically correct climate, should we throw out all great literature that used the term Negro or many other words no longer considered acceptable? What a travesty that would be. Destroying, hiding or ignoring the past can never change it, but we can acknowledge it, study it, learn from it, and improve on it.

This barely scratches the surface of our dysfunctional Democrats. So little is being accomplished in Washington today because both sides of the aisle are more focused on uncompromising partisan politics and their own self-interests than working in the best interest of the American people.

I agree with Bernie Sanders: It’s time for a political revolution. We need to find a better way. We need politicians who respect each other, listen more, instead of constantly criticizing and belittling those with whom they disagree, and find ways to compromise instead of spending so much wasted energy on the lesser important issues.

And we need to stop admiring and voting for personalities and celebrities who may be entertaining but have no expertise in governing. I’m fed up with both parties and have lost all hope that they will start behaving like intelligent, productive, rational people any time soon. So my hope is for our younger generations to wake up and get involved.

While I say I am now an independent, I really belong to “the party that doesn’t exist” — yet.

Karilyn Rust lives in Orlando.