Time for a Visit to the Woodshed

President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters after speaking at a campaign event at Burke Lakefront Airport Thursday, O
President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters after speaking at a campaign event at Burke Lakefront Airport Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

It is now past time to take the Republican Party and its candidates out to the woodshed for a lesson in true democracy.

I have been politically active since my college days as a member of the University of Texas Young Republicans. Though not a Bush supporter, over the years I worked in countless Republican campaigns, including those of Senator Tower, Governor Bill Clements, Hank Grover, Presidents Nixon and Ford, and though he resigned from his presidential campaign before the Texas primary, John Connally. Though moderates by today's standards, these Republicans do not constitute a rogues' gallery of liberals.

I have since become an Independent. I feel that the Republican Party has dramatically turned away from the Grand Old Party (GOP) of old. Since President Reagan, I have supported both President Bush I and II's opponents, President Clinton and Senator McCain. This year, I am supporting President Obama and all the Democratic candidates for whom I can vote. The Republican Party has crossed the Rubicon. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon, he destroyed the remaining dregs of the Roman Republic. If we do not punish the Republican Party's crossing, our appeasement may contribute to destroying the American Republic.

In state after state, today's Republican Party has shifted focus from winning elections by convincing the majority of voting Americans of the value of its cause, to ensuring victory by denying legitimate American voters who tend to vote Democratic their constitutionally guaranteed voting rights. The Republican Party cries voter fraud, and passes laws requiring that all voters present government-issued picture identification such as drivers' license or passports to vote. Many of our elderly and poorer voters have no need of either drivers' licenses or passports -- they cannot afford autos or international travel. These groups tend to vote Democratic and so the Republicans have chosen to prevent them from voting. This Republican conduct is unacceptable and un-American.

One can facilely blame this conduct on a group of radical right-wing Republicans. In truth, the blame lies with the party's leadership in states across the country including Texas, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and 15 other states. The party's leadership has morphed the GOP, the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and even George W. Bush, into the new homegrown all-American single party. This same leadership seemingly seeks to change the United States into a single-party state where authorities only permit those who agree with the "New Republican Party" dogma to vote. Though ignored in the debates, this issue transcends all others in the 2012 election. If the Republican Party succeeds in preventing voter turnout among certain demographics, it will continue to pursue this strategy. President Washington warned of the danger we face today -- of party members owing greater loyal to their party than to the nation and its ideals.

We must end the Republican Party's progress along its present Republican-first path. No one else can. Independents, people loyal to the true GOP, and others who believe in Nation-first political parties must combine to punish the Republican Party for its lack of commitment to our Constitution, our nation, and our democratic principles. Repeal and defeat these Republican-introduced bills that seek to disenfranchise American voters.