Beyond Parody with Bridget Phetasy
Letters from the Politically Homeless
I Am Alienated From My Party - Politically Homeless
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I Am Alienated From My Party - Politically Homeless

Real people. Real letters. Real problems. No solutions.
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Politics these days have become so divided and divisive that it’s become the norm to view the other side of the aisle as “the enemy”. People are being told to “pick a side” and that there’s no room for middle ground. We here at Phetasy believe that there are a lot more people in the middle than politicians and the media would have us believe.

We’re collecting stories from the ever growing number of people who are finding themselves Politically Homeless and posting them here on Substack. If you have moved from conservative to liberal, or liberal to conservative, if you feel you’ve stayed in the same place and your party has swerved drastically away from you, if you had a moment that awakened you to the insanity and hypocrisy on both sides, if you keep your mouth shut anytime a political topic comes up because you’re afraid your opinion will cause you to lose friends or your job, you’re not as alone as you might think.

Our goal is to shine a light on people’s earnest, individual experiences and show them they’re not alone.

Some letters have been edited for clarity and brevity. If you’re politically homeless and would like to share your story, please email us at iampoliticallyhomeless@gmail.com. All submissions will remain anonymous.

Beyond Parody with Bridget Phetasy is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Letter 71:

November 2, 2022

I became politically homeless in 2016 after voting Republican in every Presidential election from 1984 until 2012. I have occasionally supported Democrats in some local and statewide races, but my allegiance has been with the Red Team over 90 percent of the time.

The Republican message of smaller government, lower taxes, and a lighter regulatory touch has always appealed to me. It is not that I want businesses to get away with pollution, or bosses to oppress workers, or billionaires to socialize their losses. I get that there are legitimate roles for government to play in setting the rules of the game and enforcing fairness in the market and the workplace. Still, I think there are limits to what government can actually accomplish, and the bigger the footprint government has the more it advantages the people who are already wealthy and connected, and the more the little guy gets squeezed out.

I resonated with President Bush 43 when he said, “Government should do a few things well.” I will not go deeply into the fact that President Bush failed to live by his own principle when he invaded Iraq, which was a mistake and the very essence of trying to do too much. However, I will say that it is a perfect illustration of how government ceaselessly generates new projects (invasions, entitlements, bridges to nowhere) in order to justify its own existence. The national security industrial complex is the biggest part of government, and it is in constant search for new threats in order to justify its own existence.

Nevertheless, in spite of my misgivings with the ascendancy of the neocon approach to foreign policy in the Republican Party, I supported both McCain and Romney—and I still think that each of them were decent men who would have made good Presidents.

Then came Donald Trump.

Now, in some ways, I might have had an advantage when it came to seeing through Trump, because I have personal life experience with an abusive narcissist of whom Trump reminded me. My experience with that narcissist led me to go back to school at mid-life and become a mental health professional, and I am predictably fascinated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and the ways it can manifest itself. However, even I was unprepared for the depth of Trump’s pathology.

I deluded myself into thinking that the structure of our democratic institutions would be enough to hold Trump in check. For a while it looked like they would, but then he lost the election, January 6th happened, and Pandora’s Box was thrown wide open.

However, before all that happened, I found myself often supporting Trump’s policies, which were sometimes good, while trying constantly to distance myself from Trump the leader. It was very difficult—just as I imagine it is sometimes difficult for people over on Team Blue to defend some of the things that President Biden has done.

In any case, January 6th happened, and the trial after his second impeachment failed to convict him. Even so, his popularity was at a nadir, and like most Republicans at the time (or, so I thought), I was hoping he would fade away and the party could return to normal and things would go back to what they were before he took that famous ride down the escalator at Trump Tower.

But, noooo….as John Belushi would say. Things have not gone back to normal. More and more of my fellow Republicans have decided to buy into Trump’s crazy election denialism. I think the latest number I have seen is that 60 percent of the party believes that he won the election in 2020.

Sadly, the most admirable person in the Party, Liz Cheney, was defeated in the primary election to retain her seat in the House of Representatives for simply standing up to Trump and opposing his lies. Moreover, election-denying Republicans are poised to win statewide offices all around the country. At this point, even if Trump’s legal issues prevent him from running in 2024, his personality cult has thoroughly intoxicated the party to the point where it feels like less of a political party and more of a religion.

I do not like wokeism. I disagree with almost everything the Democrats want to do when they are in leadership. There is no part of me that feels like just switching over to the Blue Team, as if that were the answer to my problem, although I will hold my nose and vote for a Democrat over a Trumpy Republican—or, if the Democrat is too bad for me to stomach then I will vote Libertarian. Still, my own party feels like it has descended into cultiness and groupthink, and I am alienated from them, as well.

I am politically homeless.

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Some letters have been edited for clarity and brevity. If you'd like to share your story, email us at iampoliticallyhomeless@gmail.com. All submissions will remain anonymous.

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Beyond Parody with Bridget Phetasy is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

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