Where Has the Moral Majority Gone?
Dr. Dunbar is an academic, entrepreneur, and lifelong Republican. She is a proud military spouse. She and her husband are native Floridians. They have two daughters and an extended family living across the United States who represent both political parties. In spite of their differences, they share a common belief and value system to put America First.
I was 17 years old when I registered as a Republican to vote and I was so eager to participate in the process. Throughout the years, however, I watched in silence as the Republican party I once knew morphed and branded itself into a commercial product. Every Republican representative, senator, congressman, and leader across the nation seemed to speak from script, voices were rehearsed and well practiced, and select media was partnered with to deliver and recycle messages. It became one tremendous monotone voice and I couldn’t help but stop listening. Then came Donald Trump, with his fresh language, off-script thoughts, and an energetic and genuine voice, and he made me listen again.
About a year later, however, I found myself at a crossroad.
During the presidential debates, as I watched Hillary Clinton defend the complex and difficult decisions she has made over a lifetime of public service and leadership, it became clear to me that this accomplished and proven woman’s actions are based on loyalty, consistency, and a selfless love for her country.
In contrast, Donald Trump — my party’s nominee — could not have been more crass and unpresidential on stage; and what was most striking was that his supporters seemed to appreciate, celebrate, and applaud every character flaw and gross imperfection in their candidate, without demanding or even expecting anything better. “Donald Trump is who he is” seemed to be their argument.
But, while we all want our leaders to be genuine and sincere, what does it say when being offensive, vulgar, and loose-lipped is valued more than determination and hard work to make a positive difference in the lives of Americans? Do a sense of morality and an adherence to our core values no longer matter for my fellow members of the Republican party? Is the new standard for politics just outlandish ideas, childish behavior, recklessness, and a thirst for theater and disruption?
It seems that the Republican party of today thinks of “political correctness” — what I always thought of as being respectable, considerate, unbiased, and even-tempered — as a burden and as disingenuous. We apologize for nothing and we argue about everything. We no longer see compromise and concern for others as valuable qualities. I fear that the long-celebrated values of the moral majority claimed by the Republican party and so often called upon for compassion and tolerance are now a thing of the past.
No matter how we got here, we must all take action now to correct course. As a proud American, a military spouse, and a Republican, I refuse to stand by and watch the politics of hate widen the divides within my country. Those of us who sit silently while our party continues to promote partisan politics over compromise, mutual understanding, and progress must speak up for what is right.
To the Republican party, it’s time for an intervention. Until then, #ImWithHer.