The recent election results in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, sent shockwaves through the political landscape, with the GOP losing almost all the contested school board seats and all county seats. This decisive defeat is a clear indication that the party has lost touch with the voters and is ready for change. Although in Warwick Township, one of the last GOP strongholds, the GOP won every race, there was a significant increase in votes for Democrats and third-party candidates like myself compared to years past.
Having once been a proud Republican, I’ve personally witnessed the party’s departure from its foundational principles. The GOP’s adoption of divisive identity politics and its lack of consideration for individual rights have distanced numerous voters, myself included. The insistence on supporting candidates in line with the Bucks GOP leadership, rather than the preferences of the average Republican/conservative independent voter, is resulting in the loss of votes from the more knowledgeable segment of the GOP base. While there will always be some who vote along party lines, the increasing engagement of the younger generation in informed voting is clearly posing a challenge for the GOP, leading to a potential loss of even more votes.
My belief in the GOP began to waver as I witnessed the party’s stance on LGBTQIA+ rights. The GOP’s attempts to legislate against same-sex marriage and its support for discriminatory policies made it clear that the party did not value the rights of all Americans. As the niece of an LGBTQIA+ couple and someone who identifies as part of the community myself, I could not believe in these practices. I also could not align with a party that shows a complete lack of bipartisanship.
I reached a point where I could no longer align myself with a party that sought to exclude and marginalize individuals I considered friends, neighbors, and integral members of my community. The challenge of reconciling my personal values with the party’s rhetoric and actions became more pronounced. Recognizing the need for change, I observed similar concerns in both major parties, finding common ground on some issues. However, I couldn’t fully support all aspects of the Democratic side either. This led me to the decision to embrace Libertarianism.
I identify as fiscally conservative, but I also believe in individual liberty and the right to personal choice. I firmly believe that the government should not interfere with people’s lives unless that person infringes on another. This conviction made the Libertarian Party an ideal choice for me. I am pleased to be a Libertarian, and the party is making significant strides. Who would have thought that Libertarians could garner over 1500 votes in a Republican stronghold, and that our advocacy against gerrymandering in CBSD would be heard and resonate loudly?
Over the upcoming years, I sense a transformation unfolding in Bucks County. Anticipate witnessing more third-party candidates securing election, coinciding with a noticeable shift toward Bucks becoming a more Democratic-leaning county. In my perspective, the Democratic Party has successfully shaped the narrative, winning people over. As fiscal conservatives grow weary of identity politics, I believe they will gravitate towards the Libertarian and Constitution Party.
For the GOP to rebuild trust among voters, it needs to be open to change. The party should distance itself from divisive rhetoric and adopt a more inclusive platform. Additionally, a willingness to rejuvenate and modify its leadership and campaign philosophies is imperative.
Leaving the GOP stands out as one of the most positive decisions I’ve ever made. It enabled me to align with my personal values and engage with people from diverse backgrounds, free from the constraints of partisan politics. This departure allowed me to mend relationships with community members possibly affected by my involvement in divisive policies back in 2021, contributing to my personal growth.
Congratulations to all the winners, particularly Kris Ballerini, the county treasurer, who has demonstrated transparency by placing the county’s budget directly on the website. She is a trailblazer, and I might not have had the chance to meet her if I had stuck to my divisive partisan politics path.
As the world evolves, the GOP must evolve with it. The party needs to be open to listening to its constituents and representing their needs. If the GOP fails to adapt, it will likely continue to lose elections and eventually become irrelevant in the political landscape, which is fine by me as a Libertarian.