Lately, North Carolina has been in the news because the Republican party has been creating laws designed to suppress the votes of anyone who does not vote Republican. The corruption and lack of integrity has led one North Carolina politician to switch his party allegiance. Jason Thigpen, a former Republican politician, has decided to join the Democratic party.
Thigpen is a war veteran and purple heart recipient who seems like he would be a Republican favorite. He was a candidate for Congress who was running on a Republican ticket. However, recent actions of the party have made him change his mind. On Monday, Thigpen released this statement:
“I simply cannot stand with a Party where its most extreme element promote hate and division amongst people. Nothing about my platform has, nor will it change. The government shutdown was simply the straw that broke the camels back. I guess being an American just isn’t good enough anymore… I refuse to be part of an extremist movement in the GOP that only appears to thrive on fear and hate mongering of anyone and everyone who doesn’t walk their line.”
Thigpen also cites the current North Carolina gerrymandering as part of the reason he has left the Republican party. In North Carolina, the state legislature is mostly Republicans, and they are abusing their power to benefit their party. Thigpen believes that the right to vote is one of the most important freedoms of the United States, so he was extremely discouraged to realize that his former party actively works to suppress the ability of minorities and college students to vote. Thigpen’s statement about his reasons for leaving the Republican party truly highlight the many massive issues currently caused by the party. According to Thigpen,
“I didn’t go to war to defend the liberties and freedoms of one Party, race, sex, or one income class of Americans. Whether white, black, Hispanic, Asian, man, woman, gay, lesbian, straight, rich, or poor – we fought together as equals, side-by-side for the benefit of every American in the same.”
Though Thigpen became a politician to help people, he was frustrated that the Republicans constantly cut “funding to the programs which help feed and provide healthcare to the babies they invariably forced the same women to have. Sounds like the Christian thing to do, huh?” Though Thigpen has decided to leave the Republican party, he has not lost his dreams of serving his home state in Congress. He is currently challenging Walter Jones, the incumbent Democrat for the state’s 3rd Congressional District. Thigpen hopes to be able to serve North Carolina as a Democrat in the United States House of Representatives.
The racism and hypocrisy of the Republican party have become so bad that even devoted members are leaving. Another recent departure was Texas Judge Carlo Key, who expressed discontent with the party’s extremist views. As the Republican party continues to support people who publicly say hateful, racist, hypocritical things, many of the moderates within the party are leaving. This leaves Republican politicians pandering to crazier and crazier views, driving even more members away. If the party continues down this track, it will most likely become an extremist minority rather than a huge part of the American political system.