The 2016 Election has marked a breaking point. Many members of both major political parties have found their loyalties strained, their sense of purpose clouded. Trapped within a two-party system millions of Americans feel powerless, lost, even abandoned.
I launched PoliticalOrphans after resigning from the Republican Party and ending my blog, GOPLifer.com. Having spent my entire life involved in Republican politics I found myself in a quandary. My conscience would not allow me to continue working in the party, but there was no other credible channel through which to participate in the political system. Our system is built on parties and in its present configuration, it will only allow two to survive at any one time.
What should I and millions of other Americans do when we find ourselves hopelessly alienated from both major political parties? I don’t know.
A time in the wilderness is a metaphor for rebirth, redemption and vision. Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, and Apostle Paul all found that their first step after revelation was a time in the wasteland. Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital in exile. Friedrich Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom while sheltering from the Nazis in London. Generations of artists, philosophers, poets and political leaders have found their way by wandering off the edge of the map.
Welcome to the edge of the map.
Here you’ll find my blog posts along with occasional contributions from friends. A few veterans of the old GOPLifer project have joined me here to host a forum, Off Topic. Registered members can create groups and share messages. There is also a Facebook presence for the blog here, and I’ll be tweeting under my own name, @ChrisALadd. Through this platform we can wander together as political orphans, looking for a new home.
Hi Chris and friends! I’ve avidly lurked at GOPLifer the last 2 years and frequently wanted to comment but never got my stuff together in a timely fashion. Thank you for all the thoughtful articles and for fostering such a civil discourse. I hope to join the fun on occasion in the future.
Liking the new layout, Chris. Has sort of a parlor-esque feel to it. 🙂
Some on the far-left have a plan to save Democracy! by getting their preffered candidate in office via what would be the most convoluted, least democratic presidential election outcome in US history. The less you think about it, the MORE it makes sense.
Glad to be here Chris. It’s hard to believe that 9 years ago, I was the first to leave a comment on GOPLifer in the Houston Chronicle as MrProgressive. I am honored to hold that distinction. I am, and will always be, your friend.
Hey I found the perfect reporting on the Second Presidential debate. I should get all my news from these guys.
Hahahahaha! I love The Onion.
Love the new site. I discovered GOPLifer only a few months ago, read through the archives, and looked forward to every post. In particular, the comments have been an oasis amidst the vacuous, vicious interchanges on most other political sites. Thanks for the continued perceptive analysis.
Looking forward to many good postings by Chris. Congratulations.
Made the move – best of luck with the new project.
I think the RSS Feed link needs work; clicking on it just brings up a page of code. I’d hate to not read your stuff in a timely manner.
Yea, I took it down. It’s only useful for people who want to set up a feed manually, which I don’t think is a lot of folks. You should be able to plug this link into your RSS reader to get a feed. Worked for me.
Let me know if it works.
Yep, that did it. Thanks.
Thank you for linking in the wp.com login. The default one here is not SSL-protected, which is dangerous. (As it is, I’m not 100% sure about wp.com either, but that’s another story not relevant here.)
Is there an RSS link here? I used RSS for GOPLifer, and would like to use it here as well.
Yes. The feed is here: http://politicalorphans.com/feed/
Just added a link to it in the right sidebar under the Twitter feed.
Hi former Lifers! I am happy to be here to continue our respectful, illuminating discussions with you-all. Or since I’m originally from Wisconsin, I guess I should say with you-guys.
I like the new digs. I cannot wait to read the next postings.
Wow I like the new place, think I’ll crash here for a while. Really though nice site (though eventually we NEED fancier default avatars).
Getting in on the ground floor of this one.
Look forward to the writing Chris.
The new site looks great, Chris. Love the banner!
I look forward to seeing the fruits of this new endeavor, Chris.
JK! Good to see you, buddy!
Hello! The new site looks great and I’m looking forward to continuing to converse with friends from the old Lifer blog.
Chaos is the perfect breeding ground for the infinitely possible.
WaHOO I’m finally here! Congrats Chris on your new site. I’m so looking forward to many more years of intelligent conversations from yourself and fellow participants.
I’m looking forward to more reasonable discussion about issues, as was the case on your prior blog.
For the record, I consider myself a liberal Catholic. Much of my beliefs are comprable to the church’s teachings on social justice. I believe that “pro-life” is not the same as “pro-birth”. And while I personally oppose abortion, I do not wish to see our country governed by the Catholic catechism, just the same as I would not to see it ruled by Sharia law! I Am pro 2nd Amendment comma but that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe there should be reasonable constraints on ownership, such as universal background checks. I just wanted to disclose a little bit about myself for background. I tremendously enjoyed your prior site and look forward to more of the same.
Am I correct in assuming that registration will send an email when you make a new post?
I have greatly enjoyed reading GOPLifer and regularly reposted it to my FB. I have found your diagnoses incredibly insightful, even if I don’t always agree with your solutions.
May I request you put together a ‘greatest hits’ from GOPLifer – posts that are relevant in the long-term, like:
The Tension between Civil Rights and Limited Government
Police brutality is a blue-state problem
I find posts like these measurably added to the discourse, and should be kept in circulation.
I might suggest this as a sort of roll-call from the archives:
But also, you might consider posting your own. I’d be interested to know what stood out.
I’ll take a look through. Those two are the big ones that made me go “huh, never thought of that!”
BTW you should read:
I found particularly interesting that the reporter gets to the deep story behind Trump supporters worldview.
That deep story is well worth pulling out into the light and taking a good long look at.
I would also recommend to you having a listen to the Revolutions podcast by Mike Duncan, season 4: the Haitian revolution.
A lot of the very basic beginnings of the racial animus between whites and blacks are discussed there – in particular the critical period when racial laws were first instituted by colonial powers as part of the theoretical ‘best practices’ for colony management, and the subsequent choice of the so-called ‘Little Whites’ to side with their co-race members the ‘Big Whites’ instead of their co-class-members, the ‘coloureds’. This was all happening in the 1760s-1790s, a formative time for the nearby United States, and goes some way to answering the question I often see you grappling with – why do poor whites ally themselves along racial instead of along economic lines.
Four True Facts — https://goplifer.com/2014/11/21/four-true-facts/ — would return to voting R more often if these were addressed by a candidate.
Too me the decisive point in the devolution of the GOP occurred when the moderate republicans were purged from the party during the 1970’s and 80’s. The last Republican I voted for was Gerald Ford in 1976. By 1980 the Republican Party was captured by the extreme conservatives under Reagan. Their policies of cutting taxes for the upper income brackets while maintaining high taxes on the middle class and cutting government services while engaging in excessive defense spending while waging continual war was too much for me. I have steadily trended democratic ever since then.
@tmerritt15: One can certainly have disagreements with Reagan, but he’d be a pro-government liberal by today’s Republican standards. He may have talked a lot of hue and cry when it came to “big government”, but he raised taxes 11 times during his time in office, gave amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, signed the Montreal Protocol and other things.
It’s interesting the degree to which Reagan violated his own stated principles on a pretty regular basis and yet it’s been those Republicans who’ve come after who’ve paid the price. The GOP made a conscious choice to capitalize on Reagan’s politics in part because of how well they worked at the time; an understandable decision, but cutting taxes quickly changed from a genuine policy decision during the Reagan years to essentially just being a means to try and placate the base while future presidents, like George W. Bush, pursued other priorities.
This intellectual rot in the Republican Party was bound to backfire. With no discernible plans for the party’s future, far-right kooks like Newt Gingrich rode to power on the backs of an increasingly rural and isolated Republican base that has seen their world slowly but surely slipping away from them. Barack Obama’s election as the first African-American president blew all of that anxiety and fear wide open and Trump stepped right in to take advantage in a way that milquetoast Republicans and others never would’ve dared to.
A lot of things and decisions happened to get the Republican Party to where it is today. I don’t think it was any one thing per se, but if you had to get it down to its, it was Republicans’ desire for power and their subsequent success in getting it, that’s ultimately led to their downfall. It’s the story of our history.
First of all Chris that’s a great new name! I think many of us feel orphaned by the death of the Republican party. Have you considered the modern Whig party as a potential new home?