In two letters to the editor of the Los Angeles Times, longtime Republican-voting women explained why Donald Trump has led them to leave the party.
Eileen E. Padberg, a registered Republican of 53 years, wrote that although she considers herself “an active feminist,” she stuck with the GOP because she believed it was “the party of individual rights and liberties, personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, a strong national defense and fiscal responsibility.”
“I hung on to my party registration although I didn’t always vote a straight GOP ticket,” she wrote. “I hung on until I couldn’t.”
Padberg noted that her Republican credentials “would hold up to anyone” — she founded her college’s Young Republicans club, has been a delegate and an attendee at multiple Republican National Conventions and “was the regional political director for George H.W. Bush’s campaign for president.”
The Brett Kavanaugh hearings and the GOP’s support for the now-Supreme Court justice that put her “over the edge.”
“When I heard the words coming from the Republican leadership and the president, that fine thread holding me to the GOP finally broke,” Padberg wrote. “I couldn’t believe the disrespect for women I was hearing.”
Padberg acknowledged that she’s not alone, that “surely there are thousands of women across America who gave up on the Republican Party.”
“The GOP died years ago,” she wrote, “but it finally got buried with the Kavanaugh hearings.”
Letter-writer Judy Cabrera, meanwhile, wrote that a series of events caused her to leave the party she joined “when Barry Goldwater told me he would keep government out of our pockets and out of our bedrooms.”
“Then Republicans decided they needed the religious right — never mind that science now came from scripture and intolerance became a new family value,” Cabrera wrote. “Then Republicans decided they needed lots of money, so along came Citizens United — never mind that candidates were now owned by special interests.”
The GOP sacrificing progress to “ensure that Barack Obama was a one-term president” and making “gridlock the new norm” didn’t help, but its lock-step behind Trump was, for her, the final straw.”
“Now Republicans have thrown away any moral compass or fiscal conservatism to keep a man in office who is unfit to be there — never mind that they were humiliated into sycophancy,” Cabrera noted.
“Republicans: It’s time to abandon ship,” she implored. “There has to be something better than this.”