We Must Break with Our Republican Past in this Election

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Conservative Republicans see the danger ahead if Bush is elected, and break with tradition to vote for a Democrat this year.

­ John E. Hemington Jr. is a Vietnam Veteran and has been a registered Republican for more than 25 years. He told RepublicansForKerry04 recently that he wants to add his name to the rapidly growing list of Republicans who are supporting John Kerry. “Like many others, I can no longer bear seeing my party and my nation disgraced by the crew now holding the White House,” Hemington said. “And we are not alone. The sons of both Ronald Reagan and Dwight D. Eisenhower have now also endorsed John Kerry. Whatever else one might call it, the Bush administration is not conservative and does not share or promote any conservative values with which I am familiar.“

“Illegal, unprovoked, endless war; $470B deficits; the shredding of the Constitution; the merger of church and state; environmental devastation; the disassembly of the social safety net; these actions don’t reflect conservative values ­ at least not my values, nor the values of any conservatives I know, “ Hemington said. And Hemington is correct when he says that he’s not alone. There is a growing angry movement of old-line conservative Republicans away from Bush and his policies. It is a difficult and painful move for many conservatives who have never before considered voting for a Democrat, but they know that it will be more painful if they have to put up with another four years of the Bush administration’s destructive policies.

In the name of ridding the world evil, Bush led the country into the preemptive war against Iraq. “Can anyone really expect to rid the world of evil? And who are we to define good?” Hemington asked.

“I am a Viet Nam-era veteran and I do not want to see our country once again led down the path of senseless national violence for the sake greed and political egos. John Kerry has been criticized for his Congressional testimony about the atrocities committed by some American troops in Viet Nam, but what is vitally important to remember is that what he testified to was not fiction ­ it was true. There was terrible tragedy and shame on both sides in that conflict. And it is being repeated in Iraq in the name of fighting ‘evil’! True American patriots must do everything we can to prevent our nation from becoming the ‘evil’ we seek to root out and destroy in the world.“ To John E. Hemington and other conservative Republicans the policies of this administration subvert the very principles they claim to defend. For these conservative Republicans the principles and the nation are more important than the party; they have decided to vote for John Kerry.

[contact media@republicansforkerry04.org]

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Bruce Mackinlay