I left the republican party because it got lost
I was a registered Republican until I got my first Democratic ballot on May 8, 2018.
Like many reading this, I grew up in predominantly white, middle-class suburban neighborhoods. I grew up listening to Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Rush Limbaugh− remember Rush’s bit during the Clinton years about “American Held Hostage?“I went to a Baptist church on Wednesday nights and Sundays, and I lived in a house where politics was not a table discussion, or something we never seemed to talk about.
Many of you who identify as Republicans or Conservatives in the aftermath of January 6, the Trump presidency and the Dobbs decision you have asked the same question that I began to ask myself seriously about 15 years ago: Is this Republican Party really the party for me?
The answer became a clear no to me.
Economically, my former party has gone rogue.
I began my legal career in 2007 as a consumer bankruptcy attorney – which I still am to this day – working primarily with working and middle class families. I spent the majority of my first four years of practice helping families from all socio-economic backgrounds trying to save their homes from foreclosure, their cars from foreclosure and the collection efforts of banks and corporations, especially the payday lenders, who were going after these families. As the bailout happened, I wondered why businesses were being bailed out and why families were losing everything.
When it comes to middle and working class families, my old party has given up.
I was hated by the Republican Party, especially the Ohio GOP, the outright assault on middle and working class families. I witnessed this firsthand in the Ohio Legislature in 2010-2011 when I pushed for passage of a bill that would increase Ohio’s homestead exemption. After testifying before a House committee, I was able to attend floor proceedings; and, to my horror, I have heard countless Republicans openly attack Governor John Kasich over Medicaid expansion and express their contempt for the needs of our most vulnerable Ohioans economic.
And more recently on women’s rights, my old party rejected personal rights protections.
I have always supported a woman’s right to choose, and there is no room in the party for a pro-choice Republican given the religious right’s and lobbyists’ continued hold on the party.
This horror continued each time I petitioned the Statehouse, which included two other memorable meetings: the time I heard an anonymous state senator refer to the people of Ohio as ” you” in a meeting with business lobbyists and two consumer groups about legislation on Ohio’s first data security bill, and a second time I worked against a bill payday loans bill only for the Republican Rep to repeatedly pause in his questioning as he received texts of questions to ask me from the lobbyist in the corner.
My only regret on May 8, 2018 was that I didn’t make the decision to become a Democrat sooner.
The Republican Party has strayed, and I’m proud to work with organizations across our state, like WelcomePAC (https://welcomepac.org/), who are committed to raising candidates capable of protecting our state and our democracy from the radicalized positions of the GOP.
I hope sharing parts of my story will inspire others not only to ask the hard questions, but also to leave a party that now celebrates greed, corruption and oppression.
Brian Flick is Managing Partner and Director of Dann Law’s Cincinnati office, with a practice that focuses on bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, appellate litigation and other areas of consumer law.