As of 12:01 PM yesterday, January 20, 2021, I was once again a registered Republican voter, as I had been all of my adult life until July 2016. It does not take much imagination to figure out the significance of these dates and times.
Why would I, at this time, rejoin the mess known as the Republican party. Isn’t this a bit like jumping to WCW in February, 2001? If wrestling is not your bag, then it would seem to be like choosing to be a Mets fan over the Yankees in the late 80s and have that set the course of your future fandom for decades to come (sigh).
There are a couple of reasons. I could just sit on the sidelines and say to hell with all of it, as I have been inclined to do quite often. But because I am a political animal, I feel compelled to remain engaged on some level still.
Maryland is a closed primary state (which every state should be), and so if I am to have a say in the primary process and if I am to have any influence in the future course of a party, I must choose one of the two political parties. The Democrats are a non-starter for ideological reasons (confirmed by President Biden’s rash of odious day one executive orders, highlighted by reversing the Mexico City policy – some uniting moderate he showed himself to be). That leaves the Republican party. As much damage as Trump did to the party and the people within it, I can do more to change it from within than without.
Moreover, though I live in a very blue state, I will soon be moving from a super-duper blue county to a more 50/50 county (which used to trend Republican, but then Trump happened). Therefore, the Republican party where I live is actually meaningful, so it may be worth my time to influence it as much as possible.
This is not a lifetime commitment, and my change of party registration does not mean I endorse every idiotic thing said or written by other people with an R- next to their name. It is, rather, a meek sign of hope that change is possible.