My decision to be a Democrat was never a decision. It was just expected of me. It was understood. Born into a family of Democrats, my grandfather would often spend weekends talking to me about his respect for Franklin Roosevelt and his annoyance with President Reagan. I listened and absorbed, but was not yet ready to think critically about what I was told – or to decide for myself.
I love and miss my grandfather, but life has since taught me that thinking critically about the principles of the Democrat party is never encouraged because if you do, you have no choice but to leave – to walk away.
I was elected National President of the College Democrats of America in 1999, and now I’m a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2018. While the Democrats’ influence over my political philosophy defined a few years in my late teens and early twenties, that influence could not withstand the test of life and experience that made me a conservative as an adult. In contrast with my time as a Democrat, my evolution to becoming a conservative Republican was a fully mindful and deliberate decision, based on my life experiences that left me with no other option.
My parents have since turned their back on me, my wife, their grandchildren, and their extended family. Adding to this, they decided to make the maximum contribution to my Democrat opponent in my campaign for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, an intentional personal blow that made headlines across the country. It was deliberate – and it is a true representation of the intolerance of a political philosophy that stands on the false platform of tolerance.
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