The brother of a friend had this to write today. It spoke to me.

Let this be a warning to all of my fellow Republicans. Mitt Romney did not lose because he was, “not conservative enough.” He did not lose because he was a Mormon. Heck, honestly, HE didn’t lose this race at all. WE lost this race. WE allowed radicals to shape our platform.

We deserve to lose when we keep letting our leaders and influential members of our party move further and further to the radical right. This is what we get when we allow members of our party to write a platform that totally alienates women, minorities, and anyone with half an education.

We can no longer be the party that just says, “NO!” We can no longer be the party that is against anything the opposition is for. We can no longer be the party that espouses hateful, provably-false things about a lawfully-elected President. We hated it when people lied about Bush, and we should be ashamed for letting our own party members do the same to Obama. We should call those people out when they say crazy things.We will lose over and over again until we learn to be a big tent party. This is not a religion. We don’t need every Republican to be ideologically pure. We just need leaders. We need men and women who can make hard choices. We need statesmen who will compromise. And we need to stop thinking of compromise as a dirty word.

This is my pledge. I will work to change my little corner of the Republican Party. I will be a moderating influence. I will let people know that while I may disagree with the President’s policies, while I may feel like he is leading us into an economic hole so deep, we may never recover in my lifetime, I still respect the office he holds. We can disagree without being disagreeable.

We can once again be the party of Lincoln. We have the answers to a lot of our nation’s problems, but nobody hears us because we let a small, radical minority speak for all of us.

We can be a mighty force for good. But we can’t do that if we keep going down this path we’re on.

There was a time in my life when I considered myself conservative and Republican. I now do not affiliate. I look for candidates who represent my worldview, my values, my goals. There is no one party that does this but there are candidates in both who do.

Or rather, there were.

The above speaks to me because the candidates in the Republican party who could possibly represent me are completely drowned out and controlled by the radicals who don’t, and I can’t in good¬†conscience¬†give them any of my support. So there you have it.