Growing up, I always believed in individual liberty and personal freedoms. I even remember the exact moment I knew I was a Republican. It was Sept. 11, 2001, and a kid watched his president address a nation in crisis. In that moment, George W. Bush seemed larger than life, and I was captivated. The next day, I begged my mother for her credit card so I could go online and make a donation to the Republican National Committee.
I still can’t quite explain it, but as long as I’ve understood politics, there’s always been something about the GOP’s platform that just made sense. Ronald Reagan embraced a conservatism that empowered the individual and embraced limited government, a balanced budget and an unmistakable military advantage that protected our national security interests.
Today, the Republican Party embraces far-reaching policies that reflect a paternalism once reserved for Democrats. The notion that government can and should legislate what two people do in the privacy of their own home makes me think twice about whether the Grand Old Party still reflects the same principles that lured in a 13-year-old ready to take on the world.