Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Last Liberal Republican

The last living liberal Republican has decided to disown that label. Tired of being called a "liberal" or even a "socialist", Dirk Delaney, 76, of Providence, Rhode Island could no longer take the incessant ridicule and finally gave up.
In the last century, liberal Republicans once roamed the American political landscape in huge numbers. They were heard to regularly proclaim their liberal social views on op-ed pages, at national conventions and even during presidential elections.
"I remember when we had a real say in the Republican Party," said Delaney. "Why we once even had one of our own as Vice President."
"You remember Nelson Rockefeller, don’t you?" questioned Mr. Delaney plaintively. "He was a liberal Republican, you know."
But those days of left-leaning Republicans thriving in large numbers in every state of the union (except possibly Idaho) are long over. The socially progressive member of the G.O.P. seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird.
In recent years, sightings of liberal Republicans had become rarer and rarer. It was thought that there might still be some small groups of these exotic creatures in sanctuaries in the northeast but they were seldom spotted in public or in print.
"I know there were a few left," said Delaney. "But they would only reveal themselves to me in private. They were afraid to go public for fear of being labelled ‘pinkos’, ‘commies’ or, even worse, ‘Democrats.’ It got so bad that even the moderate ones were loath to admit that they had once voted for Richard Nixon or Gerald Ford."
Now that Mr. Delaney has foresworn the hated label, there may be no one left to carry on the once-proud tradition of liberal Republicanism. In fact, rumor has it that an application has been made to formally induct that phrase into the Oxymoron Hall of Shame.
"I had great hopes for that Mitt Romney fellow," said Delaney. "His father George was a liberal Republican, you know. But you’d never know it to listen to his son. I don’t think he even acknowledges his real father anymore. The last I heard, he said his dad was a poor, hardworking dirt farmer who died when Mitt was just an infant."
With the disappearance of the last liberal Republican, the G.O.P. is reportedly marking the transition by changing its informal description as "the party of Lincoln" to "the party of Reagan" or possibly even the "G.O.T.P.", as in the Grand Old Tea Party.

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