No Party

My New Voter Registration Form
My New Voter Registration Form

A new Gallup poll came out last week showing that a record number of Americans, 42%, reject both major political parties and identify as independent. Republicans are at a historic low of only 27%.

I’ve said for a long time that both John McCain and Mitt Romney won independents, but lost the election, because most independents used to be Republicans. They were Republicans, but now they are too embarrassed to formally affiliate with a party that’s lost its way.

Today, I joined the ranks of unaffiliated voters. I am every bit as conservative as I’ve always been, but I just can’t bring myself to carry the Republican label any longer. You see, I just don’t agree with the big-government ‘conservatives’ who run the party now.

The other reason I am leaving is the tolerance of bigotry in the GOP. The current leadership lacks the courage to stand up to it – I’m not sure they ever will. 

I have worked hard to help to create an atmosphere on the right where conservatives can openly support gay Americans and even support same-sex marriage. In that effort, we have won, but there is more work to do to root out the anti-gay and other forms of bigotry in the party.

So I changed my voter registration today – “No Party.”

Things are changing, and I’ve been writing a lot about a recalibration that is happening in the political sphere these days. I’ll share my thoughts on the changing political landscape over the coming months and year on this site, and in a book I hope to complete this year.

So, now I feel huge sense of freedom. I am an independent conservative. (That sounds much better than ‘gay Republican.’)

81 Replies to “No Party”

  1. Welcome to the club. Once it became clear to me that the party CANNOT be changed from within, I left too. It was a hard decision but once I did it was liberating. I haven’t changed my support for limited government. I still will fight for my political views. Maybe if more people like us leave the party,they will finally get the message. Enough with the bigotry, ignorance and downright idiocy!

  2. Good for you. I know that leaving a long-held affiliation is very difficult. My politics are very different from yours, I think, but I can appreciate the journey you’re taking.

    A question, sincerely asked: how does the change in affiliation create a consequence for the Republican Party you are leaving, and would wish to reform? Do you plan to vote against Republican candidates or for Democrats or third party standard-bearers? Are you going to move dollars away from places you’ve given in the past, and/or towards other places? What is the practical implication of your move?

  3. Never been one, became disgusted with the other.. maybe someday if sanity returns.. so will I….. I’m not seeing that happening..

  4. well its about time you left the party that HATES YOU…..the party that would be MOre then Happy to see you relegated to 2nd class Citizenship for Good……

  5. I’m every bit as conservative as I’ve always been….well, then you haven’t learned very much. Still falling for the trickle down bullshit? Still think it’s a grand idea to let corporation police themselves until the place explodes? You’ve got a long way to go.

  6. Better late than never, I suppose, but I am dismayed by the sheer length of time it took you to come to this realization. If somebody tries to put their boot on my throat even once I consider them an enemy. You took it year in and year out and still you sang Republican praises. It’s difficult to respect a quisling, Jimmy.

  7. Good for you. Your political views are still wrong, but you’ve taken a step in the right direction. I’ve pretty much always been independent, but I’d never vote for a Republican for President. I’ll always vote for Democrats unless, you know, they’re too conservative or wishy washy. I can relate to your journey. I was a hardcore proselytizing vegan for a couple years. Took me 3 years after that to come out and criticize the whole vegan community, and even now I do it not very publicly because the vegan community is something of a cult that’ll raid any posts criticizing them – they especially HATE ex-vegans, and I know damned well because I used to hate ex-vegans who stood up and complained about the vegan community. Now, I’m getting a taste of my own medicine, I suppose. HA! It’s weird. I get all riled up and offended when the vegans try to jump on me for critiquing vegan community, because they are very self-righteous about it. And yet, I used to do the same. But I can stomach the irony just fine – it’s easy, honestly, because most people are not vegan and are therefore on my side. It was hard being vegan and fighting the whole damned world. I guess that’s a bit like what it must feel like being a gay Republican. You’re against the whole damned party you’re trying to be a part of. I’m just fine as long as I have the world on my side and avoid engaging with vegans about the vegan advocacy community. I engaged ’em a couple times, and now I’m silent on the matter. Not even worth it, really. Let them figure it out themselves. I swear they come in mad droves if you start talking about being ex-vegan on the internet. Like they have nothing better to do. They’re less than 1% of the population, but man oh man, they can pick a fight and keep picking it. Hate to think what I contributed to that madness.

    So the vegan example is a leftist example of what you’re talking about. Like you and conservative, I’m still a leftist. I’m still a bleeding-heart liberal. I still believe in animal rights and try to buy eggs from the farmer’s market only. But I do not associate with that community any more. Even if I became vegan again, I would avoid the vegan community like the plague. Right now I am happily vegetarian. It sucks because I want to be involved in animal rights, but it’s been overrun by the vegan cult, and I just can’t even. It sucks for animals. Sigh. That must be how you feel about the GOP and the economy. But I believe you’re very wrong on that. Anyway, it’s hard for me to even read about conservative economic policy because I get so annoyed reading the insulting and sarcastic commentary pointed at liberals. Even if conservative economics were correct, it’s just dumb to accuse liberals of being the ones with their heads in the sand and not really giving a shit. Maybe comments like that are why we refuse to look at the other side. But I did, nevertheless. I considered it. I read up on conservative views of the minimum wage and taxes. I genuinely thought at times maybe they were right. Then I went back and read the progressive views. Put them together and concluded that the conservatives were still wrong. Yup.

    People need to be nicer to each other or those of us looking at both sides will remain a small minority. Unfortunately, I think even most independents don’t really look at both sides.

  8. I just never understood how you could have ever been a part of an organization that literally hates you. How were you deluding yourself all of these years? I mean really? I just never “got” GOProud nor the Log Cabin Republicans. It’s obviously some “needy” type issue.

  9. The level of self-loathing GOProud continuing to slum with a conservative movement that never fails to step up and defend bigots astonishes me.

  10. I went through the same thing myself as a gay conservative (and previously a de facto gay liberal), but libertarianism offers so much more than either party could. Property rights, the non-aggression principle, and self-autonomy…what’s not to like? Come into the pool, the water’s fine. 🙂

  11. “The other reason I am leaving is the tolerance of bigotry in the GOP. The current leadership lacks the courage to stand up to it – I’m not sure they ever will. ”

    Are you kidding? “lacks the courage to stand up to it”?????



    You’ve got blood on your hands Jimmy. No 13th hour epiphany is going to clean it off.b

  12. I’m an ex-Republican, but mostly because I’m an ex-conservative. I’ve not, however, run to the doors of the church of progressivism seeking to be born again in their mold, as often seems to be the course for ex-progressives. Having it dawn on you just how thoroughly full of shit conservatives are does not reverse any previous awareness of the vileness of progressives.

    I applaud you for resisting that urge.

    I’d like to extend a big “fuck you” to all of the commenters leaving presumptuously unforgiving remarks similar to, “Gay Republicans = Black KKK”. There are three things to note about this:

    1) A gay person is first a person with a million different concerns related to a million different facets of their personality that exist above, below and beyond their sexual identity. Your jeers basically amount to abusing him for nurturing a more complete politics than a gay person ought to.

    2) Even so, LaSalvia did honor his sexual identity. He did vigorously advocate for equality, and he did so in an environment incomparably more hostile and challenging than one might find on the left. Let that be a mark on the party LaSalvia just stepped back from, not he.

    3) The Democrat Party first gained, and has retained since, the majority of the African American vote during the Solid South period prior to the Civil Rights era.

    1. e.d.: “…as often seems to be the course for ex-progressives conservatives.”

    2. How convenient to leave out the other hundred or so reasons for leaving the GOP. Like voodoo economics, institutional racism, voter suppression, corporatism, running a candidate like Bishop Romney who made his millions exporting jobs, or running some born again grifter like Sarah Palin. Let’s not get into the lies that got the US into the Iraq war, or the Afghanistan debacle, or privatization schemes for Social Security, or the systematic deregulation that enabled Wall Street sociopaths to drive the economy off a cliff. Yeah, Jimmy’s so deep, so multi-faceted, blah, blah, blah. Heaven forfend we fall into the hands of vile progressives.

    3. So as I black man I should vote for the party of Sen. Fonzie, R-KY? Sorry, we think the GOP is even less hospitable to us then they are of white gay men. You have nothing and stress everything we despise.

      So f***k you very much.

    4. “A gay person is first a person with a million different concerns related to a million different facets of their personality that exist above, below and beyond their sexual identity. Your jeers basically amount to abusing him for nurturing a more complete politics than a gay person ought to.”

      I’m sure Ernst Röhm said the exact same thing, honey.

  13. uh….fiscally conservative and socially tolerant = libertarian – not independent. Come over to the LP and see how that works for you.

  14. Good for you!! Republicans & Democrats aren’t wired for the real world. Much respect for having the guts.

  15. Another conservative following his self interest. What a surprise! So decades after it had become perfectly clear that the GOP is a fundamentalist church, Jimmy wakes up and becomes an “independent.” Didn’t quit over lies that got America into Iraq, didn’t quit over deregulation that wiped out the working class, didn’t quit over voter suppression, did quit when it became obvious that his personal life would never be respected. Dickless, morally speaking, just like every other conservative.

  16. So glad I found a place that accepts people like this – gays who hate everyone else. How wonderful. Kinda like the Mormons a hated religious group that gives money to groups that hate gays and everyone else.

  17. Bravo! The current GOP regime is the worst thing to happen to politics in years. It didn’t used to be like this…

  18. Congratulations. I guess you forgot the apology you owe to Americans – especially your LGBT brothers & sisters. You may have just discovered the virulent strains of bigotry, racism, misogyny and jingoism in the Republican Party. But these have been the GOP’s trademarks and true colors for decades. Your support of that hate-filled party can most charitably be attributed to willful ignorance on your part. “Gay Republican” has been loudly and accurately compared to “Jewish Nazi” for as long as the Log Cabin and GOProud groups have been around. You should have paid closer attention to those voices. Because in the course of supporting “conservative” candidates for office, you really only succeeding in giving the enemy cover. And the damage they have been able to do to our society, our people and our world is heartbreaking. So please, stop celebrating your waking from the ethical coma long enough to search that conservative soul of yours for an apology. You can start with everyone who suffered from a decade’s delay in stem cell research… to the thousands of Americans killed in Iraq, the tens of thousands of Americans wounded in Iraq, and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who were killed and wounded in our utterly immoral war there… to the millions of Americans who lost their jobs, their homes and their life savings when the Bush catastrophe very nearly destroyed the global economy… and most of all, to the untold number of kids who saw no way to survive being gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender and took their own lives, and continue to do so. You and your fellow “gay Republicans” banded together to support the success of a party and its politicians who are reckless and relentless in their vicious hatreds. For that, you need to apologize – and now work like hell to repair the damage and move this country out of the darkness you helped create.

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  20. Good first step toward recovery but the problem was not simply your political affiliation. You need to add a little compassion to your perspective as well. The issue lies more with your statement: “I am every bit as conservative as I have always been” than your political label.

    Yes, the bigotry of the GOP is patently offensive. However the victorian-esque definition of limited government as doing nothing which diminishes the well being and economic fortunes of those that are already well-off, is equally offensive. The problem with that line of thinking is that it bears no responsibility for righting the collateral damage it created the fall-out from laissez faire: Global Warming; Financial collapse; Diminished standard of living; War; Crumbling infrastructure; Failing Public Education.

    The problem is not that we have too much regulation. The problem is that we are applying it in the wrong places. The problem is not too much taxation. The problem is that we are apply it in the wrong way and on the wrong things. The problem is not healthcare for all Americans. The problem is allowing exorbitant private sector profits by providing it.

    Time will tell if you have truly become an “independent” thinker, or if you’ve doing nothing more than sheltering the storm in the conservative closet.

  21. Way to go on your coming out of the party of hate. Way to send a message to the Republi-Cons. Too bad they never learn from their mistakes. (Mitt Romney) The “failure of imagination” in the party is so entrenched they cannot imagine what tolerance and compassion looks like. The ‘Cons have declared war on non-whites, non-males, and non-rich – which covers just about everyone but veterans, the homeless, the disabled and elderly deserve a mention as well. The GOP has been corrupt since Eisenhower left office. The GOP will never truly become humane, but they will spend billions of dollars pretending they are “compassionate conservatives”. You did the right thing by no longer aligning yourself with the largest organized crime syndicate outside the Vatican

  22. Mr LaSalvia, can you define for me what you mean by “conservative”? It’s used to mean limited government involvement in our daily lives and fiscal responsibility. If that is what you mean by conservative, you will find many who agree with that. I don’t, but you’ll find many who do. In the meantime the GOP has gone far beyond that by tacitly supporting racism and bigotry of all types, attempting to marginalize women and attempting to suppress the vote of people who aren’t likely to vote Republican. This backfired on them in November 2012 and it seems they haven’t learned from that experience.

  23. Being gay is not a conservative and does not follow religious biblical teaching. Being conservative to me is living a life built on strong Christian values and then live by them. We love the sinner but hate the sin.

    1. Apparently there are a lot of people who don’t know the definition of “conservative”. It has nothing to do with religion. It means believing in limited government involvement in our daily lives, fiscal responsibility and a “go slow” approach toward change. It’s possible to be openly gay and conservative. One’s religion has nothing to do with it. I’m not a conservative but I do understand how someone can be one.

  24. Just read your post linked from Yahoo! and I want to say, congratulations! I left the Republican Party a few years ago for the same reasons…but I wonder, have you considered a third party? There needs to be a counterbalance to the Democratic Party (a one-party system is NEVER a good idea), and I personally am working hard to increase the impact of the Libertarians….

  25. Jimmy,
    No doubt that even prior to 2009 when you established GOPROUD you were a GOOD Republican.
    No doubt, back in the day, you even supported the election and re election of GWB even as Karl Rove et al used gay bashing as a wedge issue to get GWB elected and re elected
    Even given that you founded GOPROUD in 2009 to support GOP causes and policies many many which were openly hostile and anti gay and which you were completely aware of at the time.

    There has been a swift nationwide shift in attitudes towards gays that has pervaded the country including
    the GOP which while still anti gay is less so than it ever has been before

    So why now have you denounced the GOP now ?
    Because they can’t get elected as you said in your TV interview ?
    So if they could get elected then you would be a good Republican again and support the anti gay platform of the GOP as you have in the past ?

    Do you feel bad for all of the people that you have hurt by supporting the GOP and their anti gay policies and platform for all these years or Is this some big Ken Melhman mea culpa now that the GOP no longer serves your interest, financial or otherwise ?

    I saw everything in your TV interview about the GOP that was obvious to almost the entire gay audience but It was only missing one thing,,,,,a GRAND apology for all you have done to advance GOP policies many many of which have been hateful and harmful towards gay people and their families.

    Where is your apology Mr LaSilvia ?

    I don’t see that in the mission statement of your new web site

    A gay man

  26. I wanted to become an independent, but the “independent” label has become so associated with those “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” folks that I, as a social conservative and fiscal moderate liberal, decided to register as a DINO, a Democrat in Name Only.

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