Ever since President Donald Trump won the nomination I have considered whether or not I would change my voter registration. I had joked that I’m Republican for primaries only since Iowa does not have an open primary system. Today, I pulled the trigger. I changed my voter registration from “Republican” to “no party.” I declare my independence from party politics.

Since I declared my opposition to President Trump I’ve been called a RINO (Republican in Name Only) numerous times. That term used to mean you rejected part or all of the party platform. Now, it has come to mean to some not embracing every Republican candidate.

Well, ok, guilty as charged I guess.

I chose to no longer identify as a Republican, and the only way to authentically do that is to change my voter registration.

What this means:

  • I stand for policy and principles, not party politics.
  • I am no longer concerned about the direction or future of the Republican Party.
  • I will examine candidates solely on the basis of their character, principles, and policy ideas. (This isn’t a change.)
  • I officially reject the idea of just having a binary choice in the voting booth for every single race.
  • I will report and provide analysis on political party activities as an independent bystander.

What this does not mean:

  • My principles have not and will not change. I am still pro-life. I still believe in traditional marriage. I will champion limited government and federalism. Most of all I am committed to looking at politics through the lens of a biblical worldview.
  • This also is not a rejection of many of the Republican elected officials I respect and admire.
  • It doesn’t mean I’m withdrawing from the political process. I’ve enjoyed and will continue to provide coverage of primary races, as well as, the general election. I also will continue to provide candidate interviews. In short, you should not see any change in my coverage at Caffeinated Thoughts.
  • As not to be accused of being “holier than thou,” I want to emphasize this decision is a personal one and it has been a process that I’ve struggled with. I’m following my conscience. You should follow yours whether that means staying in whatever political party you are registered with or leaving it. I don’t think everyone is called to do what I am doing.

Disclaimer: Since Iowa has closed primaries and caucuses, the right candidate could cause me to re-register as a Republican (or register as a Libertarian) to support him or her in the primary or caucus for a future election. If that happens it will also accompany a public endorsement of that candidate for transparency sake. (I also plan on going back to “no party” after I vote if that does happen.)

P.S. I have to give Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate some kudos. The online voter registration process was incredibly easy AND it protects Iowa’s voter integrity. I was very impressed. If you have not registered to vote in Iowa, I encourage you to do it online.

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