Congressional candidate and Army veteran Jason Thigpen was formerly a Republican, seeking election to the U.S. House in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District, running against Republican Representative Walter Jones. But Thigpen switched parties yesterday. He is now running as a Democrat.
Thigpen said, “Enough is enough. After discussing it with my wife and family, I’ve decided to run as a Democrat rather than a Republican. I simply cannot stand with a Party where its most extreme element promote hate and division amongst people.”
Mr. Thigpen says his platform won’t change. He’s just divorcing himself from hate. “The government shutdown was simply the straw that broke the camel’s back. I guess being an American just isn’t good enough anymore and I refuse to be part of an extremist movement in the GOP that only appears to thrive on fear and hate mongering of anyone and everyone who doesn’t walk their line.”
Thigpen says he’s received a lot of support from other North Carolina Republicans, and that the vast majority of Republicans don’t agree with these “radical nut-jobs”.
Thigpen asks what so many of us ask, “Regardless of Party affiliation, we should be able to agree and agree to disagree on issues, and still go out for coffee or dinner afterwards. To think anyone can despise, loath, insult, and threaten another American simply because of their Party affiliation is almost depressing.”
He reminds us all that party affiliation should not mean that we hate someone of another party, “I mean, how many Democrats or Republicans entire families are registered with the same Party? So if your mother, father, brother, or sister are registered with a different Party would you disown them? Would you wish harm on them? Would you choose to no longer celebrate holidays with them? Would you no longer love them? These are the real questions that need answering before continuing the debate because when did being an American just no longer matter?”
Thigpen, an Army veteran who received a Purple Heart, is not impressed with his past party’s efforts to steal the right to vote from Democrats, “I didn’t go to war to defend the liberties and freedoms of one Party, race, sex, or one income class of Americans. Whether white, black, Hispanic, Asian, man, woman, gay, lesbian, straight, rich, or poor – we fought together as equals, side-by-side for the benefit of every American in the same. So, to come home from serving our country and see North Carolina legislators using their super-majority status to gerrymander districts and pass a law to deliberately suppress and oppress the voting rights of Democrats but more specifically minorities and college students, is absolutely deplorable.”
Thigpen observed unhappily his party’s attempts to use unrelated bills to restrict women’s access to abortions and then at the same time deny food and healthcare to babies. He is not impressed with the lack of Christian values evinced in such deplorable behavior.
The final straw was the Republican shutdown, which Thigpen notes was “real patriotic”. He said, “Shutting down the government was seemingly easy for our elected Representatives, as they’re not adversely affected with their pay being protected by the Constitution. They were some real patriots though, huh? These so called Representatives sat around in Washington playing chicken with their constituent’s lives all while patting each other on the back saying ‘great job.’ Yeah that’s real patriotic all right.”
Thigpen, who now calls himself a conservative Democrat, can thank his party’s southern strategy and their loudest mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh for creating a country where Republicans absolutely loathe liberals and Democrats.
It may be that Thigpen saw a crowded Republican field and decided he had a better shot as a Democrat (oddly Walter Jones was once a Democrat). After all, former Bush aide Taylor Griffin is challenging incumbent Republican Walter Jones from the right, running as a “real conservative”. Walter Jones is known for voting for the Iraq war but later demanding apologies for being lied to.
Mother Jones reported:
Then the chairman called on Rep. Walter B. Jones. Glaring at the witness, Jones quoted a statement from Perle’s testimony suggesting that the administration had been misled in its assessment of Iraq by “double agents planted by the regime.” The congressman’s voice quavered as he demanded an apology to the country. “It is just amazing to me how we as a Congress were told we had to remove this man, but the reason we were given was not accurate.”
Whatever motivated Thigpen, the country needs more Republicans standing up to their party’s hatred and saying no more.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.