October 20, 2018 — Los Angeles Times

The Opinion piece by Virginia Heffernan, Farewell to the Grand Old Part, October 14, 2018, talks a lot about the men who have moved on from the Republican Party.  I think the real story is the number of women that have reregistered to No Party Preference or even Democrat.

I have been a registered Republican for over 53 years.  I am an active feminist and women’s rights supporter, but I have hung on to my party registration – the party of individual rights and liberties, personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, a strong national defense, and fiscal responsibility, reduced government spending.  That is the party that I signed up with when I turned 21. I hung to my party registration although I didn’t always vote a straight Republican ticket. I hung on until I couldn’t. This is definitely NOT the Republican Party today, not on any level.

Today, the Republican Party is against fair trade, wants to be intimately involved in the most personal of decisions that a woman can make, disrespectful to minorities, women and the disabled, opposing health care for all, highest government spending in years, expanding government every day.  

I was an active member of the Republican Party since 1964.  I founded the Anaheim Young Republicans, was an active voting member of the Orange County Young Republicans, an active member of the State Young Republicans and a delegate to the National Young Republican Convention. I was an active and voting member of the Republican State Committee.  I was the youngest delegate in 1968 to the Republican National Convention. I attended several Republican National Conventions and testified on behalf of women rights, fighting to support the ERA and to take the issue of abortion out of the party platform. In 1987 I was the Regional Political Director for the George H. W. Bush campaign for President; I organized the California Delegation to the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans.  I have supported and worked for numerous candidates throughout the years. My Republican credentials would hold up to anyone.

Whether or not you believed Dr. Ford or not, The Kavanagh hearings put me over the edge.  When I heard the words coming out of the Republican leadership and the president of the U.S., I could no longer hold on, that fine, fine thread finally broke.  I couldn’t believe the deep seated disrespect for women that I was hearing (although I wasn’t surprised). I think both sides handled the Kavanaugh hearings badly.  There was no winner – not even Justice Kavanaugh. He will forever be responsible for having tainted the U.S. Supreme Court.

I am not alone.  I think there are thousands of women across America that gave up on the Republican Party. The Republican Party died years ago, but it finally got buried with the Kavanaugh hearings.  RIP.


Eileen E. Padberg


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