12 Steps For a Recovering Republican

Today starts the public circus. The GOP has become a three ring circus, with Donald Trump as the ringmaster. Tonight features Melania Trump, Phil Robertson, and Chachi Scott Baio. Oh, and Rick Perry, the sacrificial conservative, will fling himself into the volcano of doom, which will consume him with a satisfying plume of ash.

I am through with the Republican Party, which has been like having a political crack dealer as a boyfriend for conservative Christians like me. We’ve been played, dated, pursued, cooed, wooed, and dumped. We’ve been given engagement rings and gifts only to have them demanded at the altar while the GOP ran off with political expedience as its mistress.

And, we’ve paid them to do this to us. I’m done. No more. This relationship is dysfunctional, codependent, and abusive, and I’m tired of being abused.

Now that the GOP has eloped with a man who praises his own daughter as dateable, whose highest principle is having plenty of money and a nice piece of a**, who thinks Planned Parenthood does plenty of good things (besides butchering unborn babies), they can have him, till death do they part.

In order to avoid a messy withdrawal from this longtime pattern of abuse, I will use the tried-and-true 12-step program to recovery. I’ll call it Republicans Anonymous. (“My name is Steve, and I’m an ex-Republican.” “Hi Steve!’)

1. Powerlessness. I admit that I am powerless to change the GOP. They do as they please without giving me a thought other than to take my money and my vote. I have lost the power to choose to walk away, but I must walk away. I am powerless over my political future in the party.

2. Hope. There’s a greater good, and a greater power than just politics. When a white supremacist tried to start a race war in Charleston, it wasn’t the GOP who healed the victims’ relatives or caused thousands to join in a call for unity. It wasn’t the Republican Party or Reince Priebus or Donald Trump who led the prayers of repentance and forgiveness that stopped what could have spiraled into something more sinister.

I believe in a cause, and a God, greater than the political powers of our time. I reject the false binary choice of God-hating liberal Democrats versus Republicans. The GOP is not the party of God, and God does not endorse a party.

3. Surrender. I offer myself to God for Him to do with me as He pleases. No matter who sits in the White House, or on the Supreme Court, God is in control. I throw myself on His mercy, which is certainly greater than the vulgar, petty revenge-mongers currently controlling the GOP.

4. Inventory. I have a weakness. I want America to be great. Even great again. Trump’s call is irresistible and the alternative to him is unthinkable. But my strength must not be in me, or in Godly people who surround Trump, hoping they might change him by osmosis. My hope has to be in God alone. Nobody can “get saved” for Trump, and I can’t succumb to my personal weakness.

5. Confession. I admit to myself, to God, and to you, reader, than I cannot control our political destiny. I am in fact insignificant in this regard, and subject to inconsistency, weakness, and wild assumptions. I want America to be great, and I know we are not anymore. I heap my hopes and my rage on and against Trump, who I know is only playing everyone for his own personal gain. I am burning with rage against the GOP for their incredible adultery and abandonment of principle.

It’s no longer my problem. It’s not mine to fix because I confess I cannot fix it.

6. & 7. Readiness and Asked God. I am ready and I have asked God to take this situation from me. Trump will be the nominee, absent a miracle. While I pray for the miracle, I have no hope in myself to gain my desired results.

8. & 9. Amends. I forgive every Trump supporter, from Rick Perry, to Chris Christie, to Newt Gingrich, John Nolte, Breitbart News, Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter, and even Dr. Ben Carson. I forgive them because they are as weak as I am. Because I have taken a Never Trump position and they have not does not make me better, or more principled than they are. They have simply gone before me into the powerlessness of surrender to the irresistible message.

If I have harmed any Trump supporters, I ask forgiveness. I cannot support Trump–now or ever–but I believe that his supporters want what I want. I believe they want to see America prosper as a free, strong and God-fearing country. I forgive the GOP for their betrayal and abuse.

I will walk away wishing them every success, but knowing that they are about to destroy every good thing given to them, like a junkie leaving rehab to score more drugs despite their family giving them money, food and shelter.

10. Continue inventory. I need to find another party, another political group to join, that I can direct my strengths and efforts to. I cannot, however, trust them with my hopes and dreams for America. Politics is crass and nasty. It’s toxic for the soul. I need to keep that in mind, always, as I break free of the GOP.

11. & 12. Keep contact and help others. If you’re reading this, I encourage you to walk away from the GOP. Whether you ultimately vote for Trump or not, don’t put your hope in him or any politician.

Many of my liberal friends and relatives who supported Barack Obama in 2008 are now deeply disappointed. He is no more hope and change than Hugo Chavez was the answer for Venezuela’s problems. (Look at Venezuela–Chavez is dead and doesn’t care about his old country. But the living have to deal with Nicolas Maduro, poverty and diaper shortages. How about that?)

There’s only one way to walk away from the GOP, and that’s to walk toward something–someone–else. For a conservative Christian like me, it’s God. Our government may oppose Christianity, and Biblical orthodoxy. We, as Americans, may sin unrepentantly and take advantage of misplaced political trust. But the GOP can have its shotgun wedding to the proto-dictator Trump. They can cede the election to Clinton.

The GOP can march straight into the maw of Hades. I will shed a tear, but I won’t throw myself at their feet to be treated like a doormat any longer. I am free from that particular addiction. You should get free too.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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