After 48 years as a registered Republican, on the day the Trump tax plan passed and after weeks watching Republican support for an accused child molester, I drove to our town hall and told the clerk, “In good conscience, I can no longer be a Republican.” It was a sad day for me.

I remember the Republican Party as the party of fiscal responsibility, a party that promoted a strong middle class and upward mobility. That party understood that national security depends on close working relationships with other countries, that helping countries in need is not only moral, but also the best advertisement for a democratic form of government. Where did my party go?

I watched that party pull out our country’s credit card to add more than a trillion dollars to our national debt, burdening our children’s future. It was not a tool to relieve an ongoing recession but payback to campaign contributors, while contemplating reductions in Medicaid and Medicare for our poor and elderly.

I could not vote for Donald Trump. His racist, anti-immigrant and misogynistic rants told us who he is. Still, my hope was that other Republicans would provide the moral center that Trump lacks. Our Republican Congress refuses to stand up to Trump’s lies that often only require someone to say, “Roll the tape” to show their untruthfulness. When Republicans in small meetings say, “I can’t recall …” following Trump’s vulgar description of poor countries’ immigrants, I am embarrassed and saddened for the party. Sen. Susan Collins, a previously bright light for me, retreats to the safety of lukewarm comments, unresponsive to Trump’s autocratic attempts to weaken branches of government.

While I work to elect people and promote ideas that can help return this country to “that bright shining city on the hill,” I cast a disappointed backward glance toward a party that I loved, now complicit with a president who wants to be king.

Rita Saliba

Freeport