I have a reasonably diverse gathering of friends from work. We hang out and we go to lunches together. Several of them are registered Republicans, however both of them hesitate to admit this in mixed company, and when they do, they call themselves '80's Republicans' because they're ashamed of what their own party has become.
So the Republican National Convention is going on in Florida and it's all over reddit and the various news agencies. The blatent disenfranchising of the Ron Paul delegates, specifically, gets it for me. That and their official platform. Namely the fact that the first item on the GOP platform is "Preserve and protect traditional marriage", while the first item on the Democrat platform is "Economy".
But it's the fact that the people in control of the republican party now are even cheating their own people, and not just cheating everyone else.
Edit - This vid explains what's gone down better than I did -
So basically, during the primary elections, every person who stays in the running gets delegates that represent the percentage of the state that voted for each candidate. Despite Romney being the declared candidate for the Republican party, Ron Paul actually won 6 states, and never dropped out of the running.
He still has over 170 delegates, and under NORMAL circumstances, the RNC would allow delegates from each state come up and state which candidate had won there, and how many delegates went to the different candidates.
This year at the very start of the RNC, a new Rule was proposed that only delegates for Romney would get any floor time, and no delegates for any other candidates would even get to speak. They also voted for some reason I'm not yet clear on, to ignore Maine's delegates all together. This rule was to be voted by vocal majority - basically the Yay's and the Nay's called out from the crowd.
The No's were audibly louder than the Yay's - the clip is trending on Youtube right now if you're interested in watching it. Despite the loud 'no's' in the crowd, the new rule was passed and all Ron Paul Delegates got the shaft.
The reason that Maine was ignored was because Maine made it so that Paul got 6 states, and by the RNC's own rules, if a candidate gets 6 states, they have to be given 15 minutes to speak on the RNC stage, and they denied him that by denying his wins.
An excerpt from that article that I found rather poignant -
Yelena Vorobyov, a 30-year-old Paul delegate from Apple Valley, Minnesota, was eager to vent. Barely taking a breath, she said: "This is just evidence of the manipulation of the Republican Party. They're not even allowing us to bring signs in, but they brought in their own [pro-Romney] signs. We couldn't nominate Ron Paul. The 'no' for not passing the rules was louder than the 'aye' and they ruled in favor of the rules. They're cheating. The Republican National Committee is not transparent and does not have integrity. They stole votes. They stole delegates. They refused to send busses for our delegates. It's a totalitarian process. This is not democracy. It's a really sad day for us. I've worked for Republican candidates since I was 16. We believed the Republican Party had more integrity. Boy, did they prove us wrong."
Interesting story to go along with this came out of Nevada's delegates. The chosen delegate from Nevada was supposed to come up and declare the 5 delegates that Romney got in that state. Instead he took stage and declared Nevada for Ron Paul, and listed off the other 5 states he won, since they were all denied floor time.
Because its so true. Which is why the bipartisan system is so broken. Not even Republican's want to call themselves republicans anymore. The party they corresponded to (in the 80's) doesn't reflect those same values they were attracted to in the beginning.
They've changed in spirit, but not in name -- which is the worst kind of change because it doesn't admit any change.