Updated: Aug 18, 2019
Bart Collins, a 45-year-old lifelong Myrtle Beach, SC resident and Republican has had enough of President Trump and the Republican Party, which he believes has irresponsibly followed and supported a president that Collins says should be impeached.
Collins is so committed to seeing an end to the Trump administration that he is now a Democratic Party volunteer determined to help elect Democratic candidates and defeat President Trump, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Tom Rice.
“I’m not just opposing President Trump,” he said in an interview with HCDP News. “The Republican party has lost me for good.”
Noting that until the last presidential election he had always voted a straight GOP ticket, Collins said, “I was happy worrying about what was going on in my life. I’m busy enough, but this has rocked American politics, I think, to our foundation. The Republicans, I can never get behind them again.”
Collins said he wants to see President Trump impeached on charges of obstruction of justice.
“I think it’s important for our Constitution, for our government, for our way of life that this man is held accountable for the awful things that he’s done. There are 10 obvious instances of obstruction of justice and that’s a pretty big deal”.
But failing impeachment, Collins says he is determined to help in the effort to defeat he president in the November 2020 election.
This is a big deal for Collins, a firefighter/emergency medical technician (EMT), who grew up in a family that always referred to Democrats as “those damned Democrats.” Most of his lifelong friends are determined supporters of President Trump, despite his attacks on health care, the environment, the truth, and his coziness with dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jung Un.
In fact, being a Republican in South Carolina is what's expected in this scarlet red state, says Collins. “Being a conservative Republican got co-mingled with the identify of being a southern man, or southerner – more specifically, a white southerner. I think there are people who feel like they would be betraying their heritage by not supporting the Republican Party.”
He added, “We see so many otherwise good, moral, intelligent, ethical people that are following the incredibly, obviously unethical, immoral person in the White House. They’re not just saying, ‘OK, I’m going to go along with this guy.’ They’re dug in, with venom.”
He experiences this in his own home, with his own family, Collins said, noting that his older brother, who phone banked for the Reagan-Bush campaign when he was 14, tells him he should move to California and live with all the other left-wing wackos.
President Trump’s constant lying – over 12,000 since his election, according to the Washington Post – was cited by Collins as a key reason why he cannot support the president, although he said he didn’t vote for him in 2016 having already been turned off by his demand for a wall, his promise that Mexico would pay for it, and on and on.
“Did anyone believe Mexico would pay for that wall?” Collins asked. “I guess some people did.”
Collins is angry with the GOP for not having the courage to oppose Trump when he makes his racist statements and pushes for policies that actually hurt working people, despite his false promises and claims to the contrary.
The environment and Trump’s policies to exploit our national parks and resources for oil drilling and exploitation angers Collins, including such policies as the recent plan to rescind Obama-era regulations designed to promote clean energy and curtail the use of coal.
“Since when is the need for clean air a partisan issue?” Collins said. “We’re all in this together.”