LOUISVILLE, KY—Marshall Bailey is not unlike other red-state Americans. He starts his day at 6:00AM, has a cup of coffee, battles traffic, and shoots dogs for fun. He is devoutly religious, family-oriented, supports the troops and votes Republican. Many of his Bush-supporting friends and neighbors don’t suspect that he is any different than they. But Bailey has been sitting on a secret for a very long time: He is against the war in Iraq.
When Ron Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas, entered the presidential race for the Republican nomination he brought a shock to the nation’s consciousness that someone in public life could be both Republican and against the war. Though he has been largely ignored in the primaries, he energized a legion of faithful followers who have been inspired to “come out of the closet” voicing their long-time opposition to President Bush’s foreign policy in Iraq.
“Ever since I joined this party during the Reagan years I always knew I was different from the other Republicans,” Bailey said, “I didn’t enjoy throwing knives at pictures of Mikhail Gorbachev, smoking tobacco rolled in 100 bills, or burning effigies of Bill Clinton. Mine was a belief in fiscal conservatism and extreme isolationism that was lost in the shuffle of big government compassionate conservatism hawkish neo-con ideology.”
Bailey is not alone in his silent suffering. Robert Meyers, a former intern in the Whitehouse said, “I always felt weird when I was around Cheney. I just had these strange feelings of discontent that oil mongering and war profiteering wasn’t the American way. It was at that moment I knew I was a peacenik.”
“The liberty and freedom I feel now that I have come out against the war is exhilarating. No longer do I feel like I am hiding something dark and dirty. I am proud to be against the war,” said Meyers.
Not all are happy, however, about the newfound sense of freedom Bailey and Meyers are experiencing. In response, some from the extreme fringe of hawkishness has formed a group called “God Hates RAGS”—RAGS standing for Republicans Against George [Bush] and Stuff. “This is outrageous. We are going to protest the funeral of the next one of these clowns who drops dead,” commented the organizations founder Hugh Hewitt.
But Bailey and Meyers are not dissuaded, “We have been seeing each other since the summer of 2007… at Ron Paul campaigns I mean,” said Bailey, “Seriously, we are not gay.”