Under the hashtag #ILefttheGOP, former Republicans recounted their breaking points and subsequent exodus from the right.
Some of the stories were simple, like that of Peter Mitchell, who left the party because of Mr Trump.
“#ILefttheGOP because of Trump...this isn’t the party I voted for anymore...idk if I will ever go back.”
Christopher Zullo, who identifies himself as a “Rockefeller Republican” and a “Regulatory Capitalist” pointed to Mr Trump’s regulatory rollbacks and disregard for international agreements like the Paris Accords for why he turned away from the GOP.
“Trump comes into office. Rips down every clean air, water, financial regulation. Blows up global agreements. Starts trade wars with allies. Passes budget doubling 1% tax cut. Pulls out of Syria. Bombs Iran. Divides nation with reality TV show elimination governing #ILeftTheGOP”
User @Chaddo18 said he left in November because he felt the party had failed to stand up to “an increasingly obvious tyrant.”
#ILeftTheGOP right before I registered to vote in 1987. I thought Republicans were learned sophisticates like Buckley, but when I went south for college I discovered they were...not.— Virginia Heffernan (@page88)January 27, 2020
“#ILeftTheGOP in November after 3 years of hoping the party would have the decency and strength to stand up to an increasingly obvious tyrant. But they are content for Trump to be not only King, but God, trading righteousness for lies and cruelty. Pray for people to take a stand.”
Though Mr Trump was frequently the stated cause of their defections, he wasn’t the only reason given by those using the hashtag. John Slater had a much more personal reason for leaving the party.
“#ILeftTheGOP when my high school friend came back in a body bag from Iraq.”
User @BeeInTheBreeze left the party in 2003 because she felt the party was manipulating working-class voters and Christians.
damn, #ILeftTheGOP is trending and everyone is saying the same thing: They left because of Trump.
This man really is the most hated dude of the century.— 🇬🇭Danie Destiny Hill 🌊🇺🇸 (@HillDanie)January 27, 2020
“#ILeftTheGOP in 2003 when I realised the party routinely manipulates working class people into voting against their own interests so the billionaires can keep getting richer and richer. Furthermore, they claim Christian values but couldn’t be further from them.”
Christiana Doucette said she was driven from the party due to a controversial conservative personality. But it wasn’t Mr Trump.
— ᙭ΞDDGE 🌹🍕 (@XEDDGE)January 27, 2020
“#ILeftTheGOP over the response to Roy Moore. I hadn’t voted for Trump, but until that point, hoped those within the party would reign him in. It was obvious then that wouldn’t happen. And I refused to be a part of it. I grew up GOP, and had only ever voted GOP before that.”
The hashtag was started by Cheri Jacobus, a self-described “Never Trump” conservative and political pundit. She said she left in 2016 when the party nominated Trump and asked others to share their stories.
“#ILeftTheGOP in July, 2016 as they nominated Trump. When did you,” she wrote. “Use the hashtag and give us your date! Tag those you know cut the cord:)”