In her venomous attack against “leftist liberals,” Brenda Sutton ("Community Voices: Just walk away from the Democratic Party," Aug. 3) asks “right-thinking” folks to join the “walk away” movement and leave the Democratic Party.

Walk away from what? Most of my life I was a proud, dedicated Republican who worked closely with Republican leaders of integrity, including Bob Dole, Ronald Reagan and George Deukmejian. However, in 2000, when I noticed that my party was headed in the wrong direction, I walked away.

Republican Party leadership was turning away from the GOP’s long-standing values established by Honest Abe Lincoln, and continued by dedicated warriors like Bob Dole and John McCain. Respect, honesty, courteous discourse and inclusion were no longer priorities. Instead, the trend was toward disrespect, dishonesty, increased racism and sexism, as well as the self-righteous bigotry so vividly expressed by Brenda Sutton.

Another traditional GOP standard always called for a smaller, honest, transparent government with a balanced budget. Yet, the current Republican leadership that enthusiastically passed the Trump tax cut, has inflated our national debt from between $1.9 trillion to $2.3 trillion. Now Trump wants to give his billionaire buddies (and himself) another huge tax cut.

Worse yet, Donald Trump repeatedly violates the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution to personally enrich himself and his family while holding the office of President of the United States. All this and much more continues behind closed doors and hidden tax returns, while the GOP leadership abandons its constitutional responsibilities of checks and balances on the executive branch, which coddles our country’s enemies and insults as well as undermines our loyal allies. Give me a break! If that’s what Brenda Sutton wants us to walk toward, no thanks!

In considering my options, “No party affiliation” sounds attractive. However, that wouldn’t solve the problem. I cannot stand by and watch the destruction of one of our two major parties, our constitutional form of government, as well as a wannabe dictator who constantly lies to protect his own backside. So, if my choice is between what Democrats and Trumpicans stand for today, I proudly choose the Democrats.

Mary Helen Barro graduated magna cum laude from Bakersfield College and Cal State Bakersfield. She has master's in early childhood education, is a teacher-tutor and writes grants for nonprofit organizations.