A Democratic sheriff in Indiana has publicly abandoned his party just two months ahead of the November election, and he cited his faith and attacks from members of his former party on law enforcement and the American flag on the way out.
Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding announced the switch last week outside of a business in Evansville while in the presence of Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, a Republican.
The Evansville Courier & Press reported Wedding was elected sheriff as a Democrat in 2014 and again in 2018.
By switching parties publicly, he wanted to make a statement against nationwide civil unrest and anti-police sentiment, according to WFIE-TV.
Wedding believes the Democratic Party has lost its compass.
“The Democrats represented hard-working individuals,” he told WFIE.
“People who were just working-class America and they believed in values, family and that you’ve got to work to achieve. I think we’ve lost that in the Democratic Party. I was one of the people who had nothing growing up and I’ve worked to achieve. I’m proud of where I was and where I am today.”
A high-profile Democrat disavowed the direction of the party in a public pledge to stand against it.
It makes you wonder how many other lifelong, moderate Democrats have become political refugees, but don’t have a platform to express their frustrations.
Wedding continued: “Watching the daily burning of American flags, failing to be able to use the word God in any sentence at most Democrat-led functions, denouncing law enforcement as if we’re the evil people.
“I am very proud of my profession in law enforcement and when people attack us, it’s pretty insulting,” he said.
Local Democrats were of course less than thrilled.
The Democratic Party of Vanderburgh County issued a response to Wedding’s very public disavowal of its values.
“While we are disappointed with Dave Wedding’s decision to leave the Democratic party, we are more disappointed with the reasoning he provided the community for his choice,” the group said in a statement.
“We are aware that there are many conversations regarding police reform on a national level. However, Sheriff Wedding knows that the Democratic majorities on the County Commissioners and City Council have been strongly and consistently supportive of local law enforcement,” the statement added.
The statement attacked Wedding, claiming Republican “budgetary restraints” have held back law enforcement in the county.
The local chapter of the Democratic Party characterized Wedding’s switch to a new party as both “political opportunism” and “distasteful.”
Interestingly enough, county Democrats did not touch on the substance of the sheriff’s statement explaining why he was leaving the party.
Perhaps that’s because they can’t defend the indefensible.
Party leadership at the national level stayed largely silent about the rioting until they realized it was hurting them in the polling, which led presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, to release underwhelming statements in opposition to theft and arson.
Vice President Mike Pence, the former governor of the state, welcomed Wedding and Posey County Sheriff Tom Latham to the Republican Party:
Two Democrat Sheriffs in Indiana joined the Republican Party! Proud to welcome Sheriff Dave Wedding of Vanderburgh Co. and Sheriff Tom Latham of Posey Co. to the GOP! Under President @realdonaldtrump we stand for Law & Order and we Back the Blue! https://t.co/7JQNfnAGwl
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) September 4, 2020
“Two Democrat Sheriffs in Indiana joined the Republican Party! Proud to welcome Sheriff Dave Wedding of Vanderburgh Co. and Sheriff Tom Latham of Posey Co. to the GOP! Under President @realdonaldtrump we stand for Law & Order and we Back the Blue!” he tweeted last week.
Latham made the switch to the GOP in June, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.
“I have always lived my life by conservative values and have felt strongly that a political party does not define me as a person,” Latham said at the time.
Latham added: “That being said, my values — and the values of today’s Democrat platform — are so different that I can no longer call myself a Democrat. The unity and hope once idealized by John F. Kennedy has been replaced with divisiveness and anger.”
Both sheriffs’ public exit from the party serves as more evidence that Democrats are losing people in middle.
The American public generally doesn’t seem to be in favor of spikes in violent crimes and rhetoric threatening their safety and property.
If you’re a police officer, your every move is now under scrutiny, and that situation isn’t going to improve if Democrats take the White House — not even if you’re one of them.
The 2020 election is no longer just a party matchup featuring Democratic versus Republican platforms.
It’s an election about the survival of the American principles of liberty, free speech and the right to protect one’s self from both tyranny and mob rule.
In essence, 2020 is about preserving the American way of life, and Sheriffs Wedding and Latham have both chosen the country over a party that left them behind long ago.
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