Hesham A. Hassaballa
I have voted ever since I came of age at 18. I still remember voting for Ross Perot while I was away at college at Marquette University.
But ever since then, I have been a Republican. I have even been a committeeman and assistant committeeman in my local Republican Party organization. And in 2000, my wife and I both well remember when I left her in labor at the hospital long enough to go and enthusiastically cast my vote for George W. Bush.
I have always been attracted to the GOP and have felt most at home in the party of Abraham Lincoln. After all, I do live in the Land of Lincoln. More importantly, I like the Republican Party’s traditional ideals: Government should not dictate to people what they do in their own personal lives; government should not intrude on people's privacy; taxes are the people's money and should be handled with the utmost care. Moreover, my socially conservative views are welcome in the Republican Party, and I do not feel ridiculed as I sometimes do when I engage Democrats in conversation.
But in the past seven years, I have had a tremendous identity crisis as a American Muslim Republican. And after much gut-wrenching contemplation, I have decided to leave the Party.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with