In the mid-20th century, largely as a result of the Civil Rights Movement and integration, thousands of Southern Democrats moved to the Republican Party, which now rules the Deep South.
The Democratic Party had moved too far to the left for them.
The elevation of Paul Ryan to the Republican ticket and Mitt Romneys recent pronouncements (e.g., that he would sign a personhood amendment) underscore the fact that in the past few years it is the Republican Party that has changed radically.
It has become dominated by the right wing of that party, by advocates of personhood legislation that would make an abortion and some forms of birth control a murder, even in cases of rape and incest, and by tea party folks who, in favor of a dreamy notion of rough individualism and with faith in an unfettered free market, want to dispose of the government programs that provide all of us with necessary services, protections, infrastructures and the safety net that includes Medicare.
With this seismic shift to the right, it may be time for moderate Republicans and centrist independents to look for a new home in the Democratic Party, especially because much of the recent legislation advanced by the Democrats, such as health care reform, finds roots in the ideas of moderate Republicans.
Marilyn Keat State College