Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas dropped out of the presidential race on Tuesday, sealing Donald Trump’s chances of winning the Republican nomination and kindling a firestorm among Republicans on social media.
Some conservatives burned their Republican voter registration cards, calling to mind the protesters who burned their draft cards in opposition to the Vietnam War.
Others shared images of forms changing their party affiliation.
I have officially de-registered as a Republican. pic.twitter.com/DjRI21Oyvx
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) May 4, 2016
The stream of social media outcry marks a pivotal point in U.S. political history, said historian Dan T. Carter.
“It does reflect, in ways that I never anticipated, the divisions that have existed for a generation within the Republican Party, but that have been papered over by the success of various Republican candidates,” Carter said. “Those tensions are now there for all to see.”
The outrage sprang up across the gamut of the Republican Party, from conservative writers and strategists to elected officials and rank-and-file voters.
the GOP is going to nominate for President a guy who reads the National Enquirer and thinks it's on the level. I'm with her.
— Mark Salter (@MarkSalter55) May 3, 2016
I am no longer a Republican.
— Ben (@BenHowe) May 4, 2016
If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed…….and we will deserve it.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 3, 2016
Never ever ever Trump. Simple as that.
— Tim Miller (@Timodc) May 4, 2016
To one side stands an angry nativist mob and to the other men and women of decent character and honorable purpose https://t.co/TPaqfw5OVd
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) May 4, 2016
And many angry conservatives took on RNC chairman Reince Priebus, after he tweeted last night that the party should unite around Trump.
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) May 4, 2016
— Brian Bartlett (@BrianBartlett) May 4, 2016
.@reince says to Republicans "we all need to unite" around Trump. With all due respect, Mr. Chairman, no we don't. And no we won't.
— Peter Wehner (@Peter_Wehner) May 4, 2016
Sorry Mr. Chairman, not happening. I have to put country over party. I cannot support a dangerous phony https://t.co/1hCoR3OmJ6
— Garrett Jackson (@dgjackson) May 4, 2016
— Michele Reece (@GSDSRULE1) May 4, 2016