By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Dec 17, 2015 at 4:36 PM

The opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, its advertisers or editorial staff.

At long last, after years of avoiding it, after decades of making fun of it, I have finally given in.

I am now a Republican. I’m a member of the GOP, founded in Ripon in our very own state. A lot of my friends are asking what has happened to make this dyed-in-the-wool liberal turn into a member of the Republican party.

The answer is simple and it has nothing to do with platforms or positions on issues or financial support or anything like that.

I have become a Republican because it’s more fun than being a Democrat.

All my life I’ve been all about fun. When golf stopped being fun, I quit. I used to scoff at NPR but once I tried it I found out how much fun it is. I used to avoid classical music like the plague and now I can’t wait to have fun at Handel’s "Messiah" this holiday season.

The truth is that Democrats have stopped being fun. It started with all the excitement over Barack "Change We Can Believe In" Obama. The promise far outstripped the reality and rather than change we didn’t really get much, unless you consider giving health care to poor people a big deal.

Then we have this campaign now with Hillary Clinton going to run over everyone on her way to the White House. I thought Bernie Sanders might be fun, but he’s too angry. You can’t be angry and fun at the same time.

So now I am a grateful and hopeful Republican. The joys of watching my guys (and one lady) debate in Las Vegas (the capitol of fun in the United States) were profound. These candidates are fun.

Here we had a whole bunch of candidates – each trying to prove that they were the toughest, meanest, most nasty person the the stage. They tried to outdo each other, and even got to the point that it wouldn’t matter if women and children got killed while we bombed the daylights out of ISIS. Now that’s really fun. Bombing. It’s like a fancy video game.

Then they had these big fights over which foreigners should be allowed to come to America. This was kind of like playground fights, complete with name calling.

One of the funnest things to do is pick the sides before you play a game. You pick the  best player first and finally there are only the bad players left and nobody wants them on their team. That’s kind of like Rand Paul and John Kasich and Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina (I’m not going to talk to Putin and I’ve done business in China and North Korea has a bad guy running it and I’m a woman and that makes me a better candidate) and Chris Christie who said his eyes were glazed over.

There is so much fun in trying to guess who is going to shout the loudest and take over the stage temporarily. In my house we even made a drinking game of it. My niece’s husband, who had Bush in the pool, was so drunk he even slept over. On the floor. Of the kitchen. God, were we laughing!

The other laugh we got was a pool we had. Everybody picked a number of words that Ben Carson would say with his eyes closed. We all put five bucks into the  pool, with closest to the actual number winning. My next door neighbor won with 2,144, just 82 off the actual number. We had $85 in the pot. It was really fun watching this toy  counter we had move ahead and everyone  rooting for it to stop or keep going.

Then there is the most fun of all, watching Donald Trump. While everyone else was scrambling around, he was the guy who was in charge of the whole thing (even more so than Wolf Blitzer). We all tried to be serious about this whole thing, but it’s impossible not to laugh when Trump is on camera, either talking for just listening. He’s kind of the Don Rickles of the campaign. There is no insult he won’t use. He nearly killed Bush, over and over. If you like watching mixed martial arts you’d probably like Trump vs. Bush.

Whatever this whole thing is, it is obviously a lot more fun than watching Hillary spell out a detailed position paper on climate control. Ho-hum.

And that’s why I’m switching horses. I know it may seem strange and it even seems a little strange to me. But I’m here for the time being. I’m hoping Scott Walker pays off his debt and gets back into the race.  I’m sending him a small check.

Some people may think my switch is a temporary thing. But it’s not.

Right now, it feels like a permanent switch. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.