A reader writes:

I used to vote a straight Republican ticket. At a recent party, when the subject of politics came up, the best I could do was to describe myself as an embittered ex-Republican. I just can't quite call myself a Democrat, even though I profoundly desire them to win next week.

Why do I feel this way after so many years of considering myself a conservative?  There are too many reasons to list.  The unencumbered growth of government, impulse toward theocracy, homophobia, meaningless flag-waving and fear mongering all come to mind. The biggest reason, however, is Iraq. I am a cancer surgeon.  My practice depends on a few things such as accountability, willingness to admit and learn from errors, and to incorporate new research into practice. I find it stunning that Bush has held no one accountable for the fiasco in Iraq, least of all himself. This adherence to dogma, repudiation of facts, and unwillingness to look at any new evidence all are indicative of an administration completely removed from reality. I'm afraid their brand of "conservatism" is entirely unfamiliar to me.

While I may be conflicted about how to characterize my political allegiances, I have no doubt about how I'm going to vote Tuesday. I don't just want the Republicans to lose, I want them to lose big.

Me too. I want an earthquake, because that's the only thing that will force this White House to face reality. But I will make no predictions.

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