The party’s over. It’s time to call it a day. For Republicans, both nationally and locally, that means waking up and smelling the timber of their rotting platform before “Old” becomes more descriptive than “Grand” in their party’s monicker and the party collapses onto a heap of its predecessors, like the Federalists and the Whigs, from whom the Republicans sprang.
Donald Trump simply cannot become the party’s standard-bearer a third time. He barely succeeded once, when the country didn’t trust Hillary Rodham Clinton and appeared to be in a mood to shake things up, regardless of consequences. He then lost by a wider margin — yes, lost — to a hardly inspiring, still not well-liked alternative, Joe Biden, and, like a spoiled brat, tried every tactic — above board and below — to undermine the legitimacy of the election. Even Richard Nixon — who despite protestations later proved to be a crook — refused to do that in 1960, when a stronger case could be made that the election had been stolen.
It’s not just Trump that the party must get rid of, however. It’s state and local functionaries whose beliefs are so extreme that, unless they resort to smear tactics, will prevent the party from ever winning major office in a general election because their views are so far out of line with those of the majority of voters and their prideful intransigence is so extreme that they will never compromise, even if it means sending the country into chaos.
A handful of dyed-in-the-wool Republicans seem to think it’s perfectly fine to avoid governing and instead bay at the moon about hot-button issues — transgendered people on sports fields and in restrooms, creationism instead of evolution, refusing even to consider notions about racial entitlement, blaming all of society’s ills on illegal immigrants as if they were Jews in Nazi Germany, insisting on totally unfettered rights to firearms but blocking every attempt for people to exert their rights to determined whom to marry and whether to have a child. Insisting on the supremacy of their personal version of Christian law to anything enacted by any government is just a dangerous as is the ideology of Islamic terrorists in their fundamentalist madrasas.
The purpose of politics isn’t to shout. It’s to get things done — often by compromise that leaves neither side completely happy. Yet some Republicans seem to enjoy the fight more than the cause they supposedly are fighting for. They label registered Republicans like me, expressing views of what I believe are the vast majority of members of our party, as Republicans in name only — RINOs. Well, it’s about time the so-called RINOs lower their horns and charge back, demanding that extremists give up the choke hold they have on a party that never viewed itself the way they want it to be seen.
Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, took bold action to end slavery. Theodore Roosevelt targeted huge corporations that hinder the common man. Dwight Eisenhower won the biggest war ever, insisted on civil rights, and presided over Planned Parenthood. Richard Nixon, despite his foibles, opened up international relations, insisted on budgeting in which bureaucrats had to justify not just extra dollars but every dollar spent, eliminated entangling strings attached to federal grants, and created modern environmentalism. George H.W. Bush masterfully got the world to side with us when Kuwait was invaded and wisely kept us from becoming entrenched in an endless war in the Persian Gulf.
Being a Republican like me means that you favor giving individuals as much control and responsibility for their lives as possible but you also are compassionate and sensible in having government step in as necessary. Contrary to the radicals who have gripped the party, we believe government shouldn’t be used as a tool to advance social agendas, whether they are the left-leaning agendas of Democrats or the right-leaning agendas of radical Republicans.
Yet if a Republican — any Republican — were to come forward espousing such philosophies, the radical powers-that-be within the party would starve him or her of contributions and deprive him or her of primary election votes necessary to become a winner in a general election. Instead, some knee-jerk hack, screaming about issues that really impact no one, would be substituted and, as happened this month, be rejected by the voting public at large.
One can only imagine how much salivating with joy went on in the back rooms of the Democratic Party as tax-and-spend insiders who are determined to remake us a “woke” society listened Tuesday night to Trump’s re-emergence as a presidential candidate. He isn’t the candidate they fear most. He’s the candidate they could defeat without even breaking a sweat, which might be hard for their incumbent to do.
Before the party can get rid of Trump, however, it must replace all the Trumpettes who have infiltrated its local hierarchy and now exert undue influence over grassroots politics within the party. That means the party needs volunteers — people like you! — to step forward and be willing to provide the type of calm, well-reasoned, compromising leadership necessary to transform the Republicans back into a party that governs instead of one that simply spews criticism.
— ERIC MEYER