A Return to Reason

My Vision for a Viable Republican Party

This is the story of a once proud Republican who, in the year 2020, found themselves voting against their party, not only at the top of the ticket but down the ballot in its entirety. 

The last four years have been rough. I’ve been disappointed more times than I can count by my chosen party in that time. But unexpectedly, nothing has been as bad as the weeks since the election, when my faith in Republican leadership and its everyday members have truly begun to waiver. From spreading conspiracy theories about the election (which are not backed up by any evidence, and have been summarily refuted by officials at the county, state and federal level), to people like Rush Limbaugh suggesting secession, I have to wonder if I’ll be willing to ever associate with the Grand Old Party again.

I want to. Believe me, I want to. I chose to be a Republican at 15; the tenets of the party naturally aligning with my personal beliefs. I liked the ideas of small government, lower taxes, states’ autonomy, Christian values and personal responsibility. I still believe in all of those things! 

But the party is different now and things will have to change significantly for me to rejoin its ranks in good conscience. With Trump in charge for the last four years, I’ve seen the foundational Republican principles completely neglected, replaced by obnoxious and harmful rhetoric of divisiveness and otherism. He has also engaged in a war on truth and the free press. These concepts are un-American and will ultimately lead to the end of the party, if not checked.

In this blog I intend to explore what is necessary for a Republican party to be viable moving forward. As younger people enter the voting pool, a majority of them will not choose to be a member of the Republican Party as it stands, tainted by the bigotry and merciless lack of empathy exhibited by Trump and his more ardent supporters. In recent history, Republican Presidential Candidates have a track record of losing the popular vote in the national election, and in order to change this we need leaders who expand the base, not repulse even their own members. Continuing with the dogma of Trump is not the way.

And yet more and more Trumpian candidates have popped up in the last three years. Fearmongering and demonization of other countries, immigrants, minorities and the Democrats only creates more conflict and negativity in our country. Why would we support leaders who actively create a more fearful and unstable environment? It is a manipulation of the electorate, and ultimately only serves to benefit them, as they gain power by stoking fear.

The Way Forward

In order for the party to heal and grow, we need to first go back to basics and check our own behavior. We need to look to the good in our fellow American instead of the negative. We need to focus on our original platform. We need to elect candidates who represent the best of us, both in character and intellect. 

Let’s spend the next four years eradicating the toxicity from the party. This can be done, not by ejecting people, but with strong leadership demonstrating solid morals and ethics, which in turn can help lead people onto a more enlightened path. 

Let’s get back to being fiscally conservative and stem the insane national debt that has grown significantly each year Trump has been in office. This failure has left us vulnerable during the pandemic, unable to provide assistance without creating an even more insurmountable debt. Perhaps in future elections we choose representatives who will prioritize working towards a balanced budget and reducing debt. Oh, and I don’t know, passing a spending bill BEFORE the government shuts down? …just saying.

Let’s not punish law makers for compromising across the aisle to get things done. And even better, let’s encourage them to do so. 

There is also the problem of the stereotypical Republican stance on social issues. Women’s rights, LGBTQ discrimination, environmental protection, etc. These were all issues where I diverged from the party, always describing myself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. As I didn’t feel for the most part that they were issues that the federal government should even be involved in, I ignored them. This is where my idealism fell into naivete. I grew up in a fairly inclusive town, never seeing any discrimination, racism or negativity towards minorities or gay people. I didn’t realize that the federal government does need to step in and enforce equal rights where people are being infringed upon or harassed. Trump has shined a light on how far we still have to go to fully realize the ideals of our Nation’s founders. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all

I really think there are many, many people in the Republican Party that do in fact support equality and science, Trump has just given oxygen and airtime to those who do not. And putting these issues aside will help create a welcoming environment for new members and really let us define ourselves in terms or our conservative theories on governance, which is the true point of the two party system.

To wrap up, it’s been frightening and heartbreaking to see so many respectable and good-hearted people in our country fall victim to the conspiracy theories and lies that the current President tells. Many people truly believe him. Two months ago I assumed that if Trump lost the election, then people would start to turn from him. I would never have imaged that a portion of the country would genuinely believe that the election was rigged despite the lack of evidence, yet here we are.

But as an idealist, that means by nature I’m also an optimist. I believe that Trump’s hold on the party WILL eventually fade, or that maybe they’ll form their own party separate from Republicans. And the sooner the better. I hope that more honorable and steadfast people run for Republican seats, and that we can argue for a more conservative and efficiently run government without vilifying others in the process. 

The great Abe Lincoln was our first Republican President. Let’s work towards re-implementing his inspiring vision for our incredible country: the longest standing democracy in the world!

Keep following as I air my many grievances with Trump, lament my subsequent political identity-crisis and share my thoughts on the path forward for a more progressive Republican Party that isn’t afraid of change, but governs conservatively. 

Thank you for reading and let me know your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Until next time,


A Festivus for the Rest of Us

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