Will the GOP become the POT?

I am watching with great sadness as the Grand Old Party of Abraham Lincoln becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Trump Enterprises.

The current rupture within an erstwhile reputable party alarms many of us as we watch radical Trump devotees challenge the integrity of their own political institution. I imagine this chaos among the Republican leadership is as sad for many of my Republican friends as it is for me.

But this is more than just an ugly family feud; this is a deep danger to our entire nation.

When our founders challenged the age-old authoritarian rights of kings in order to form a new nation, they struggled to clarify what kind of nation this should be: to define who gets a say, who has a vote, and who should be in charge. Although they created a remarkable, history changing government, they still enshrined typical cultural assumptions as they answered those questions: white, male, property owners had the say, got the vote, and stayed in charge.

When Abraham Lincoln saw how that approach had devolved into unsupportable inequities and violent oppression, he confronted toxic structures and helped create a new political party grounded in the ideals of America’s original Declaration: “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator . . .”

The party of Lincoln challenged unjust laws and crafted a new vision for our nation’s government: “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” It was not perfect, but it envisioned a more perfect union.

After Lincoln’s assassination, the Democratic President Andrew Johnson sought to reverse almost every hard-won advance for human rights. Soon the hope of a new vision with reconstruction devolved into a Jim Crow South while the Grand Old Party distanced itself from emboldened racial violence because, you know: states rights.

Then the Democratic Party finally saw the light, got a backbone and, (in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln) enshrined human rights, equal rights into federal law with Civil Rights legislation in the mid-1960s.

This ideological and political shift prompted another family feud when many white southern Democrats left their party in droves and embraced the Grand Old Party’s devotion to local control because, you know: no one can tell us what to do. We’ll treat our people, organize our schools, and run our elections however we see fit.

Somewhere in that clamor for states rights, the U.S. founders’ vision for equal rights and the GOP founders’ vision for human rights got lost. The Grand Old Party increasingly became the Grand Old White Christian Party.

Fast forward to 2021. A chasm now exists between facts and fiction, between reality and deception, between Republicans’ commitment to traditional conservative values—or allegiance to Trump.

This nation needs a political party that represents the traditional values of conservative principles. We need a Republican Party that will collaborate with their Democratic colleagues so our nation can move forward together. That will never happen if the Grand Old Party becomes the Party of Trump.

Please, my Republican friends, save your party and preserve our nation.

Published as a guest column to The Paris News, Paris TX, February 2021.

7 thoughts on “Will the GOP become the POT?

  1. I am truly sorry to be very late to your game, if it is one. It is now almost a year since you first penned the words above. What has happened in that year? A lot.

    As a former Republican (I switched my registration a year ago) who is turning 75, I’ve seen a lot happen and paid a lot of attention along the way. Yes, it is sad that the GOP is now the Party of Trump. The POT is full of people who want to see white privilege and supremacy stay in the forefront. They feel threatened and are reacting in a disturbing manner. Instead of seeking to understand and engage for the sake of good discussion and learning, they are becoming more boisterous in the actions of repudiation where there can be no learning and no discussion.

    Sadly, we are seeing our greatness as a people erode into extreme partisanship where distrust and disgust are reproducing themselves at an alarming rate. Do keep fighting the good fight.

    1. You too, Byron. I believe there are more of us reasonable citizens than there are radicals. May we persevere.

  2. Read your article – I sense your tone of reprimand if we are a President Trump supporter. I have been a Republican supporter since I was able to vote – now am retired. I watched over and over and over again, how my voice was suppressed in the name of “collaboration”. I will support a candidate who aligns with my beliefs, states what he will accomplish, and then follows through. Sounds simple, few complete even a fraction of their “promises”.
    “We need a Republican Party that will collaborate with their Democratic colleagues”….hmm. Have you been following the events in Washington these past few days? Even Democrats are having a hard time finding common ground with other Democrats on common sense issues – Keystone Pipeline, minimum wage.
    Please allow each of us to have an opinion -express those opinions and actually have a conversation. I find it appalling that you would assume that those who support President Trump are not interested in “saving our nation”. Did you participate any of the local Trump parades? Your hypothesis has definite flaws.

    1. Interesting comment. If you are not concerned that Trump and his devotees are taking over your party and radicalizing it, then I guess I’m not talking to you. I’m addressing reasonable Republicans who want to take their party back. Those are the folks with whom I am reaching out to have a conversation. Thanks for reading though.

  3. When I saw the title, my first guess was Party of Trash. Same difference, I think. The man might be out of office, but he wields a lot of influence.

    1. One viewpoint about the GOP changes and challenges since January is that the Republican party’s PEOPLE are having to reckon with the consequences of Trump’s promises, his version of the election’s results, the events of January, and the backlash from other Americans and law enforcement. It’s been quite a cataclysmic time. Followers of Trump are getting some feedback they may not have seen coming, other than “libs to own”. A reckoning while some re-evaluate.
      Republican POLITICIANS, meantime, are having to reckon with the Trump followers. Quite the dilemma.

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