Nearly a year ago, on Jan. 9, 2020, after 13 years of waiting, a longtime hope of mine was fulfilled when I became a naturalized American citizen. Almost one year later, I watched in horror and sadness along with millions of my fellow Americans as men and women violently stormed the political heart of the country I love so dearly.
The rioting and destruction we witnessed over the summer were indefensible. And yes, the left has dangerous radicals of its own. Yet, Wednesday’s utterly shameful events are clear evidence that there is something gravely wrong in the country right now.
Like it or not, for the near future, America is stuck with a two-party system. So, with everything in its power, a restored and rebuilt Republican Party must be a part of the solution.
The Republican Party of the future cannot — not tacitly, not quietly, not in the slightest — encourage grievance or stoke anger. It must not aid, abet, or give any credence to wild conspiracy theories stemming from the likes of QAnon, Sidney Powell, and Lin Wood. The Republican Party of the future must once again become the party of the civil, the free, and the sane.
Most importantly, the Republican Party of the future cannot continue to endorse the view that any election lost to Democrats constitutes the literal end of the country. America is more resilient than that. Our Founders wisely and prudently instituted checks and balances and designed separation of powers to ensure that no single election, or even a series of elections, would break America beyond repair.
It’s not surprising that people do desperate, illegal, evil things when they are repeatedly told by politicians and commentators that Senate or presidential elections aren’t just important, but pose an existential threat to America if their side doesn’t win.
No, going forward, the local needs to replace the national, and we must tend to our towns and communities with far more fervor and dedication than we now devote to events involving the White House or occurring in states thousands of miles away from where we may actually live. Politics should not and cannot be the center of our lives and the source of our purpose.
What we saw on Jan. 6, 2021, is not a surprising result when people are falsely told their votes are meaningless because the elections are “rigged” and democracy in America is a sham. Nor is what we saw on Jan. 6, 2021, a surprising result when people are falsely told that an all-powerful, nefarious “Deep State” controls every lever of power in America and that a similarly shadowy cabal of “globalists” controls the world.
Here’s the truth: State legislatures and numerous audits and recounts did not find any widespread voting irregularities or fraud capable of overturning the 2020 election results. More than 60 legal challenges and lawsuits heard by judges from district courts to the U.S. Supreme Court — including three U.S. Supreme Court justices appointed by President Donald Trump himself — failed to prove any election-altering voter fraud, nor did an investigation by Trump’s own Attorney General Bill Barr.
The fact that can be gleaned from all available evidence is Trump lost the 2020 election, and it wasn’t that close. Unlike in 2000, this loss wasn’t anywhere near the 537-vote margin seen in Florida, a single state that held the result of the election in the balance. According to Trump’s own words in 2016, it was a landslide defeat — 306 Electoral College votes to 232.
Trump’s tenure as president was not without remarkable successes. What Trump accomplished in the Middle East, with multiple peace accords forged between the state of Israel and several Arab nations, is a diplomatic achievement without parallel over the last 30 years. The president’s efforts to end burdensome regulations deserve acclaim, as does his successful appointment of excellent originalist justices to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Yet, if the Republican Party wants to have any hopes of salvaging its image and winning another election, it must move beyond hitching its fortunes to one person, especially if that man is the destabilizing force known as Donald Trump. Let cults of personality belong to other parties and other nations, and let the American presidency rescind to the responsible power level envisioned to the executive branch by the Founders.
Finally, after not even bothering to publish a new platform in 2020 for the first time in its history, let the Republican Party once again stand for smart, intelligent, and informed ideas. Then, let them muster the strength and skill to follow through.
The United States needs a party to hold Democrats accountable — one that defends the U.S. Constitution, life, character, and free markets, and then leaves the American people alone to live their lives in peace. The Republican Party must decide, and decide quickly, whether it has the courage to take up that mantle again, or whether it wants to ride the rusted husk of what’s left of the Trump train straight into oblivion.