There are several events in history that have occurred because of a lie. Salem Witch Trials and the January 6, 2021 Insurrection on the United States Capitol are among those on a long list. We are still feeling the effects of the Insurrection almost five months later, whether it be through the denial that the event occurred in the way it did or whether allies of former President Trump continue to spread the Big Lie, even after their lives were threatened that day.
One member of the GOP has not bent the knee to the Mad King’s lie, and that is Liz Cheney. While her policy positions align with Donald Trump’s, it’s the effect that the Big Lie has had on American democracy that has ultimately deterred her from supporting him any longer. Unfortunately, she has not been able to pave the way for a new (or old, depending on the way you look at it) direction in the Republican party, away from Trumpism, and she has suffered the consequences of failing to follow the pack (or cult, depending on how you feel about political parties). The ousting of Liz Cheney from her position as chair of the House Republican Conference post on Wednesday, May 12th is a significant point for the future of the Republican party, and it doesn’t mean good days ahead. I believe we are seeing the downfall and subsequent dissolve of a party that will eventually cease to exist in our lifetime.
I previously discussed the newfound fame that Marjorie Taylor Greene was getting back in February (The Elephant in the Room) and it’s obvious that voices like hers don’t reflect all members of the Republican party. However, they tend to be the loudest, thus forcing a generalization from those outside of the GOP and creating an image of foil hat-wearing, conspiracy theorists that don’t care about the issues, but instead “owning the libs” and gaining fame for being despicable and illogical. Unfortunately, between the generalizations of the GOP by the left, the rise of the Tea Party and thus Donald Trump, and claiming something is true enough times even though it’s not, views will change, and people will begin to believe misinformation and disinformation, disregarding the facts and real meaning of being in the Republican party (small government, strong national defense, etc.).
Some have chosen to disassociate themselves with the craziness that has coupled with the GOP in recent years and have changed their party affiliation. It could be because of the lost election, the Insurrection, former President Trump’s tenure as President and leader of the party, or any other personal reason that some may have for leaving the GOP. Although the outcome of the vote to remove Cheney from her leadership post was predictable, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah tweeted a warning what the effect could be of such an action:
Warnings from current and former members of the party such as this one should be taken seriously. The focus on policy and the way forward is the direction with which the Republican party should take. The current way in which the party has operated hasn’t been working in the last four years as the GOP has lost the House, Senate, and the Presidency.
A recalibration is needed to figure out where their priorities lie, which should include proposing laws to ensure better lives for the American people, working as best as possible with the Democratic party, and focusing on the ideals that have made the party great in the past. While one may not agree with Liz Cheney on her policies (she has a high rating with the American Conservative Union), it is the courage of her convictions and adherence to the Constitution as she pledged to do that makes her a respected official. Her replacement, Elise Stefanik, is a moderate Republican with a low rating from the American Conservative Union. While I may agree with her taking a moderate stance in terms of her policy positions, it’s her allegiance to former President Trump and especially to the Big Lie that makes her appointment a hard pill to swallow.
There are many people, mainly those that belong to the Republican party, that may be saying that this is not what average Americans are worrying about. Instead, they are worrying about finding gas in areas that have experienced a gas shortage or getting back on their feet after a pandemic has ravaged the economy. I agree with this sentiment, but what these people fail to realize is that this infighting and direction of the party is intertwined with how our government and democracy operate.
Our government mainly operates on a two-party system, and until a third party (or another party that replaces the GOP) gains prominence, it’s the Democrats and the Republicans that need to work together for the good of the American people. Politics is a game of showing how much better you are than the other party, don’t get me wrong, but when a party works to gain the respect of not only its constituents, but also other American citizens through the work done to pass laws that may bring them further to the American dream, it will help them during the election cycle, and one would hope in the Presidential elections. It’s doesn’t seem that hard to understand, GOP.
There are efforts to create a third party in rebellion to the current state of the Republican party. Over 100 members, including some former elected and government officials, have signed this letter stating that they want to “…rededicate itself to founding ideals—or else hasten the creation of an alternative.” Whether this is successful remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: the current obsession with former President Trump and the constant need to follow, believe, and prioritize the vitriol that leaves his mouth, whether it’s true or not, is unsustainable. It’s apparent that most everything Trump touches rots, and the GOP may go be next, going the way of the Whig Party.