True conservatives must make a choice

For decades, conservatives who favored small government, stability, order, the rule of law, and respect for established institutions found a welcome home in the Republican Party.

These days, the Republican Party looks more like a wholly owned subsidiary of Trump, pledging allegiance to conspiracy theories, white supremacy and voter suppression, rather than a political party with a consistent and conservative philosophy. a political agenda.

About 63 percent of Republicans believe their party shouldn’t be too to accept – or accept at all – elected officials who openly criticize the former president.

Full two-thirds say that the 2020 presidential elections were “rigged” by the Democrats; 30 percent say that “true” American patriots may have to resort to violence to save the country, and more than a quarter of them, 26 percent, believe that the US government is controlled by adoring pedophiles of Satan who run a worldwide sex trafficking network.

“We have learned the wrong lesson as a party,” said Rep. Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzálezLaws who opposed their parties on the infrastructure bill T Ohio’s redistricting commission surrenders on the map of the US House of Representatives Kinzinger criticizes Republicans for the ‘lie and the conspiracy ‘MORE (R-Ohio) has declared. González voted to impeach Trump and recently announced that he will not run for re-election. “On this day, to prevail or survive, you must belong to a tribe”, claim (is Rep. Adam kinzingerAdam Daniel Kinzinger Legislators who opposed their parties on the infrastructure bill T Kinzinger is open to run for White House, Illinois Governor The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Will Virginia’s election set the script for the midterm elections? PLUS (R-Ill.), A veteran and another conservative member of Congress in the crosshairs of Trump who has decided to retire. Liz cheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneySunday Shows Progress: House Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill; Democrats suffer electoral losses in Virginia The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – House of Representatives Moves For Build Back Better, Infrastructure Panel Votes Today Jan.6 Has Interviewed Over 150 People So Far MORE (R-Wyoming), the superconservative who was deposed as the third-ranked Republican leader in the House after he criticized Trump for his role in the Jan.6 assault on the United States Capitol, insists that the former president should not “play a role in the future of the party or the country.” Senator Ben sasseBen Sasse: Almost 200 Americans Want Out Of Afghanistan, State Department Tells Congress Trump Going After Cassidy After Senator Says He Would Not Support Him For President In 2024 Invoking ‘Big Tech’ As An Indictment You Can Bring American security in jeopardy MORE (R-Neb.), Who was censured by his state’s Republican committee for voting to remove Trump from office, believe “Most Nebraskans don’t think politics should focus on strange guy worship.”

González, it is worth noting, voted online with Trump’s political positions 85.7 percent of the time; Sasse 84.8 percent; Kinzinger 90.2 percent, Cheney 92.9 percent.

More than 50 years ago, in a book What has become a classic, social scientist Albert O. Hirschman explained that people who conclude that the quality, direction, or effectiveness of their organization has declined have two options: voice (complain and propose changes) or exit.

Loyalty to the organization plays a fundamental role in the decision.

Most importantly, and counterintuitive, Hirschman showed that exit can be a successful strategy to gain a greater political voice.

It seems clear that disgruntled Republican officials have not returned its core principles to the Republican Party. After all, 67 percent of Republicans now want Trump to retain a major role in their party, a ten-point increase from January 2021. Trump loyalists also intend to purge the “apostates.” of the party.

And so exit is almost certainly the best option for Republican officials and activists who share Adam Kinzinger’s “enormous” disappointment with “leaders who don’t lead” and warnings that the fate of our democracy is at stake. Or at the very least, they should do everything in their power to defeat Republican candidates who do not publicly repudiate the lies about the 2020 elections and the January 6 insurrection.

Faced with similar options, the major Republican donors appear to be taking a step back in the display of voice or exit. In January 2021, corporate donors – including American Express, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Dow Chemical, Marriott, Airbnb, Amazon, AT&T, Comcast, Disney, Verizon, and Walmart – stopped donations to House and Senate members who refused to certify Electoral College results . However, they have not applied this criterion to 2022 candidates who embrace unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud. Wealthy financiers (including Stephen Ross and Larry Ellison), who have lost interest on Trump’s “shit show,” however, they are writing checks to support the GOP’s efforts to win back Congress and the candidates who have made a deal with “The Donald.”

The moral Indignation of evangelical ministers, whose parishioners make up the base of the Republican base, also appears to have dissipated. In January 2021, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, stated: “It would be difficult to find Christians who would lean towards the Bible and agree with what happened on Capitol Hill.” Russell Moore, chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Commission on Ethics and Religious Liberty, called the events of January 6 “a moral abomination incited by the president.” Predicting that “it will take decades to rebuild from the rubble in this country,” Moore added, “but as Christians, we can start now, simply without being afraid to say what is objectively true.” Albert Mohler, president of the flagship seminary of Southern Baptists, who voted for Trump in 2020, stated that Trump had attempted to “subvert the very constitutional order he was sworn to uphold in office … I do not follow a cult of personality. “

These days, however, the voices of these religious leaders, and others like them, are much less apparent.

The MAGA GOP no longer represents the values ​​of the conservatives and petty Democrats. Nonetheless, as the results of last Tuesday’s election demonstrate, the party remains a powerful force in American politics, hell-bent on regaining control of the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House.

Reason enough, then, to heed the warning of the philosopher George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past [or, I would add, choose to ignore it] they are condemned to repeat it. “

Glenn C. Altschuler is the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies at Cornell University. He is the co-author (with Stuart Blumin) of “Rude Republic: Americans and Their Politics in the 19th Century. “

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