This Country Needs a Healthy Republican Party
The party was forged during America's new birth of freedom but has been transformed into a corporate sloganeering tool perpetuating wealth inequality.
Pretending that Donald Trump’s presidency wasn’t the threat it proved to be has been the Republicans’ game for elected officials, base voters, and revanchist media units. Today, many conservative thought leaders and outlets are claiming that the Attorney General, Merrick Garland, did not properly justify the raid on the former president’s beach home. A place he dubbed “the Winter White House.”
There is only one White House, by the way.
Donald Trump never displayed an interest in governing for all of the people. He never displayed an interest in norms, democratic traditions, or accurate readings of the Constitution. He dementedly poured gasoline over partisan fires that had been simmering for years.
Thus, the casualty was a healthy Republican Party.
Liz Cheney is being politically and professionally punished for standing up to the Trumpism within her party. She called out the tribalism and the lies that have radicalized Americans and resulted in a violent froth of supporters threatening civil war on message boards and/or attacking government buildings. Donald Trump himself has belittled so many American institutions under the guise of populism. All this does is serve to denigrate democracy and encourage many to further lose faith in its elections.
Populism can be utilized to help course correct and improve institutions, but it shouldn’t be utilized to destroy them.
This nation needs a healthy Republican Party, even if we move to something more pluralistic in the future. (And we should.) The party has so much financial, political, and cultural power that it is driving Americans into a zero-sum mindset. In return, our national consensus progressively teeters into dissolution and dysfunction. I do not agree with many of Liz Cheney’s stances, and like many Americans, I am deeply disturbed by the Iraq War and the militarism fostered under her father’s shadow vice presidency. However, I and Representative Cheney can agree on the need to preserve American democracy at home and the need to respect the diverse wishes of a pluralistic society.
The Republican Party was founded within a new birth of freedom that culminated in this nation fighting one of the most morbid wars in human history. It was crystallized when a brutal institution ended that sought to downgrade the humanity of Americans into industrialized chattel slavery. The thing that differentiated who had control over their bodies and who didn’t was simply the color of one’s skin or their gender. That party, the one of President Abraham Lincoln, has long been lost to commercial and tribal forces that have perverted its legacy under demagogic sloganeering that calls for less social safety if it means helping the other.
Restoring America also means restoring this storied political institution through the most natural means - defeating it at the ballot box in November.
Nothing's New Under the Sun with Steward Beckham is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.