If not for Abraham Lincoln, Horace Greeley and Emily Dickinson’s dad, I would be a Whig today. So would you, if you are a Republican.
In 1854, those men and others birthed the Republican Party because they could not, in good conscience, remain Whigs due to the issue of slavery in the western states.
They probably got hate mail calling them WINOs, Whigs In Name Only.
Nevertheless, within only six years of their forming a new party, their candidate was elected president – the aforementioned Lincoln. Six years! So don’t tell me that a new political party must wait decades to ascend to power.
The lesson here is that, in our American political system, partisanship is fluid and malleable. Its left up to the individual citizen to align with whatever party he or she chooses. If no party offers what a citizen seeks, then they are free to start their own political party. Our Constitution leaves that choice up to us, because the words “political party” are absent in that seminal document.
Political parties are created, live, die, morph and split depending on the whims of the citizens. To paraphrase Jefferson, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots, tyrants and political parties. It is nature’s manure.”
That’s why I chuckle inwardly when I hear any political party claim that they represent “timeless principles.”
The Republican Party finds itself precisely in that situation. An internal schism is rending the party asunder, as elements within it adopt a populist, nationalistic and divisive ethos that is in direct opposition to the history of the GOP. All this because Donald Trump chose to run for office as a Republican.
Trumpism, or whatever its called, is cleaving the Grand Old Party asunder while it attempts to re-define the term “conservative”. Demagoguery is bastardizing the bedrock or the Republican Party and, if left unchecked, will rot the party from within and leave a clear road for the opposition.
That disturbing sound you are now hearing is past bulwarks of the GOP like Lincoln, Eisenhower, Goldwater and Reagan – and, in Wyoming, Warren, Hansen and Hathaway – rolling in their graves. They, like too few Republicans of today, recognize political bullshit when they see it.
So, what is the party to do? I think the answer is clear, we Republicans must show the knuckleheads the door. We need to encourage the dissident Trumpists to form their own political party. There is already ample talk nationally about doing just that, and I think its a great idea!
And it would be in their own best interests, too. By forming a new political party, the Trump acolytes would protect themselves from criticism from the center, and would unleash themselves to spout whatever nonsense that came into their heads.
Hell, they could even advocate for slavery in the western states because they would no longer be shackled by the history of the GOP. They could come out of the closet and finally be themselves.
This new party would be free to develop a platform that included all the Q Anon, Boogaloo, Oath-Keeping, Proud Boy nonsense that tickles their fancy. They could fight the good fight against Jewish space lasers and cannibalistic pedophile vampire pizza shops, They could attack the deep-state, Trilateral Commission, Club of Rome, globalist propaganda without worrying about people within their own party laughing at them.
And the name of the Republican Party would no longer have to be besmirched by their idiocy. Hell, they could even adopt as their logo a garish aloha shirt, instead of the old-school elephant.
They could call themselves the patriot party (small p p), the Cornerstone Party (after the famous speech by Alexander Stephens that they all memorize), the MAGA Party (self-explanatory) or anything else they choose. They could call themselves the Know-Nothings, but would probably bump up against a copyright infringement issue.
At least they wouldn’t call themselves Republicans any longer. And they can count on me to chip in a few bucks for the filing fees for their new party.