This letter is not about Wednesday’s siege of the Capitol. You will read plenty of those. It is about the Republican Party. I gave up on Donald Trump four years ago. Wednesday’s incitement of the mob to insurrection against the United States was the final straw. There are no words left to describe his unfitness to be President or even to be an American. Or my sadness, the greatest I have felt since 9/11.
I have left the Republican Party. I was a Republican my entire adult life, as was my father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great grandfather before me. Our family’s first vote for a Republican President was Abraham Lincoln. But my and their Republican Party no longer exists. It has been destroyed by Donald Trump; by Republican Senators named Cruz and Hawley and over 120 Republican Congressman, who on Wednesday tried to disenfranchise the vote of 81 million Americans and abolish our democracy. And it has been destroyed by Trump’s enablers over the past four years.
The Republican Party I supported was led by men and women named Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Robert Taft, Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, Christine Todd Whitman, Margaret Chase Smith, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Jeanette Rankin and Elizabeth Dole. It stood for truth, morality, law and order, time-tested conservative values. It stood tall for America. It also stood behind the U.S. Constitution. To defend it to the death.
The Constitution. It is hard to believe that over 130 elected Republican representatives of the people – who took an oath to defend the Constitution – tried to destroy this Constitutional Republic on Wednesday in Congress. I cannot imagine that any of them served in the U.S. Armed Services – although I know a few probably did. Hundreds of thousands of us soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, Coast Guardsmen and Merchant Mariners took the same oath to the U.S. Constitution and were prepared to defend our democracy to the death. Many did.
Now, it seems that the Republican Party stands for nothing. Except destruction of that same Constitution, anarchy, disruption, raw ambition, chaos, mismanagement and an inability to lead. It clearly no longer believes in the will of the people, the rule of law, democracy, civil order, pride in country. Don’t get me wrong. There are clearly many Republicans in name that support these principles such as Senators Mitt Romney and Susan Collins, Representative Liz Cheney, Governor Larry Hogan, and many of my friends, neighbors and family. But their party has been hijacked by Donald Trump and his cohorts.
I believe strongly in the two party system, with all the diversity of opinions and experiences, and checks and balances it brings. I hope a new right of center party arises like Phoenix from the ashes of the party Donald Trump destroyed. To get there, We the People need at the ballot box to rid our politics those Republicans who are complicit in trying to destroy our democracy. I suggest renewal can begin at home by searching for the strongest possible candidate to contest Andy Harris in next year’s Republican primary, and then moving on from there. Plus doing everything we can as citizens to support our nation, President Biden, Vice President Harris, Senators Cardin and Van Hollen, Governor Hogan, and our state and local leaders, in getting us out of the moral, economic, Pandemic, international relations and climate morass created by Donald J. Trump and his cohorts.
Despite Wednesday’s tragic attack on America by the Trump-incited mob – our saddest day since December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001 – there is a beautiful sunrise just over the horizon, but only if we act together as concerned caring citizens and stewards of these UNITED States.
Philip J. Webster