Opinion: Republican Party no longer what its founders intended

David James

Abraham Lincoln became the first presidential candidate in 1860 when the Republican party was formed in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. From the first political parties of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, political parties were formed to advance and compete over political ideas.

Sometimes these debates were intense, but the objective for both is how to make our country a more perfect union. However, both parties (and every political party since to now) accepted the principle that the people choose the leader and that there are winners and losers to every election. They also believed that the purpose of political parties was to help guide the nation. 

Over time, the Republican party has evolved into the party of Fox News and Donald Trump, not what its founders intended. For the past 4 years, our democracy has gradually been poisoned by racist policies, separation and caging of children from their parents, and finally the Big Lie that the election of 2020 was stolen.

147 representatives and senators along with the chief executive, Donald Trump convinced millions of Americans that he lost due to election fraud. Democracy exists on the faith that people have in the system and its institutions. When a mob incited by Donald Trump attacked our nation’s capitol building, 6 people died, 140 Capitol officers injured, 56 Metro Police officers injured, our national treasure was ransacked and the lives of our nations’ leaders threatened with death! This is what has become of the Republican party. And now they now want us to forgive and forget this act of treason.

Now that Donald Trump is gone from the White House, his followers still believe that they have been cheated. This outrage continues as the Republicans in the House and Senate still advocate this propaganda. It is because of this Big Lie that Republicans still owe their allegiance to him and to their base that they have so deviously misled, NOT our democracy and NOT our country. Rather than telling the American public the truth, they have been emboldened by their storming of the capitol building.

As a result, the face of Republicans now believe in Qanon conspiracies, question 9/11, harass Parkland student survivors and parents, question the legitimacy of the school shootings in Newton, Conn., and Parkland, Fla,  endorse executions of democrats, call the 2018 midterms an “Islamic Invasion”, believe in anti-semitic conspiracies, numerous lies about President Obama and Sec State Hillary Clinton, and the California wildfires were caused by “Jewish space laser.”! The Trump-led Republican party is now a ‘grotesque caricature’ of what it once was and America is worse off for it.

It is a travesty that the party of Abraham Lincoln–a national hero– has been virtually emasculated by those willing to advance their own power and monetary position rather than telling the truth to the American people. The Great Emancipator is rolling in his grave and patriotic Americans are grieving the loss of their party.

David James has a PhD in American history. He lives in Eureka.