GOP needs serious soul-searching

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Lisa Murkowski’s days as a Republican might be dwindling.

The U.S. senator from Alaska said so herself this week while she and the rest of us watched Donald Trump fire up the rioters who stormed Capitol Hill while seeking to stop Congress from ratifying Joe Biden’s election as the next president of the United States.

I don’t particularly care what Sen. Murkowski does, or how she plans to chart her political future. She said the GOP must not remain “the party of Trump.” If it does, then she well might turn away from the party that used to welcome her.

What does concern me about the Republican Party is that it has been hijacked by Trump, whose believers have taken to calling non-Trump-supporting Republicans “RINO,” or Republicans In Name Only. Let’s ponder that for just a moment.

Donald Trump had zero party involvement prior to declaring his presidential candidacy in the summer of 2015. He chose to run as an “R” because it presented the easiest path for him; goodness, he even said as much himself.

He has not governed as a Republican. He has no philosophical mooring. Trump’s guiding principle is welded to his personal brand and so the party leadership in Congress has hitched itself to Trump’s world view — whatever that is — while seeking to preserve leaders’ own political standing.

Sen. Murkowski’s decision to leave the GOP well might spur the party leadership to finally — finally! — do the kind of soul-searching it vowed to do after Mitt Romney lost to President Obama in 2012. It should commence that search even if Murkowski remains a member of the GOP.

A gentleman who has frequent disagreements with this blog’s view of Trump suggested to me recently that the two-party system we once knew is dead. “They both have moved so far right and left they are unrecognizable,” he wrote to me.

I believe we still have a two-party system. I disagree, though, on its configuration. There remains a mainstream Democratic Party comprising moderates and center-left thinkers. From my vantage point — and I acknowledge my own bias — the Republican Party’s heart and soul has been co-opted by the radical Trumpkin Corps that professes fealty to an individual … and has tossed party principles into the crapper.

I want a healthy debate on issues that matter. Thus, I want a return to a two-party system that we used to have in this country. That system cannot function as long as one of those two parties remains loyal to a con man/phony baloney carnival barker/seditionist who has disguised himself as a Republican.

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