May 2021

The Takeover and Current State After the Trump defeat following the January sixth insurgency, in the wake of the second impeachment hearings, it briefly seemed that the former president would be forced to cede his leadership role in the GOP or would consider starting his own party. The vote acquitted the former president almost entirely on party-line votes, demonstrating at best, that the GOP did not find him culpable in the insurrection, at worst, that he was the definitive leader of the party who had moved into untouchable status. The consideration of his starting his own party was thrown out when he took the stage at the CPAC convention in Florida on February 28: “Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Let’s start a new party so we can divide our vote and never win,” he joked. “We have the Republican Party. It’s going to unite and be stronger than ever before.”1 But it is no longer a party of ideas. It is a party of one person. It is time for a new conservative party. Liz Cheney’s ouster from the House Republican Conference is just the most recent example of a new Republican party, now absent of ideas and actual policy. It has been transformed into a cult of personality and there is no indication that reform will be possible. The former president has brought his party to demonize any that oppose, whether that be for the false narrative that the 2020 election was rigged or any perceived lack of loyalty to him personally. He has chosen to run the party like a gangster, supporting primary candidates based entirely on their fidelity to him, not the party or policy. Congresswoman Cheney expressed her concern clearly with no ambiguity after being forced out of her leadership position this week: “He’s going to unravel the democracy to come back into power.” 2 And while she speaks of saving the GOP, the better option may…