The Republican Party has an array of discord to reckon with. Besides its soiled relationship with majority of American voters, the right wing is being confronted with internal controversy that may make or mar it.
A collection of more than 150 Republicans have announced a new political movement aimed at saving the party from the obnoxious grip of former President, Donald Trump. The movement is led by Trump’s critics Evan McMullin and Miles Taylor, who are calling for a reform that will liberate the GOP from Trump’s influence.
The movement is coming at the heels of Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming’s ouster from her leadership position in the House, due to her opposition of Trump’s election lies. The GOP has been divided since the November 3 election, with some of its members quitting completely following the events orchestrated by Trump’s reaction to his election loss.
Cheney has been unflinching in refuting Trump’s conspiracy theories, angering the majority of the GOP members who are standing by Trump. McMullin and Taylor, who has been critical about Trump, writing the famous anonymous book that condemns Trump’s administration, were among a few Republicans who are bold enough to publicly challenge the status quo orchestrated by Trump.
“Enough is enough and we need to offer a commonsense coalition for this country and a more unified alternative vision than what we’re seeing from the present GOP, which has now become rotten to its core with its persistent attacks on our democracy,” Taylor said on CNN’s New Day Wednesday. “So our message is it’s time to either reform or repeal the Republican Party.”
A set of principles published by the movement calls for reimaging the Republican Party to once again represent its founding ideals.
“… when in our democratic republic, forces of conspiracy, division, and despotism arise, it is the patriotic duty of citizens to act collectively in defense of liberty and justice. We, therefore, declare our intent to catalyze an American renewal, and to either reimagine a party dedicated to our founding ideals or else hasten the creation of such an alternative,” the group said in the set of principles.
Earlier in the month, Cheney had described Trump’s election’s claims as “The Big Lie”, adding that anyone who claims the election is stolen is “turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democracy.” On Tuesday, amidst calls for her removal from leadership position in the House, Cheney vowed to continue refuting Trump’s conspiracy theories. She was among the 10 Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment.
Six months after the election, Trump has held on to his claim that it was stolen, and has succeeded in convincing most of his party members and many of his supporters to push the claim, even after it stirred the Capitol insurrection that resulted in the death of many Americans.
On Saturday, Trump falsely published on his blog that Arizona’s Maricopa County electoral database has been deleted in attempt to cover up the huge fraud perpetrated during the presidential election.
“The entire Database of Maricopa County in Arizona has been DELETED! This is illegal and the Arizona State Senate, who is leading the Forensic Audit, is up in arms. Additionally, seals were broken on the boxes that hold the votes, ballots are missing, and worse. Mark Brnovich, the Attorney General of Arizona, will now be forced to look into this unbelievable Election crime. Many Radical Left Democrats and weak Republicans are very worried about the fact that this has been exposed,” he wrote.
The contrasting view of the election among Republicans is creating two factions of Trump loyalists and those who oppose him.
“We seek the preservation and betterment of our democratic republic and the endurance of our self-government, free from interference and defended against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” they wrote in their statement of principles. “We oppose the employment of fear-mongering, conspiracism, and falsehoods and instead support evidence-based policymaking and honest discourse.”
The list of Republicans who signed on includes former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, as well as 27 former members of the US House of Representatives, including Barbara Comstock, Charlie Dent and Paul Mitchell; and one former senator David Durenberger.
Other members of the group include former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci; former Department of Homeland Security official Elizabeth Neumann; and former DHS general counsel John Mitnick.
The group said they don’t consider the idea a third party but a movement.
“I don’t think I would characterize it so much as a third party as a coalition. I don’t think a third party necessarily works in the kind of political system we have with a single member districts,” attorney George Conway told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night. “But there is a need for people who have a conservative to moderate point-of-view and want to believe in the rule of law and they need a place to go and a place where they can organize and support candidates that are consistent with that.”