As an adult, I worked to advance those principles, first as GOP chair in one of the nation’s most Democratic counties, and, later, as party chair in one of the most Democratic states.
The Republican Party, like our nation, has an animating purpose — promoting freedom.
President Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 Cooper Union speech detailed the constitutional and legal framework for action; his Gettysburg Address proclaimed a “new birth of freedom;” and, his second inaugural address illuminated a path forward for a riven nation, dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Over the last 150 years, the Republican Party, at its best, built on the legacy of its founders, and championed freedom not only throughout our country, but around the world.
So here we are, faced with the re-election of President Donald Trump and the prospect of a nation still struggling against Covid-19, reeling from the ravages of a flattened economy and in pain from civil unrest and our genuine concern for how we treat one another.
Rather than fostering free enterprise, Trump embraces economic principles not only outdated in Lincoln’s time, but made even worse today by a leader who lost close to a billion dollars in a single year running a casino.
Rather than seeking to build on the legacy of the Republican Party’s founders, of which Trump is surely ignorant, Trump has posited a single purpose for the GOP — the celebration of him.
Consequently, America has watched as the Republican Party stopped pursuing its animating principles of freedom and opportunity.
It has given up its voice on things that mattered and instead bent the arc of the party towards the baser motives of one man, who is neither a Republican nor a conservative.
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