In no uncertain terms, the past few years have not been the best for the Republican Party. We have not held a majority in the House of Representatives for years and most recently lost the Senate in a state that should have been a landslide win for the GOP. For the first time since 1932, the Republican Party lost the White House, Senate and House in one election. Unfortunately, dangerous rhetoric and putting faith in those who are not worthy has gotten the best of our party.
The GOP is fracturing. However, every fracture can be fixed.
The question we need to ask ourselves moving forward is this: Where does our party stand in this beautiful establishment that is the American experiment? How does the Republican Party get back on track?
Less rhetoric, more policy
Unfortunately, rhetoric (some may even say propaganda) has become a norm in today’s politics, and this goes for both parties. We’ve learned the dire consequences of rhetoric, and we must tone it down. A lot.
There is a difference between a media blitz to win public opinion for a policy and propping up dangerous conspiracy theories (looking at you, QAnon-crazy Majorie Taylor Greene.)
Even the more tame rhetoric needs to come to an end. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m tired of hearing “fiscally conservative” members of Congress claim to be deficit hawks when all they do is tweet about how outrageous our debt is. How about we set down our phones, logout of Twitter and do some actual legislating for a change?
You can talk all day, but actually acting, rather than tweeting, is the sign of a noteworthy elected leader.
Politicians are not gods
Unlike gods, political leaders are not untouchable and thankfully they can’t control lightning or thunder. With that being said, let’s stop treating some of them as if they can do all of the above. Politicians, like you and me, are only human. What we must do is hold politicians in our party accountable and understand that it’s OK if we disagree. (I will say, however, that there is a fine line to draw on this matter. For instance: QAnon supporters. Seriously, we have got to weed those people out of office ASAP, but I digress.)
This glorification of politicians in our party has led to an unhealthy tribalism. There are some elected officials whom I would never dare criticize because of the outrageous response it would incur, and that’s a problem.
Not agreeing with everything any politician might say is acceptable, even healthy. The sooner we begin to understand this, the sooner we can make our party better. Holding members of the GOP, no matter how much some of us may respect them, to a higher standard will not only be better for them but for our entire party
Out with the old, in with the new
The thing that excites me most about the future of the GOP is the new members of our party and the conservative groups led by a new generation. There are people like Danielle Butcher and Benji Backer who are tackling the issue of climate change through common sense and conservative policies via the American Conservation Coalition, which they founded. There are also organizations like Principles First who champion conservative values while staying true to their principles and what they (and myself) believe to be the real values of the Republican Party.
We also have outstanding newly elected officials like freshman Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC-1). She was the first woman to graduate from the prestigious military college, The Citadel, and has held a successful career in politics for years. She was one of the first to decry the Capitol riots and has been a leading voice for the return of morality in the GOP.
The future is here. It’s time to move onward, otherwise we may never recover.
Some say the Republican Party has met its maker and there can be no triumphant return from the stain former President Donald Trump has left on our caucus. I could not disagree more. The future of the GOP can be bright, and I believe it is. The answer to the question seen in the headline is yes, but nothing worth having comes easy.
Let’s get to work.
Sam Somogye is a political science senior and columnist for The Battalion.