Against the Grain II

Is the whole Republican Party worth sacrificing for one guy

Vaughn Wilson

In 1854 former members of the Whig Party formed the Republican Party in Ripon, Wisconsin.  The party was developed as a replacement for the dwindling popularity of the Whigs. Oddly enough, one major cause for the development of the Whig Party was to prevent the spread of slavery to the western parts of the country.

When Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860, his representation as a Republican caused states to secede from the union.  These were the foundations laid for the Civil War.

It is often said that you cannot know where you are going unless you know where you’ve been. The eerie similarities in so many elements of this brief history of the Republican Party and the events of the last few months seem to parallel in many ways.

The defeat of the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, has brought up some of the same scenarios in the country just 160 years later.  The only major difference in the cases was the fact that the former secession of states, led by South Carolina, was on principles.  The institution of slavery was at the center of the discord. Northern and Midwest states opposed slavery and the culpability for the continuance resided clearly in southern states with cotton and other manufacturing industries thriving off of free slave labor.

Not a single reputable institution has sided with the one term lame duck president in his assertion that he won the 2020 U.S. election. Every poll, every institution both Democratic and Republican and every other clear indicator has emphatically declared that president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris won the battle with a margin of more than seven million votes.

Still, every Republican that recognizes the essence of our democracy in electing our leaders and awarded a clear winner is immediately harried by the party.  The latest is Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. His recognition of Biden as president-elect of the United States on Dec. 15 drew immediate ire from the party he has led in the Senate since 2015.

For some reason, president Trump has galvanized the GOP into a single voice, led by him. Politicians within his party cower at opposing him on any matter.  Ignorance of science, mathematics and the medical profession has escalated during the four years under the servitude of the current administration.

Republican politicians who have braved the waters to stand up for what they feel is right — even though it has broken with the direction of the Trump administration — have faced the wrath of Trump’s popularity. With 88.6 million followers on his unfiltered Twitter account, his unleashing of tirades on Republicans who have broken with his rhetoric has cost them careers.  Fortunately, Democrats don’t face the same fears within the party as his followers most certainly are from his party.

With the standards of the party set long before his ascension to the position, Republicans must ask themselves is it worth it to sacrifice the entire party’s credibility for the sake of one individual.  In the military, the focus is on the whole.  In athletic teams, the focus is on the whole.  But, for some reason, the Republican Party has succumbed many of its founding principles to support one individual.

As for history repeating itself, in December of 2020 Texas and other states have threatened to secede from the United States.