Donald Trump is bad for the Republican Party, but like a drug addict, party members are ignoring the facts and asking for another hit, even if snorting up one more white line will spell their death.
Here are the facts. Since President Trump was elected, the Republican Party has been getting trounced across the country. The number of Republican governors has dropped from 33 to 26, and Democrats have taken complete control of the state governments in seven states.
The spread of Republican to Democratic control of state legislator seats has shrunk by almost half. In 2016 the spread was 57 percent Republican to 42 percent Democrats. In 2020 the spread had shrunk to 55 percent Republicans and 47 percent Democrats, a split shift from 15 to 8 points.
In Virginia, the story is no better. The year after President Trump won the White House, Virginia Republicans lost 15 seats in the House of Delegates. It was the largest shift towards the Democrats since 1899. Two years later, the Republicans lost six more seats and control of the Speakership. Things weren’t any better in the other chamber where Republicans lost the majority in the State Senate.
Since President Trump was elected, Republicans have lost Congressional seats in the 2nd, 7th, and the 10th. Republicans are on track to lose even more Congressional seats in Virginia this year, and Mark Warner is polling 15 to 20 points ahead of the Republican Senate candidate.
This year it seems that many Republican electeds would rather walk out the door than be shown the door by voters. Three Republican Senators are retiring compared to only one Democrat. In the House, 26 Republican members of Congress are bowing out compared to only nine Democrats. This exodus is on the heels of 37 Republican Congressmen not seeking re-election in 2018 compared to only 18 Democrats.
Can all of this carnage be laid at the feet of Donald Trump? No, not all of it. However, he has become an easy but effective cudgel for the Democrats to swing at Republicans. Trump allows Democrats to avoid the issues and simply say, “My opponent is riding the Trump Train.” Based on the track record laid out above, that message works.
The other side effect of continued GOP support of President Trump is that we are getting subpar candidates in competitive districts. Republicans cannot win a primary without pledging fidelity to Donald Trump, but they can’t win in a general if they have. It is like the goldfish party pledging its loyalty to the toilet; they may enjoy the ride, but it all ends up in the crapper.
Donald Trump has become like a drug for the Republican Party; the party can see how it’s wrecking its own house but it can’t stop seeking out just one more hit off the Trump Train.
Support of Donald Trump has cost the party so much more than it’s gained, and it may be a generation before Republicans can build back all that they’ve lost. If it continues to freebase Trump, the Republican Party may never recover. After all, the GOP has not always existed, and its continued existence is not guaranteed. The party of Lincoln was once an upstart, and it could be taken out by a new party should it continue down the path it has chosen.
Like any addict, in order to get off the Trump Train and start rebuilding, the Republican Party must take steps, 12 to be precise, in order to start putting its house back in order.
12-Step Program for the Republican Party to Quit Donald Trump*
- The Republican Party must admit to itself that it has a problem, and recognize all that following Donald Trump has cost the party
- The Republican Party should admit that it was powerless over Trump
- Believe that the core beliefs of the GOP are stronger than Donald Trump and could restore the party’s sanity.
- Make a decision to turn its back on the destructive force of Trump even if it costs the party more in the short term because it will be restorative in the long term
- Make a moral inventory of itself because the fact that the Party of family values followed a man who paid off a porn star to keep his affair a secret from his third wife shows that this step is necessary.
- Turn back to God in order to remove all these defects of character from the GOP, because a party that cheers the attempted kidnapping of elected officials and road wars against its opponent has turned away from its moral foundation
- Try to rebuild bridges with groups that the Republican Party has demonized, but due so without tokenism or saviorism
- Recruit and support candidates who refrained from taking hits off the Donald Bong
- Welcome back former Republicans who have left due to Trump and include their voices in nominating decisions
- Replace party leadership that lead the GOP down this destructive path or who failed to speak up against it
- Cease from promoting or embracing quackery and instead lean on experts in their fields whether it be foreign policy, domestic policy, or science
- Vote against Donald Trump on November 3rd
*These steps were inspired by the 12-Step Program as laid out by Alcoholics Annonymous. If you or someone you love is suffering from substance abuse, please seek help and call 1-800-662-HELP to speak with someone 24-7.