Where Do We Go From Here? Forward.

Where do we go from here?
This isn’t where we intended to be
We had it all, you believed in me
I believed in you

The above lyrics from the musical Evita strangely capture the mood on the Right – after the loss in Georgia and most importantly after the terrorist attack on the People’s House.

Some on the Right are trying to fill the vacuum of the fallout following the attack, others are pointing fingers and wielding absolutes.

Many of my colleagues suggested permanently abandoning ship. But let us be clear – those who stormed Capitol Hill were not Republicans. They were un-American thugs, and we should call them what they are.

A wise high-ranking Republican once told me, “If someone breaks into your house, do you give them your house? Or stay and fight?”

Well, this fringe element did creep into the Republican Party. They literally broke into the People’s House. Q peddlers and white nationalists tore down our flag and smeared feces on the walls of democracy.

As a member of the Party of Lincoln, this was a disgusting attack on our sacred process, who we are as a pluralistic society, and our Constitution. These people will be met with justice and the full force of the law.

But – does the Chamber or Speaker’s chair belong to them? No.

Do they deserve a place in the Republican Party? Hell no.

We must not factor these fringe extremists when we craft policy, messaging, or recruit candidates. Let’s start there.

So, we can have a Mexican standoff all day long – online, on social media, at the dinner table. It gets old.

We need real solutions. NOW.

The Republic is too important. The answer is not to join Illan Omar. We need two parties. The answer is not to take our ball and vote third party. But let’s together as Republicans – current and former – dig our heels in, break off a chair leg, and fight for a common vision while accepting the realities of  an America today, and forever changed.

If Republicans are to move forward in a productive manner, we must realize this – we are not the party of free trade, neo-con foreign interventionism, and corporate interests anymore.

This isn’t a fringe view. Over the past few years, the American people have said they don’t want this. They turned to the President in large part because they were exhausted by foreign conflict. Nation building everywhere except here. Free trade, NAFTA works – for who exactly? Tell that to the people of western Pennsylvania, or Youngstown, Ohio, or the coal miners in West Virginia.

The American people wanted a party that worked for working people.  The Republican Party became a Working Class Party and cracked the blue wall. And then, four years later, the blue wall was back up again. Why?

Well, because being a working class party means actually standing up for working class values. And principles. And believing and practicing them.

And working class should mean truly working class, not white working class only, like Sloppy Steve fantasizes about. Working class values mean speaking your mind, but it doesn’t give one an excuse to be racist or sexist or a bigot. 

Working class values mean being a straight shooter, and believing in facts, not creating your own. They mean believing in law and order and respecting those that enforce it, not just when it is beneficial to you.

They mean advocating for accountability – the buck actually stopping somewhere.

They mean loving thy neighbor as you love thyself, and not being all up in their business. 

They mean knowing how to keep a firearm, and not flaunting it. 

And they mean following the words of Jesus as they were written, you know, originalism. If these principles are not practiced like they are preached, the voters will know.

Anybody that comes from nothing and becomes something demonstrates those working class, American values – Republican Values. People that pull themselves up by their bootstraps – that believe hard work is the great equalizer. 

All across America and the Commonwealth, immigrants pull themselves up by their bootstraps. The Black business owner struggling to stay open and serve the community during COVID. Latinos who fled Socialism and overreaching government to seek a better life here.

Urban hubs and rural communities alike – these values do not have a zip code or a geographic area. Or a color. Or a sexuality. They are rooted in the soul of America, and the philosophy of conservatism.

If we are to go forward, and we must, we must remember this. The people who believe this represent us at our best. Not people in a 4-Chan chat room. If we are to go forward, separating the best from the worst, let’s truly BE BEST. 

Amen … and amen.

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