Why a former Republican congressman wants a third party

Why a former Republican congressman wants a third party

Many Never Trump conservatives hoped that after President Joe Biden was sworn in and Donald Trump vacated the White House, right-wing Trump critics such as Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah would point the Republican Party in a new direction. But right-wing radio host and former Rep. Joe Walsh, in an article published by The Bulwark on February 25, laments that the GOP is as pro-Trump as ever — stressing that anti-Trump conservatives like himself need to weigh their options and decide where to go from here.

"The Republican Party is what it is," Walsh explains. "It's the Trump/Trumpy party. It's the party of nationalism, protectionism, authoritarianism, wall-building, intolerance, fear, resentments, grievances, middle fingers to the rest of the world, lying, and utter disdain for democracy and the rule of law. In other words, it's Donald Trump's party. All this talk about a GOP 'civil war' is just wrong. There is no war. There is no great divide. The party is pretty darn unified. Republican voters, by really solid majorities, want Trumpism."

Accepting the fact that the GOP is the "Trump party," according to Walsh, is "the easy part." The more challenging task for Never Trumpers, he writes, is figuring out what their next move should be.

"What about all the rest of us?," Walsh writes. "What about all the conservatives, former Republicans, moderate Republicans, independents, and even moderate Democrats who want absolutely nothing to do with this new Trumpy Republican Party? What do we do? The options are actually pretty straight-forward — stay and try to reform the Republican Party; hang out in the land of independents; join the Democratic Party; or, start a new political party."

Walsh continues, "The chief objections to each of these options are pretty straight-forward as well. The Republican Party isn't changing; so, it's not reforming. If you hang out in the land of independents, you'll probably be hanging out there for the rest of your natural life. Though many have enormous respect for the Democratic Party, issues and policies matter — and the vast majority of conservatives, when it comes to issues and policies, just have a fundamentally different world view than today's Democratic Party. And finally, it's really, really, really hard in our two-party dominated politics, to start and sustain a viable third political party."

But Walsh goes on to say that even though it's "really, really, really hard," the best and "most obvious" option for Never Trumpers is to "launch a new political party" — which he envisions as a "radically centrist, common sense, let's-get-shit-done party."

Walsh wraps up his article by stressing that the Trumpified version of the GOP cannot survive in the long run.

"I don't think most Americans realize it yet, but the Republican Party, as a national party, is dying," Walsh writes. "The 166-year-old Republican-Democratic two-party duopoly is coming to an end. This is the perfect time to take this leap. The audience is there for it, the outside money is there for it, and young people would rally around it."

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