What Has Happened to the Republican Party?

By BRANDON SAPIENZA, Contributing Writer

President Trump threatens the Republican status quo. Time will tell if his disruptive prerogative will redefine the party or simply fizzle out. (GAGE SKIDMORE VIA FLICKR)
John Boehner, a Republican of yesterday, is an outspoken Trump critic. (UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

At a rally on Sept. 8, former President Barack Obama asked the same question that I, a registered Republican, ask: “What happened to the Republican Party?” In June, former Speaker of the House John Boehner said, “There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump Party. The Republican Party is taking a nap somewhere.”

In just three years, Republicans have abandoned their core values and allowed for a demagogue like Donald Trump to assume the highest office in the country simply because of the R next to his name. Since then, he has sabotaged and discredited his party, leaving Republicans in a troubling situation.

In recent months, Trump has practically applauded atrocious countries like North Korea, whose people are currently starving and whose government poses a nuclear threat to the U.S. He swooned over Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia, despite their confirmed interference in our election in 2016. He created an unnecessary trade war with China and he is actively working to limit the freedom of the press as granted by our Constitution. He’ll deflect these legitimate accusations with an assertion that our economy is doing well, but the short-term gain he’s made his name on will run out in November.

Trump resistance groups have formed in the White House, allegations of extramarital affairs have surfaced and resurfaced, and the investigation into Russian collusion continues to rage, with multiple indictments of former Trump campaign staffers and more flips than an IHOP on free pancake day. Donald Trump isn’t Republican in the slightest, yet nothing has been done to stop the chaos from continuing. Republicans, still clinging to the coattails of Trump’s unprecedented electoral success,  cannot — or will not — separate the beloved demagogue from the unstable president.

Trump has given Republicans a bad look. The GOP went from the party of freedom and morality to the party of divisiveness and hatred. He has stirred up his radical base to the extent that conventional Republicans are now afraid of what Trump can do in a single tweet if they speak out against him.

All of this combined will affect Republicans in November and perhaps even beyond. Trump has, unfortunately, tarnished the legacy and beliefs of the party. When Trump is not invited to the funeral of a Republican hero like former Sen. John McCain because of all the detestable actions he has taken since he took office last January, it is clear that there is a problem that Republican leadership needs to attack head on.

For the sake of maintaining the work of legends like John McCain and President Ronald Reagan, more Republicans need to speak out against Trump and what he says, tweets and signs. No person affiliated in the same party as the President should fear having his or her career destroyed by one tweet.

Republicans should be scared for Election Day. Despite the successes they have had in terms of new laws put into action, Donald Trump will be their ultimate demise, and they need to turn on him before Americans turn on them.