The Demise of the Republican Party

5 mins read

This year can be described in many ways and sad is certainly one of them. We are living in sad times. I am saddened at the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was the liberal conscience of the Supreme Court. She was a strong fighter for women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and civil rights. I am saddened by the over 220,000 Americans who have lost their lives to COVID-19, many which could have been prevented if Trump had not lied to us. I am saddened by the racism that pervades our country and puts many of our citizens, especially Black men, in danger. I am saddened by the increasing divide between the haves and the have-nots. Even during a pandemic, the net worth of the 643 richest people increased from $2.95 trillion to $3.8 trillion. I am also saddened by the demise of the Republican Party which is in a death spiral because of Trump and his loyal followers. I am concerned about what this means for democracy in our country.

We are, for better or worse, a two-party nation. The modern Republicans and Democrats have been adversaries for longer than I have been alive. But they have, for the most part, respected each other and shared many principles, mainly integrity, love of country, respect for all people, and respect of the Constitution. But something happened. It may have been building gradually, but it grew exponentially since Trump took office. We need only to look at what past Republicans have said to remind ourselves of what the Republican party once stood for.

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity.” — Dwight Eisenhower

“I do not believe it right for one group to impose its vision of morality on an entire society.” —Nelson Rockefeller

“I stand for anti-bigotry, . . . and anti-racism.” — George H.W. Bush

“The first role of government is to help people who are in crisis or need.” —John McCain

“The peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet common in our country.” — George W. Bush

That’s the Republican Party I remember. But today too many people who call themselves Republicans, especially in the House and Senate, have changed and switched their loyalty from their country and the Constitution to a greedy, narcissistic, sociopathic, authoritarian leader. They have abandoned their principles. They have lost their integrity.  They think nothing of lying to their fellow Americans, not following through on past pronouncements, making unethical decisions, and doing anything they can to achieve their goals.

Although Liar-in-Chief, President Trump, pretends to be a Republican, he is the first to have abandoned the Grand Old Party, a party that one time was America’s strongest supporter of the military. But not Trump. He refused to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France commenting, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” On the same trip, he called the 1,800 marines who died at Belleau Woods “suckers” for getting killed. Disrespectful isn’t a strong enough word.

Trump also disregards the Constitution. He believes that Article II of the Constitution gives him “the right to do whatever I want as president.” It doesn’t. He disrespects the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble. . . .” He has convinced many people that most, if not all, of the press is “fake news.” He has revoked the press passes of reporters from CNN, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Univision, and Politico to mention just a few. He violated the rights of people to peaceably assemble when federal agents attacked peaceful protesters near Lafayette Square for a photo op and once again in Portland. 

Now he is lying about voter fraud and threatening to not peacefully transfer power. By ignoring the Constitution, Trump is attacking America. Again, I am saddened, but I have faith that on November 3rd American’s will vote to replace the sadness with hope.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

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Dr. Hank Cetola is a Professor Emeritus at Adrian College, Adrian, MI, and the founder of Lenawee Indivisible. He can be reached at

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