Republican academic says today’s GOP isn’t worth saving

Thomas M. Nichols is a professor at the U.S. Naval War College whose work “deals with issues involving Russia, nuclear weapons, and national security affairs,” according to his Wikipedia bio. He has a B.A. from Boston University, an M.A. from Columbia, and a Ph.D. from Georgetown; taught at Dartmouth and Georgetown; was a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School; chaired National Security Affairs at U.S. Naval War College; and has a briefcase full of other CVs. In other words, the kind of intelligent, informed, and thoughtful person distrusted and detested by the “Morans” who know nothing about everything (see photo; this is NOT Professor Nichols). Professor Nichols (not the guy in the photo) writes:

“I was a Republican … in Ronald Reagan’s GOP. Back then, the Republicans were a confident ‘party of ideas,’ … the party of the future. … That party is long gone. Today the Republicans are the party of ‘American carnage’ and Russian collusion, of scams, plots, and weapons-grade contempt for the rule of law. The only decent, sensible, and conservative position is to vote against this Republican Party at every level, and bring the sad final days of a once-great political institution to an end.

” … [C]onservatives must finally accept that … Trump and the Republican Party are indistinguishable. … Some Republicans, even while they grant that Trump is a sociopath and an idiot—and how unsettling that so many of them will stipulate to that—are willing to continue voting for Republican candidates …. But Trump’s few conservative achievements are meaningless when compared with his war on American democracy, a rampage that few Republicans have lifted a finger to stop. …

     “Conservatives must also let go of fantasies about saving the ‘good’ Republicans, a list that is virtually nonexistent. … The few, like Romney, who have dared grasp at … sanity have been pilloried …. Yes, they say, we understand that Trump must go, but if Joe Biden is allowed to run the executive branch without a Republican Senate, America will become a one-party state …. This faux constitutionalism is naked hypocrisy: I do not recall … anyone on the right ever pleading … [to] leave at least a few Democrats in office so that we Republicans would not go crazy ….
     “America needs two healthy political parties. [amen — ed.] So if the Republicans suffer a full-spectrum defeat in 2020, what comes next? … Reconstructing the GOP—or any center-right party that might one day replace it—will take a long time, and the process will be painful. The remaining opportunists in the GOP will try to avert any kind of reform by making a last-ditch lunge to the right to fill the vacuum left by Trump’s culture warring and race-baiting. In the short term, the party might become smaller and more extreme …. The hardening of the GOP into a toxic conglomeration of hucksters, quislings, racists, theocrats, and cultists is already happening. The party gladly accepted support from white supremacists and the Russian secret services, and now welcomes QAnon kooks into its caucus. …
     “No person should ever get a second chance to destroy the Constitution. Trump has brought the United States to the brink of civil catastrophe, and the Republican Party has protected him from the consequences of all his immoral and illegal actions …. Conservatives need to put the current Republican Party out of its—and our—misery.”
     Quoted under fair use; read entire article here.
     Comment: This is a Republican talking about his own party. His description is accurate. It’s distressing that, with an election weeks away, polls show Trump has about 45% of the country behind him, instead of 15% or 5%; millions of Americans believe conspiracy theories but don’t believe Covid-19 is real; and honest differences of opinion are met in the streets by angry men with guns.
     Everything we have here in America — peace, prosperity, freedom — is fragile and can be lost if we’re not careful. This election is less Democrats vs. Republicans than civility vs. incivility, decency vs. immorality. The Democrats — progressives included — did their part by nominating their most centrist candidate. Democrats are, and always have been, a party of capitalists who believe in capitalism; the “socialist” label is nonsense. If they win, conservatives will disagree with some of their policies, but that’s not a good enough reason to destroy our constitutional system of government or tear the country apart. As Professor Nichols argues, the biggest favor Republicans can do for themselves right now is to destroy their party and rebuild it from scratch. The Democrats aren’t right about everything, and there’s plenty of room for a conservative party of ideas.
     Political parties are supposed to produce leaders who solve the country’s problems. If the parties aren’t incubators of ideas, they certainly should draw from those societal institutions that are. The world is constantly changing, and ideas and policies must be dynamic. Science isn’t perfect, but provides the best information we have; academics and thinkers aren’t always right, but trusting them is safer than ignorance and incompetence. The “deep state” that Trump disdains and attacks is actually a vast and deep reservoir of training, knowledge, experience, savvy, and know-how; and we would be foolish to dismantle it — why does anyone listen to this man?
     It’s inconceivable to me that some Americans spurn education and learning, don’t want to know what the truth is, and turn their backs on honesty and decency. I’m not saying they’re bad or stupid people; they’re neither. They’re desperate people, who feel alienated, and not listened to. That must be remedied; but they’re not entitled to be told they’re right when they’re wrong. Helping our fellow citizens in distress is too big a job for us as individuals; I believe in a government that takes care of its citizens. That’s why my thinking is more liberal than conservative, but that way of thinking isn’t the only way; this is a big country, and there’s room in it for all of us, if only we reject the politics of hate and division, and return to our nation’s founding principles.
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0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Mark Adams #

    Only one place for these Republicans to go. Ibto the Democratic party, and the Dems have nominated a man who wants to be President and rule like a Republican.

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    They do have a place to go: A Republican Party purged of Trumpers and reconstituted on traditional Republican principles. I disagree with your characterization of Biden. He is not lawless like Trump.

  3. Republicans need to be better than this #

    Nothing wrong with a law abiding American who happens to be a Democrat running for President.

    The only one running for US president as ruler want-to-be is your law breaking, power hungry Republican Herr trump.

  4. America needs to upgrade: Biden 2020 #

    Look at the sign American “Morans” the illiterate party who can’t spell, read, write or clearly think for themselves.

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