Once Upon A Time . . .There Was A Republican Party

Andrew D Ellis
2 min readAug 30, 2019

As a young man, I worked for Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr. (R-Tn), and was proud to do so. He was a thoughtful, decent man with rock-solid moral principles that informed his thinking and his actions. He spoke truth to power and defended the Constitution against assault, even by members of his own party. Sadly, he would no longer be welcome in what passes today as the Republican Party.

Once upon a time . . .

Republicans supported democracies and opposed dictatorships.

Republicans supported NATO and opposed Russia.

Republicans supported international alliances; George Bush (41) rallied the world to oppose Iraq’s take-over of Kuwait.

Republicans supported the assessments of the national intelligence community.

Republicans supported science as a guide to policy.

Republicans supported environmental regulation; Richard Nixon created the EPA.

Republicans supported immigration reform; Ronal Reagan proudly told us that America is a nation of immigrants.

Republicans supported health care reform like Romneycare (the basis of Obamacare), which was originally conceived at the Heritage Foundation.

Republicans supported fiscal restraint and deficit reductions.

Republicans opposed tariffs.

Republicans supported the rule of law and impeachment for obstruction of justice.

Republicans supported a 60 vote Senate majority for the selection of Supreme Court justices.

Republicans did not think that Nazis were “fine people.”

Republicans supported the power of the Bully Pulpit (Teddy Roosevelt); Republicans did not support bullying.

Republicans supported Congressional and Senate oversight of the Executive and honoring subpoenas.

I could go on and on. But, you get the point. What happened? Trump happened and the GOP lies smoldering on the ashheap of history, its moral compass melted by the heat of his hate and its relevance to the realities of the 21st Century a retreating image in our collective rear-view mirror. Some may hold fast to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” imagery, but the GOP itself no longer exists as a party. It has no core beliefs. It offers no vision for our collective future. Rather, it exists now only to serve the cult of personality that is Trump and eventually, like Joe McCarthy and others like him, his virulence will run its course. As for those who contemporaneously served in Federal office, they will be proven to have been cowards, unable or unwilling to talk truth to power or publicly take principled positions.

Trump is living proof that, every now and then, the country will vote for an entertaining charismatic charlatan but, over our long history, the country has never voted for a coward. The cowardice of current GOP office holders is inescapable, akin to the mark of a branding iron. My prediction: not a single sitting Republican Senator, Congressman or Governor will ever be elected to be President of the United States.

Andrew D Ellis