The last four years, for the GOP, remind me of the movies when a scientist is on the verge of a breakthrough and is convinced he’s broken the code only for it to blow up in his face a moment later. On Monday, November 7th, right before the 2016 presidential election, I vividly remember having a phone conversation where I expressed my utter confidence that Hilary would win in a landslide. In my mind, the GOP had allowed a clown to infiltrate their party ranks, and honestly, it was embarrassing.
As we all know, I was dead wrong. Had I underestimated the American people’s disdain for having a woman in power? Underestimated the population’s desire for a new hat? You betcha. That new hat was red and had bold white lettering with a phrase the masses could get behind. And they did. A lot of them. MAGA grew so quickly even the crusty old conservatives had to acknowledge that like it or not, Donald J. Trump was the face of the new Republican party.
In the meantime, MAGA was being embraced by fringe groups with nefarious motives. They saw an opportunity to come out of the woodwork and announce themselves to the world. And while many of the people that voted for Trump the first time around wouldn’t normally associate themselves with overt hate groups, they couldn’t help but realize they shared some of the same values. Maybe it was immigration policy, maybe it was religious or 2nd amendment based, or maybe it was the pure and simple fact that they believed their leader gave them a voice that had been muted by traditional politicians.
Before too long, there was a stark divide in this country, and you were either MAGA, with everything it encapsulated, or you were Anyone But Trump. At least, this is how the media portrayed it, because let’s face it, it made for some great ratings. Liberals were watching so they could find anything to use as ammunition against a man they saw as the new Hitler. MAGAs were watching because their voices were being amplified to the masses for the first time many of them can remember. Everyone was shouting so loudly, they didn’t stop to realize there was a whole swath of people left voiceless.
There isn’t a label to hang on these people, and they’re difficult to identify because they’ve been forced into hiding. I don’t know what action they took on Tuesday, November 3rd, but I do know it was done with a heavy heart. In the past, they would have voted Republican because the party aligned with their values, and they were proud to voice their support of their candidate. Sure, they’d grumble that Bill Clinton was too loose with his morals or that Barack Obama was too…well, they would never say it aloud. But they’d place their vote and then go on with their lives. No gaudy hats, no flags replacing their sacred Stars and Stripes, no rallies. Just life.
Some of these people were pulled into MAGA’s cult-like atmosphere so far that they were left without a clue of how to escape. They were the Leah Reminis of MAGA, and they were desperately looking for a way out. There are a lot of these citizens and a good number of politicians representing them that can help facilitate this life raft. Don’t you think Mitch McConnell would rather go back to the days where he could subtly push his agenda and make millions doing so rather than being portrayed as a weathered turtle because he held a position of power in Trump’s party?
The GOP has an opportunity to reclaim their old glory by distancing themselves from this failed science experiment. By joining together and quickly impeaching Trump, they can change the narrative and revive the spirited rivalry of the two-party system. Democrats will be quick to forgive because it will serve their agenda, and Republicans lose essentially nothing as the impeachment is largely a symbolic measure. Sure, there will be the casualties of wannabe conservative rock stars like Matt Gaetz and Josh Hawley, who are Trump’s ride-or-dies. But the consequences of perpetuating the fracture of American politics could be catastrophic for the GOP.
If they allow Trump to get away unscathed, he will return with the rejuvenated strength of a slasher movie baddie. It would be better for them to permanently taint the Trump name and disassociate themselves completely. In the past couple of days, the tone towards Trump has changed from groups like Proud Boys and Three-Percenters and even the bat-shit crazy Qanon. The passengers on the Trump train are jumping off quickly, and it would behoove the GOP to fast-track it right off the rails.
Otherwise, when Donald Jr. announces his bid for presidency under the brand new MAGA party, the conservative population will have a difficult decision to make.