President Donald Trump is dominating the Republican party standards with his divisive ideology, and those in disagreement with his ways are facing the decision of either conforming to the changing party or surrendering their position.
“We have, actually, great unity in the Republican Party,” Trump expressed to reporters at the White House on Wednesday in the wake of heavy critique from Republican politicians. However, the unignorable tension caused by the pressure to adapt to Trump’s ideas proves otherwise.
Perhaps the most prominent example of this conflicting tension lies in Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s speech announcing his retirement. Flake, a member of the Republican establishment, denounced Trump’s efforts as a politician and urged fellow Republicans to wake up from the stupor they have been under and fight back against the changing party ideals. “We must never regard as ‘normal’ the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals,” Flake stressed.
Sen. Flake is not the only Republican politician who has stepped back from power in response to the shifting views of his party. The speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Straus announced his retirement on Wednesday as well, saying, “Our party should be dynamic and forward-thinking, and it should appeal to our diverse population with an optimistic vision that embraces the future.” Other examples of politicians surrendering power include Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee and Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, Pat Tiberi of Ohio and Dave Reichert of Washington State — all members of the Republican party.
“The message they’re sending is: The way to survive is by accommodating him, changing their tone and professing loyalty to Trump,” William Kristol, former editor of The Weekly Standard, said.
“The message they’re sending is: The way to survive is by accommodating him, changing their tone and professing loyalty to Trump,” William Kristol, former editor of The Weekly Standard said.
Already, there is a clear impact of the views coined as ‘Trumpism’. This is illustrated in the Virginia and New Jersey race for governor, as Republican nominees Ed Gillespie and Kim Guadagno campaign on stances reflective of the president’s; including perspectives on immigration and Confederate statues. Senators Dean Heller and Roger Wicker have both recently reiterated their fidelity for Trump’s ideas as a result of Trump-influenced threats. Representative Martha Roby of Alabama among others has been working to mend relations with the White House fervently after being an outspoken critic of the president prior.
“We’re not an element,” said Trump-advocate Laura Ingraham. “We’re the party.”
The motives to re-establish the party are not far-fetched, as it is clear that the conservative electorate of America responds better to Trump-style rhetoric.
“This thing they’ve got today doesn’t work, it doesn’t move with urgency,” said Stephen Bannon, former chief strategist, who is attempting to more-or-less ‘weed out’ Republicans who do not fully support Trump’s agenda. “It’s very nice. But it’s a theoretical exercise. It can’t win national elections.”
This idea utilizes fear to threaten Republicans who do not fully support Trump’s views, essentially telling them that they either abide by Trump’s ways or they have no place in the Republican party.
Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP