The Republican Party began its march into the American mainstream in 1854. It is the second-oldest political party in the United States, after the Democratic Party. The Republican Party or, ‘Grand Ole Party’ (GOP) began as a party that had a stunning, for its time, coalition of support ranging from professionals, industrial workers, African-Americans and farmers. It was the party that in 1860 tapped U.S. Congressman from Illinois’ 7th District, Abraham Lincoln to salvage what seemed a hopeless situation, the looming American Civil War, a fractured country both in ideals and identity.
Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican to ever win the Presidency, and with his victory and indeed The Union’s victory in 1865 over the Confederacy the GOP would largely dominate American politics until 1932. The very foundations of America during the industrial age and its maturation as a force onto the global stage of foreign affairs was largely the Republican Party’s doing.
The Republican Party over recent years has gotten a lot of grief, some of it justified, some of it not but there was always some notion that you could maybe think of three things, off the top of your head, and identify what it means to be a Republican and why you believe in the party. The ship has truly sailed on that as one looks on in horror at the Senate Republicans in particular, ducking reporters who hand them printouts of President Trump’s tweets because the senators say that they haven't read them to avoid comment. It’s clear that many incumbents in the party don’t know what they believe in anymore and they have surrendered to Trump and his base, wholesale. Conservatism as a pillar of the Republican Party has been replaced by Trumpism.
One who didn’t drink the Kool-Aid is Senator Mitt Romney. He was the only Republican in the Senate who voted to convict President Trump and to remove him from office. His approval rating is high in Utah and exasperatingly for Mitch McConnell and President Trump, they can’t control him. The late Senator John McCain and the late George H.W. Bush were examples of a previous time where disagreements weren’t fewer but more compromises were struck out of the common understanding that everyone wants what’s best for the country, there is just a difference in opinion as to how to get to that better, higher place. Mitt Romney has proved that he has come a long, long way since his own presidential run in 2012. He seems like a man who has gone to Utah and found purpose in his work, the support of his constituents, and his backbone. Senator Romney should probably recommend his orthopedic spine specialist to his Senate colleagues.