The Surest Way to Bipartisanship: A New GOP

Part III: The Modern GOP

Sam Chavez
Sam Chavez

Table of Contents

Over the last two weeks, weโ€™ve talked about how the GOP is using issues to distract from passing needed, popular legislation and how the Big Lie is still a clear and present danger to our democracy. All very dark concerns, but there is a way out of this.

To close out our series on the GOP, letโ€™s talk about solutions and the ideal path forward.

  1. Recognize what the modern Republican Party is: an authoritarian party
  2. Callout the real reason for inaction in Washington: the GOP
  3. Siphon off moderate voters through honesty & empathy
  4. Vote your Ossoff (but in your own district; for your own candidates)

Your Fathers Republican Party is Dead

It pains me to write that, but the most important thing we can all do is recognize the fact that we no longer have a functioning Republican Party. There is no reforming the current GOP. There is only dismantling it and rebuilding from the ashes.

I believe down to my core that democracy is only healthy when we have two functioning political parties. Unfortunately, we do not. The current GOP needs to be defeated so that a true alternative party can emerge. The Trump party will always undermine democracy because they are authoritarian.

The simple fact is that the current GOP (not voters; but politicians) has become an authoritarian party bent on dismantling our democracy to allow for minority, white rule. The definition of authoritarian is โ€œdemanding that people obey completely and refusing to allow them freedom to act as they wish.โ€ The steps that the GOP is taking to limit voting access and giving them the power to overturn legitimate elections is a clear example of authoritarianism. Seizing power without the will of the people. Vox has a great take on this subject.

I mean...we had an insurrection three months ago and we barely talk about it anymore! And this isnโ€™t the first time in history that has happened....

The Lisa Murkowskiโ€™s and Mitt Romneyโ€™s of the party actually do us a disservice because people can point to them and say โ€œhey look, the GOP is still a normal party.โ€ But they are the exceptions, not the rule. You could plainly see this during the fight to remove Liz Cheney from leadership for simply telling the truth. Liz Cheney lost her leadership position, while Elise Stefanik (former moderate) made an about-face and turned full Trumpy to take her place.

Pinpoint Washingtonโ€™s Inaction: The GOP

Our friend Joe Manchin, wants to point to the Lisa Murkowskiโ€™s as a sign that he can get 10 GOP votes in the Senate (we need 10 with the filibuster) for a January 6 commission, gun reform, or even the John Lewis voting rights act. He and many others are sadly delusional.

Most Americans recognize that Washington is not functioning the way it should. Mitch McConnell is known as the Grim Reaper of the Senate. As Majority Leader, he had the power to not bring bills to the floor making it nearly impossible to pass any bills in the Senate. Now as the Minority Leader, he is keeping his status as the Grim Reaper. By keeping the filibuster which requires 10 GOP votes to pass a bill, moderate Democrats like Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are enabling McConnell to use his influence in the GOP to block any bill he wants.

Letโ€™s pause for a second. Democrats control the Presidency, the House, and the Senate, but Mitch McConnel still is the most influential politician in Washington. That is not how a normal democracy should work.

Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinemaโ€™s views on the filibuster have been well documented in the press. According to them, the filibuster is preserving bipartisanship. They are wrong. The filibuster is blocking bipartisanship. Removing the filibuster would allow the Senate to pass bills at 51-50 instead of the 60 votes required now. In fact, it would help with bipartisanship. The Lisa Murkowskiโ€™s would have more freedom to vote the way they want if they knew bills they voted for would actually pass.

In many circles, there is no urgency to the threats that we face. Thatโ€™s why we need more people to know about whatโ€™s going on.

Siphon Off Votes

While there are some Republican voters who want to see a complete GOP takeover of our government, that is not the majority of Republican voters. Most Republican voters identify as Republican for specific reasons, while they are not policies I agree with, their belief in the Republican Party is based on real policies that they care about.

And thatโ€™s where we have an opportunity. Independent and moderate Republican voters fall asleep at night worried about the same things that we all worry about. They worry about their finances, their children, their safety, their health, their job, etc. Republican voters are just as hurt by the GOPโ€™s inaction because we are not passing crucial legislation (universal broadband access would predominantly help Republican voters).

A few weeks ago, I wrote about motivational interviewing. Having empathetic and deeper conversations with voters will help peel back the layers to reveal their hopes and dreams and how politics affects that. By having these deeper conversations, we allow the voter to understand the importance of voting for candidates ready to make a difference using their own motivations and fears.

We can begin to have these conversations in our everyday life. I am sure you know at least one person who has not voted or has voted Republican but is disgusted with todayโ€™s politics. The work starts now, start having those conversations with your friends and family. Ask them open-ended questions and begin to build those building blocks so that when it comes time to vote, they have a clearer view of the stakes.

I know some of my progressive friends will think Iโ€™m being too kind to Republicans, but I recognize their humanity and I will not attack someone just to feel catharsis. What I will do is continue to talk and work to make sure more moderates see what the GOP has become and join the team working to build a stronger democracy.

And let me be clear, in 2022, itโ€™s all hands on deck. We need to work to siphon off GOP votes, but we also need to energize the Democratic base, convince non-voters to vote, and so on.

Vote to Make Bipartisanship Hot Again

And finally, the single most important thing you can do as an individual is to vote, vote, and vote some more. Tell your friends to vote, and convince your relatives to vote Democrat.

We are at a turning point in our country. We have a choice between a multiracial democracy and authoritarianism.

We had a shot in 2020 to overthrow an authoritarian and we did just that. But the work continues in the 2022 and 2024 elections. We must vote and vote until all of our elected officials recognize the importance of maintaining our democracy. Joe Manchin said it himself.

โ€œOur ultimate goal should be to restore bipartisan faith in our voting process by assuring all Americans that their votes will be counted, secured and protected.โ€ - Joe Manchin

In closing, I ask that you channel your inner John Lewis, hate less, but recognize the clear and present danger that the current GOP is to our American democracy.

And never back down.

We must organize, volunteer, vote, and do everything possible to make sure the current GOP does not regain power. Only continued losses can save Republican voters from the GOP.

Did you find the series on the GOP helpful? Please, share with your friends and spread the Knurd!

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Sam Chavez

Sam is a writer, strategist, and curious human. She founded the roots of change agency in 2020. Sam is a queer, white, LatinX activist whoโ€™s passionate about a livable planet & equitable societies.


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