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State of American History, Civics, and Politics

WWG1WGA: How Republicans Can Defeat Trumpicans

Can Closet Republicans Gain their Courage? (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowardly_Lion)

There is nothing inherently political about “where we go one, we go all.” It contains no message overt or covert that is political. It is a phrase of solidarity. It could be used by Superbowl football teams huddling before running out on the field. It existed for over two decades without having the meaning used by QAnon today.

It offers a powerful sense of belonging and community to disparate individuals scared of the world around them. It can provide solace and strength to those who need the former and lack the latter. If you heard the phrase outside the political arena, you might think you had walked into a group self-help session.

REPUBLICANS AS TARGETS

Right now the closet Republicans are in a bind. They despise the loser defendant for what he is doing to the Republican Party yet they fear his power. They have watched those who have dared to defy him in House and Senate votes be censured, canceled, and primaried by the Trumpicans who control the party infrastructure and who make up the vocal and dominant base.

Every time a closet Republican votes as a Republican instead of a Trumpican, they become a sitting duck.  They are exposed as individuals especially because there are so few of them. There is strength in numbers. There is strength in where we go 1 we go all. There is strength in acting together.

People in the know (Jeff Flake, Charlie Dent, Rick Wilson…) have talked repeatedly about how many closet Republicans there are in Congress. Their calculations for the Senate all suggest that something in the 35 range would vote Republican and not Trumpican in a secret ballot to convict. They might in an open ballot if they said WWG1WGA. Theoretically, it is still possible. Imagine Mitch McConnell leading the closet Republicans in the chant “Where WE Go 1 We Go All” before leading the charge onto the political playing field. It would make a good movie but it is not realistic. It won’t happen.

If I had a dollar for every time a host or guest on one of the cable talk shows about the powerful debate presentations, then I could retire a billionaire. The arguments of the House managers were powerful. The testimony was powerful. The videos were powerful. Everything was powerful and compelling.

It also was meaningless for now but not for history. Historians will study the presentation. Scholars will examine it and the additional information that is sure to come out. The future will note how few profiles in courage there were among the closet Republicans.  The legacy of the closet Republicans who failed the country will be exactly that: they failed to hold accountable the President of the United States who waged a war on the constitutional republic culminating in an assault on Congress as the members were voting to certify an election. Not only will they live with that legacy but so will their children and their children’s children. And the closet Republicans don’t care.

THE FINAL STRAW

The vote the day after Lincoln’s birthday to absolve the President who sought to destroy the country Lincoln gave his life to save will be the final straw for many Republicans. The moment will  be remembered as the moment the assertions that the Republican Party is the party of Trump and not Lincoln is made official.

It will also be the day when Lincoln Republicans say enough is enough. There already have been enrollment declines in multiple states as longtime Republicans head for the hills. More will follow once the capitulation to Trump is finalized in the impeachment vote.  This vote is for the record and for the record the Republican Party is the party of Trump.  What are you going to do about it?

THIRD PARTY

Third Parties don’t do so well in American politics. However they can be a factor in individual elections. Ross Perot, George Wallace, and Teddy Roosevelt did make a difference elections once. True, they did not create a long-lasting party but they did make a difference in the short run. Even the Republican Party emerged out of the debris left by the collapse of the Whig Party.

A third party can make a difference in 2024…especially for the Democrats. Nikki (buying back her soul) Haley has made the political calculation that her chance to be President is more likely as a Republican than a Trumpican. Perhaps she recognizes that he will run again. Perhaps she recognizes that there is a crowded field seeking to be his anointed successor. Perhaps she is truly disgusted with the way he treated his Vice President, a person she knows. Whatever the reason or reasons, she has made a decision that the closet Republicans in the Senate fear to make.

It is quite possible she is not the only one who will make that decision.  True a third party means the Democratic Party is likely to win in 2024. Normally the incumbent President wins re-election anyway unlike the 2020 election. Based on this analysis, sacrificing the 2024 election to position yourself for 2028 is not such a bad decision depending on your age.

However that decision rests on two gambles:

1. the current President will run for re-election in 2024
2. the Trumpicans either will rejoin the real world or there will be sufficient Republicans to take back the party after another loss in 2024.

There is no way to know now what will happen. Each person with presidential ambitions will make their own decision.

Despite what one might think given the alternate reality in which Trumpicans live, there are some events which might cause a re-evaluation. Think of the Trumpican prophecies not just about the election but what would happen afterwards.

1. Will March 4 be the date their Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name, returns to his rightful home in the White House? How many times can you keep changing the date without looking like an idiot?
2. Will your community be overrun by Antifa-Salvador-Chinese terrorists?
3. Will you and/or your neighbors be taken to a “re-education” camp?
4. Will you lose your right to freedom of speech and the right to assemble?
5. Will the stock market crash (always a gamble)?
6. Will sleepy-creepy Joe Biden already in the nursing home with one foot in the grave finally die?

What happens if:

1. the pandemic ends
2. the economy recovers
3. life goes back to normal?

What happens when millions of people suffer from post-trumpatic stress syndrome and are forced to live in the real world?

Closet Republicans are thinking short-term. Many of them are not up for re-election in 2022. Even if they are, a lot will happen between now and then. The information about his medical condition when he had Covid is just an example. Eventually even the Cowardly Lion gained courage. It is time for Closet Republicans to do the same.

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