Republicans are the only ones who can save democracy

In a country where inflation rates hit new highs, and where economic hardships grow as millions of individuals struggle to put food on the table for their families, Republicans realistically had every reason to win the midterm elections in a landslide this November. As President Biden’s foundational “promises” to the people have yet to be delivered, studies and logistics show us that American voters are fed up. As censorship of free speech on social media platforms like Twitter is prioritized over economic welfare, Republicans continued to have every reason to win the midterm elections in a movement much bigger than their party itself – yet while predictions of a red wave were marketed, midterm results merely resembled a “pink splash.” Despite claims that Democrats outperformed the polls due to outrage from democracy-denying Republicans, and the legal decision to officially overturn Roe v Wade, one person was solely responsible for a disastrous Republican showing in this election: Donald Trump.

Trump’s continued movement to “stop the steal” regarding the 2020 presidential election has proven his claims of a “rigged” election to be inherently false, and his cries for “reformed” democracy have inevitably splintered the Republican party.

The stronghold that Trump still has on the GOP, years after his term ended, has detrimentally affected democracy, due process, and ultimately caused an embarrassingly atrocious reputation for Republicans and candidates alike. In addition, his political power and enraged voters have threatened to kick anyone who goes against the narrative out of the party, creating a fragile and partisan environment. Republicans have suffered immensely because of this: former House representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming was the main target of Trump’s wrath, after refusing to certify his lies about the 2020 election. Trump spent months campaigning for an alternative Republican to oust Cheney, which inevitably worked. Cheney was forced out of her seat in a landslide victory to Harriet Hageman, a conservative who was strongly endorsed by Trump and pushes the same lies upon gullible voters. Yet what is not mentioned about this was that in order to enrage Trump, 20% of registered Wyoming Democrats switched parties just to support Cheney with their vote. Although it was not enough to fulfill the movement, this has emphasized the divide between Trump, and how he has been able to polarize both parties for his own benefit, showing just how much he has damaged the party. His continued “be loyal or be gone” slander continues to heavily shift the goals of the Republican party that attracted voters to the polls originally.

While Donald Trump is no longer president, Trumpism is still very much present in the political scheme within the country. Tuesday night’s announcement from Florida confirmed that Trump will make a rush to the White House in the upcoming 2024 general election. His campaign will once again splinter the party, and hurt candidates who are moderate enough to win general elections and satisfy both parties regardless of whether their preferred candidate wins.

As Americans casted their ballots this November, one pattern stood out: while Republicans were underperforming in almost every state, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis cruised to re-election with nearly a 20-point gap to his Democratic challenger. Since then, we’ve learned that DeSantis managed to flip key regions like Miami-Dade red for the first time in decades. Florida wasn’t present to a red wave; they witnessed a red tsunami. To avoid the divisive fate of Donald Trump, Republicans must set their future with candidates like Governor DeSantis who restore class and American precedence to the party. Given how little success past candidates had in trying to out-Trump, it’s a worthwhile strategy and something that needs to happen. It is long overdue for Republicans to prioritize their people over their party.

As Republicans move towards a much greater goal of winning back the Presidency in the upcoming 2024 election, let there be no doubt: Donald Trump will run again, and is looking for political provocation. His narcissistic personality will inevitably refuse him from stepping down amid legal and reputable prosecutions, as he escapes indictment on serious federal charges drawn against him.

In the history of the United States, never has a President gone to such great lengths to silence democracy as Trump did himself. As he sets himself in favor of a 2024 run, he will once again ruin the Republican party and jeopardize victory for his own personal gain. Yet the valuable aspect of democracy is that one person does not and will not decide the fate of American democracy. The people do – and while running again will prove to be detrimental, Republicans must work together to defeat Donald Trump, to start remembering what their party actually stands for.

The saying goes, “those who do not remember the past are the ones most condemned to repeat it”. As these next few months prove to be crucial, it is time for Republicans to remember their losses, and move towards the future with greater goals than sabotaging their party by supporting Trump. If they refuse to, they themselves will suffer the self-inflicted consequences of their own actions. And when that happens, they will have nobody to blame but themselves.