Principled Republicans and conservatives must oppose Trumpism

by Mike Madrid

The president of the United States is a threat to the republic. We are at a moment in our history when the norms of political discourse and the protections established at our founding are being undermined, by both the nation’s executive and a Republican Party more consumed with loyalty to a personality than the country and the Constitution.

I don’t offer this lightly. I have spent my entire adult life working for the Republican Party and the conservative movement. I served the California Republican Party as its statewide political director. I served as the press secretary to the former California Assembly Republican leader. Until a few years ago, I was a consultant to the GOP. I am a voting delegate to the California Republican Party.

Trump is not a conservative and the case supporting that is far too long for the space provided here, but highlights include: his “profoundly immoral” behavior, as noted by Christianity Today in a recent editorial calling for his impeachment; his war on free trade and the use of tariffs that have hurt the agricultural industry and businesses throughout the country; his punitive tax code that raised taxes substantially on Orange County residents and Californians as a whole.

Recently, I joined with several Republicans leaders in the conservative movement — top advisors to Republican presidents and some who felt they no longer had a home in the party — to form a national organization whose mission is simple: The electoral defeat of this president and those in the Republican party who willfully act against our Constitution.

The Lincoln Project draws inspiration from former President Abraham Lincoln, who defeated slavery and united the country through the bloodiest period in our history. We seek to restore our party and our country to a commitment to the rule of law and we will work to defeat Republican officeholders and candidates who advance the agenda of one person above our country’s sacred framework.

The Republican Party, specifically under the direction and actions of Trump, has lost its way. We will spend the next 11 months energizing those who agree with us and convincing those who have not yet decided.

If you are undecided, step back and consider how uncommon much of this presidency has been. Perhaps you don’t love all his tweets, but you do love how he makes the media crazy and “owns the libs.” Go deeper than that. Do you love the repeated lying? Do you support his constant assault on minority groups, American cities and our global allies? Are you comfortable with national debt, which continues to skyrocket under his leadership? A defining characteristic of this era has been hypocrisy. Republicans have no monopoly here, but it’s time we get back to consistent values. I was political director for the California Republican Party during the Clinton impeachment, which I supported because Bill Clinton lied to Congress and I expected better from our leaders. I support impeachment now for the same reason.

Some Republicans believe that unquestioned loyalty to a political leader is wise, maybe even warranted. Some have come to the conclusion that a political party is more important than our Constitution and our country. Some have forsaken the cause of liberty and freedom because they’re encouraged by the vulgarity of attacking one’s political opponents.

But I believe that doesn’t reflect the feelings of many other Republicans. I believe many want a president worthy of the office once occupied by Lincoln. I believe most would choose their national integrity and moral character over what we have endured these past few years.

The two-party system isn’t working. Party loyalty isn’t working. The only way our Republic survives is if enough people vote against him. The Lincoln Project will aggressively make that case between now and Election Day.

Mike Madrid is a Republican political consultant and a board member of The Lincoln Project. Twitter: @madrid_mike

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