Donald Trump has a role in the GOP. (Illustration by Junanna Chen)

Featured

Opinion: The Republican Party must move on from former president Trump

The Age of Trump is over, and the Republican Party must pick a new leader.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/tdsondy/" target="_self">Tyler Sonderholzer</a>

Tyler Sonderholzer

March 21, 2021

Although I used to be a supporter of former President Donald Trump, we can no longer have him leading our party.

Following his recent behavior on voter fraud, his behavior following the Capitol insurrection, his call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his plan to replace House representatives and senators who voted their conscience during the impeachment trials in the upcoming 2022 primaries, he is proving to be the wrong person to lead the Republican party.

The Republican party shouldn’t support someone where under his leadership, the party lost majorities in the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House. Someone else needs to take control of the Republican Party — and the party must move on from Trump.

Voters rejected Trump in the 2020 presidential election, so why would they vote for him again? If Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, he will lose again.

We need to find a different candidate who can still use some of Trump’s agenda to appeal to his base while also having a candidate who isn’t as polarizing.

recent poll from Republican voters found that when Trump isn’t included in the running for the presidential Republican nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence are the two front runners. DeSantis and Pence are both candidates that can replicate some of Trump’s agenda and aren’t as disliked as Trump.

Voters don’t want a candidate who has a history of claiming “rigged elections” and whose supporters blindly follow those unproven claims. Trump’s false claims of voter fraud are one of the biggest reasons why the Republican Party must move on from his leadership. These false claims don’t reflect our country’s values especially when they are debunked.

Along with his false claims of a stolen election, he also pushed for Pence to violate the Constitution and overturn the election certification. Then, after Pence followed the Constitution, Trump attacked him on Twitter while rioters stormed the Capitol. Some of Trump’s supporters chanted “hang Mike Pence” during the insurrection at the Capitol and were even a minute off from reaching him.

That is one of the reasons why Trump needs to go: his treatment of his own Vice President proves that he puts himself over the country and party. There is no way that voters would support a candidate who deems everyone who slightly disagrees with him as a traitor or a “Republican in name only.”

The former president’s wish to purge members who either voted for his conviction in the Senate, his impeachment in the House or who have slightly defied him is another reason why he needs to go. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the Republicans in the Senate who voted to convict Trump were votes of conscience, so they shouldn’t be punished for voting what they believe is right.

While I think the Republican Party must move on from Trump, he has done a great job at getting the Republican base out to vote and he has been effective in getting votes down-ballot, meaning not only in the presidential race but also races in the House, Senate and governor positions. He has been a good president for policy aspects like the economy and involvement with the historic peace deals in the Middle East. He is also the first president since President Jimmy Carter to not start a new military conflict.

However, he has alienated many voters and was very unpopular at the end of his presidency. Trump is no longer the effective candidate he was in 2016, and voters are fed up with his antics.

Overall, Trump’s large role in the Republican Party needs to go. He had the opportunity to be one of the best presidents in modern history but his recent behavior negates that. It’s time for us to move on from the Age of Trump — to someone who can replicate the good policies of the Trump presidency, but not hold onto the aspects that polarize and isolate voters.