Op-Ed: What’s Happened to the Republican Party?


Flags of Ukraine and the United States of America, symbol of friendship and cooperation. Photo purchased from BigStock.com.

Miles Munkacy, Executive Editor

When I think about writing political articles, specifically the latest antics of President Trump, I try to stop and reflect on whether I’m being too partisan. Am I criticising him because I’m trapped in a Bay State liberal bubble? Am I angry because I don’t fully understand the situation? Am I displeased with whatever he does just because that has become my natural reaction?

And then Trump asks the President of Ukraine to investigate his political rival based on a conspiracy theory, threatening to withhold congressionally approved military aid if he doesn’t comply. Simply, he used his political office for personal gain.

Is it partisan to suggest that is a serious issue?

Much to my chagrin, and to the chagrin of anyone who believes that the country is more important than a political party (an unfortunately dwindling population), the answer of almost every Republican in the nation is a resounding “yes.”

Knowing our current political climate, some might stop reading here and dismiss any point I make as irrelevant, because they still believe that Republicans are acting virtuously and that Trump did no wrong. Explaining why that is a ridiculous assertion would take too long. In short, however, this is the situation as we know it:

  1. Trump recruited a group of people within and outside of the government to pressure the government of Ukraine into investigating both Joe and Hunter Biden and a conspiracy theory involving a Democratic National Committee Server.
  2. Trump blocked the payment of $400 million in military aid to the country (although he later allowed the payment to go through) as part of this campaign.
  3. Thus he established a quid pro quo with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Those are simply the facts, as they have been consistently corroborated by the sworn testimony of people with intimate knowledge of the situation.

That Trump and the Republican party deny these facts isn’t at all surprising, as it is part of a larger campaign in which they have dropped some of their most deeply held moral values in order to defend the aforementioned indefensible actions.

Take a recent guest of Lou Dobbs Tonight, a FOX program anchored by the noted conspiracy theorist. While condemning the actions of people who dare speak out against and investigate the President, former Trump aide Christian Whiton said the following: 

“You see Vindman, this bureaucrat who poured himself into an Army outfit to go and frankly speak contemptuous things against the commander-in-chief… If you did that as a private in the Army you would get court-martialed. I guess if you’re, you know, a never-Trump bureaucrat Deep State crybaby you get away with it.”

Photo illustration purchased from BigStock.com.
An important reminder: Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman is a war hero. He has served in the Army since 1998, first deploying to South Korea and Germany. Eventually Vindman saw combat in the Iraq War and received a Purple Heart after he was wounded by a roadside bomb. Calling him a crybaby shows a crass ignorance that is utterly unacceptable. Whiton should be ashamed.

This unpatriotic statement shows how partisan American politics has become. Republicans no longer even adhere to their unspoken rule of defending the military from all criticism. Instead, they blindly attack anymore who points out the wrongdoing of one of their own.

This perversion of their doctrine is sad. The Republican party, especially those in the House involved in the impeachment inquiry, need to take a step back and understand what they’re doing.

If Republicans think throwing away everything they believe in to help a president that is fundamentally incapable of doing the right thing, so be it. Hopefully they reconsider.