Using the U.S. Senate run of Georgia's Herschel Walker as a jumping-off point, conservative columnist and former GOP White House adviser Peter Wehner bemoaned the state of the GOP for giving up any pretense of principles since Donald Trump infected the party with his brand of win-at-all-costs politics.
A Short Explanation of how the party's have drifted apart over the last forty years
After noting that Walker, with his massive resume of scandals, has "no business running for political office at any level, let alone the United States Senate," the columinst added that, in many ways, he is representative of the wave of Republican candidates who are destroying the party that Wehner writes used to stand for something.
Calling Walker the "archetypal MAGA candidate in a MAGA party," he added, "Like so many who now represent the GOP, Walker displays not just a lack of interest in serious ideas but contempt for them. Benightedness is chic," he wrote for the Atlantic.
"Republicans once sold themselves as representing family values and tradition, concerned with moral standards and civic character. They insisted on the importance of good character and integrity in political leaders. This has been exposed as utterly cynical, most obviously in the support that Republicans—many of whom savaged Bill Clinton over his moral failings—gave to Trump, whose corruptions are peerless and borderless," he charged before adding that the current Trump-ear cast of characters -- including conservative non-politicians -- have taken over the conservative movement and that the Republican party will suffer because of it.
"The GOP has turned on virtually every noble principle it once claimed to stand for," he wrote. "It has become a freak show, embodied in people like Trump and Walker, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, Ron Johnson and Josh Hawley, Blake Masters and Doug Mastriano, Adam Laxalt and J. D. Vance, Steve Bannon and Roger Stone, Michael Flynn and Mike Lindell, Tucker Carlson and Sebastian Gorka, Eric Metaxas and Paula White. They shape its sensibilities, providing the script for everyone else to follow."
He added that many currently in power have been complicit in the damage being done.
"To make matters worse, those who surely know better—people like Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ron DeSantis, and especially Kevin McCarthy—turned out to be hollow men, 'shape without form, shade without colour, paralysed force, gesture without motion,'" he wrote.
"Whatever you thought about the GOP pre-Trump—and it may be that the ugliness was much closer to the surface than I wanted to acknowledge at the time—the Republican Party is today much more conspiracy minded, anti-democratic, and anti-truth," he elaborated before lamenting, "This worries me, because I love my country. And it disheartens me, because I once admired my party. Today, however, because of its diseased state, the most urgent political task is to defeat it in the hopes of eventually rebuilding it."
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