Editor’s Note: Ashley Pratte Oates, an independent and former Republican, is a communications strategist, political commentator, and board member of Republican Women Progress (which endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016 and President Joe Biden in 2020). The views expressed in this comment are his own. Read more opinions on CNN.
Especially after the deadly Capitol uprising, many in the political class who criticized former President Donald Trump as a threat to democracy were once again right.
In a weekend post on social media site Truth Social, Trump called for the repeal of all “rules, regulations and articles, even those in the Constitution”, to disrupt the 2020 election and bring him back to power. He was responding to the release of internal Twitter emails showing how social media platform executives debated ahead of the 2020 election over linking to a New York Post story about material reportedly found on the laptop of President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
Those of us who have taken a stand against Trump feel justified by this truly shocking post after years of being called an alarmist. But it is a sad day for democracy when a former US President called for an end to our nation’s founding documents and principles.
Given that Trump swore to protect, defend, and support the Constitution at his inauguration in 2017, this should give us all pause as he runs for president again.
Unsurprisingly, many in the GOP leadership remain silent about scolding Trump for this, just as they remained silent after the January 6, 2021 uprising and instead used their platform to defend Trump’s dangerous narrative that the 2020 election was stolen.
According to The Hill, former Vice President Mike Pence told a South Carolina radio station on Monday that every federal official has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who in January 2021 said Trump had “provoked” the crowds in the Capitol, said at a weekly press conference Tuesday that he planned to address the former President’s comments on the Constitution. 2 Senate Republican, South Dakota Senator John Thune stopped short of telling CNN that he disagreed with Trump’s last words, but whether they disqualified him from running in 2024. Another member of the GOP leadership team, Senator John Cornyn Texas, called Trump’s social media post “absolutely irresponsible.”
Of course, many Republicans will be the first to tell you that their party platform is based on defending the Constitution.
But instead of drawing a line in the sand and breaking ties with Trump knowing the dangerous threat he poses, they are trying to do him a favor by endangering the safety of the American people and the interests of our democracy.
Trump has proven at every opportunity that he is truly unfit for the country’s highest office, showing his willingness to destroy democracy to stay in power. From Trump’s request for his vice president to shelve the Constitution to break the will of the people, to setting the stage for the protest that led to the capture of the Capitol, it’s clear that Trump has always been against the founding principles of our country. .
Trump has acted in despotic and authoritarian ways at times, but this is taking the cake. He showed his true face; It stands before our nation and only for its own sake.
“Dems smashed” was once metaphorical to describe the internal struggles of the Democratic Party, but now, after the 2022 midterms, Republicans seem to be stumped for failing to produce a so-called red wave.
Since announcing his third presidential election last month, the former President has dined with a Holocaust denier in Mar-a-Lago and defended those who raided the Capitol.
Rather than denounce Trump and make it clear that their party won’t be running for president in 2024, Republicans are wasting their efforts to avoid falling out of favor with the former President.
The Republican Party, which has no platform of its own, has embraced Trump’s dangerous anti-democratic platform for its ability to seize the GOP base, which leaders see as vital to regaining power and reclaiming the presidency.
There are dangerous consequences awaiting our country if Trump continues to trace his campaign trail and becomes the GOP candidate, and worse still, re-elected. He will likely use his platform to overthrow democracy, condone violence, and thwart the will of the people. He has made it clear that he will stop at nothing to get what he wants, make false accusations and conduct unfounded investigations to further his own agenda.
The principles of freedom our Founding Fathers espoused and protected are now officially under attack as Trump continues his efforts to bring America under his tyrannical rule.
Enough is the time for all GOP leaders to condemn Trump and his scourge in our nation’s history – no doubt the Founders would agree.