We must now offer our own vision for the country capable of uniting more Republicans, Democrats and independents to advance solutions to the immense challenges we face. Because Trumpism will be on the ballot again, in 2022 and 2024.
It should start with unyielding commitment to the equality and liberty of all, and then to facts, reason and knowledge. It should champion democracy and its improvement and cherish life in all its phases. It should promote personal responsibility, limited government and government’s vital role for the common good. It should advance for justice to all, and uphold the personal and religious freedom of a diverse people. It should expand economic opportunity, rejecting cronyism and protectionism, while defending innovators and workers from theft and predatory practices abroad. It should recognize immigration as a vital national asset and universal access to quality health care, public and private, a national obligation. It should imagine new methods of learning and work. It should be decent, ethical and loyal to the Constitution.
If the coalition that defeated Trump and elected President-elect Joe Biden, of which we are a part, fails now to lead the nation past the coronavirus pandemic, widespread job losses and economic instability, social division and injustice, inaccessible health care, fiscal shortfalls and disinformation, we will invite a resurgence of Trumpism and even more formidable illiberalism in the future.
Soon, we may field and promote our own slate of candidates running on either party’s ticket or as independents, but under our ideological banner. To advance this vision and support these candidates, we should further develop the infrastructure we’ve created over the last four years: including data firms, messaging platforms, research capabilities and grass roots networks.
Eventually, we will have to make a decision: Will we return to a Republican Party liberated of fear, corruption and authoritarianism, or will we attempt to replace it with a new conservative alternative? Our hope is that we can still help foment a broad rejection of extremism inside the GOP. But our immediate task is to build our home for either eventuality, and to continue the fight for liberty, equality and truth.
Evan McMullin is a former C.I.A. operations officer, former chief policy director of the House Republican Conference and was an independent candidate for president in 2016. He is the executive director of Stand Up Republic.
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