By most polling and pundits’ projections, the Republican Party is set to sweep out of office the Democrats who defend runaway inflation, economic malaise, pre-teen transition, abortion till the baby enters the birth canal and racist “anti-racist” doctrine.

RIP To The GOP: The Day The Party Died

By most polling and pundits’ projections, the Republican Party is set to sweep out of office the Democrats who defend runaway inflation, economic malaise, pre-teen transition, abortion till the baby enters the birth canal and racist “anti-racist” doctrine.
Opinion By: Steve Laffey, Republican Candidate for President

Here lies the Republican party as we know it. It isn’t even up for debate: The GOP of yesteryear has effectively died. Outrageous behavior was the final nail in the coffin. We cannot precisely point to when the party died, but here are some considerations:

Was it 2015, when Trump’s comments were left to stand unchecked about John McCain: “He’s not a war hero…I like people who weren’t captured.”

I met John McCain once. I knew when he shook my hand, just by looking at him physically, I had met a man who had suffered much so we all could live free. I had met a hero’s hero who deserved respect, not the ridicule of a clown.

Was it 2016, when Donald Trump was caught on a hot mic discussing how he prefers to treat women, bragging about where he grabs them? Years later, in a not-so-shocking turn of events, Mr. Trump would be convicted by a jury of his peers of sexual abuse. Trump made fun of his victim the next day at a Catholic College, and the Republicans in the audience laughed. They laughed. It was sick. I called for resignations. My party did nothing. The former President has shown himself to be a complete narcissist, incapable of keeping his mouth shut.

But it can’t be later than just last week. It’s okay for Trump to skip the first Republican debate in Wisconsin. But it is decidedly not okay to flip the middle finger to the party leaders, those faithful to the party, and to the whole party apparatus with his decision to upstage the debate with his own address at the same time with a disgraced former news anchor. No one should be surprised that Donald the Narcissist is making this all about himself. Will the two pro-Putin loyalists discuss Carlson’s visit to Romania to interview accused sex traffickers? Or will Carlson and Trump just agree the Russian economy is doing great and the ruble has gained strength since Russia invaded Ukraine? Will this be carried live on Russian TV as propaganda? Will Trump laugh and agree with Carlson’s Goebbels-like propaganda descriptions; “The war against Russia led by NATO?” Huh? My party’s response so far to this insanity? Absolute silence.

With the first GOP debate just days away, I’m left wondering, am I the only real Republican left? Has the GOP’s blind loyalty pledge forced respected politicians to become bald-faced liars? Is the Republican Party just a placard for anybody with money, anyone willing to lie, anyone under investigation, anyone willing to find 40,000 straw men?

The latest disaster development from the GOP was when Francis Suarez went on national TV, spreading lies and saying he qualified for the debate. When the ceremonial mayor was pressed because the RNC has yet to confirm that he qualified, his answer was full of doublespeak and half-truths.

I thought Chris Christie was on a kamikaze mission to destroy Donald Trump. He might want to check his GPS because right now; it seems like he’s on a glider that’s miles and miles from its target. Instead, he’s now using doublespeak, trying to justify his plans to sign the pledge. Just because Mr. Trump may have lied in 2015, does not make that the precedent for candidates to follow.

I’m shocked to see Asa Hutchinson say he plans to sign the pledge. Days ago, he said that Donald Trump had disqualified himself from the election. Does he know something the rest of us don’t? Is he hedging his bets that Donald the Terrible is going to step aside?

What does that mean for the RNC’s blind loyalty pledge? How can you pledge loyalty to the unknown? We cannot ignore the fact that this pledge was designed to benefit Mr. Trump. In the end, wasn’t its purpose to force all Republicans to band behind the Trump circus?

Do you need to be under criminal investigation to earn favor within the GOP? Donald Trump is now trying to delay his election interference trial until 2026. Donald, if this is a witch hunt and a hoax, why do you need two years to prepare? Are you truly only running for President to pardon yourself and keep yourself out of jail? This is a disturbing move because it would mean that if this man is somehow elected, he plans to spend his first year in office mounting his legal defense. I don’t think so. That’s not what our country needs or wants in a leader. What message does that send to voters?

My party and many of its members seem to suffer from some type of twisted Stockholm syndrome. Trump has abused my party for eight long years. As his polling numbers illustrate, there’s no shortage of positive feelings towards him. Those numbers also suggest that republicans are sympathetic to Trump’s behavior and rhetoric. And there’s no denying that many republicans now have extremely negative feelings towards the DOJ and democrats. The ultimate consequence: despite claiming to be his opponents, this has encouraged a whole group of sycophants and backstabbers to run with Trump, not against him.

There are no national republican party protocols, no litmus test, no umbrella, no Reagan’s 80/20 rule. Run for president, say, do, whatever you want. Just use the party like Trump has for ballot access.

If I was head of the RNC, I would find a way to deny Trump a seat at the table, find a way to ban the primaries, or just cancel the primaries and go back to choosing a president in a smoke-filled backroom. Anything would be better than this sick process.

As for me, I’ll continue to wait for the Trump Circus to pack up and leave town. Maybe then, we can get back to the real issues at hand, like our current financial crisis. I’ll end this with the same message that I have been shouting for months, the one that seems to be falling on deaf ears: Donald Trump needs to end his campaign. Donald Trump is not fit to serve as President. Donald Trump belongs behind bars. The Republican party and America need real leadership if we want any hope of winning the general election, uniting our country, and restoring the middle class.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Tampa Free Press.

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