- The Washington Times
Tuesday, February 16, 2021

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is doing his best to banish former President Donald J. Trump from the Republican Party.

After eviscerating the former President on the floor of the Senate this weekend, Sen. McConnell penned a scathing op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today, titled “Acquittal Vindicated he Constitution, Not Trump.”


Sen. McConnell wrote Mr. Trump’s behavior during and after the Jan. 6th riot on the Capitol, was “unconscionable,” and Mr. Trump “bear’s moral responsibility,” for the day’s events.  He also gave an interview to the Journal pledging to play an outsized role in the GOP’s primaries – to help fend off possible Trump-backed candidates.

Sorry Sen. McConnell – you may be the highest-ranking elected Republican official in Congress, but you do not represent the future of the Republican Party.

Three out of four Republicans surveyed in a Quinnipiac University national poll conducted during and after impeachment, said they want to see former President Trump play a big role in the GOP moving forward. Only a fifth of Republicans said they don’t want the former president to play a dominate role in the party.

Moreover, 87% of Republicans said Mr. Trump should be allowed to hold elected office again.

“He may be down, but he is certainly not out of favor with the GOP. Twice impeached, vilified by Democrats in the trial, and virtually silenced by social media … despite it all, Donald Trump keeps a solid foothold in the Republican Party,” Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy wrote.

The poll’s results mirror a Politico/Morning Consult survey conducted on Sunday, after the impeachment trial and subsequent acquittal. Six out of 10 Republicans want the former President to play a role in the direction of the GOP, and eight out of 10 still hold a favorable opinion of him. 

Mr. Trump breathed new life in the Republican Party, transforming its focus from the country club to the working class with his America first, populist policies. Priorities such as fighting for American jobs, combating unfair trade deals, standing up to China and fighting for the forgotten people, remain extremely popular with the Republican base.

As much as Sen. McConnell would like to forget the last four years ever happened and paint Mr. Trump’s base as crazy QAnon conspiracists or Proud Boys, in order to write them off – the fact remains, Mr. Trump gave a voice to the voiceless and he was one of the few politicians who fought for the American public not establishment norms. 


So, it’s no surprise, Mr. Trump’s base has remained loyal. If Sen. McConnell were ever to leave Washington, he may just find that out for himself and advocate for the policies Mr. Trump championed, instead of trying to rebuke Mr. Trump and his followers at every turn.


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