Opinion: Republicans must denounce Trump through actions, not words

Maddie Newingham

Maddie Newingham

Democrats are cheering about Senators Bob Corker and Jeff Flake speaking out against President Donald Trump.

We are treating them like heroes, but they haven’t actually done anything. Sen. Flake retired not because he feels as though he is serving under a morally bankrupt administration, but because he likely would lose the primary election in his state.

Even if he were to win, he would have a tough race in the general election. So, save your applause; he just didn’t want to go through a campaign process.

Despite his recent spat with Trump, guess who voted for every poorly written plan the Republicans shuffled together to overhaul Obamacare, rather than putting their support into a bipartisan plan to improve flaws of Obamacare.

Flake still votes in line with their policy.

Yes, it is absolutely important for Republicans to pull it together and denounce Trump on his character flaws, but these men are senators with real power. They are acting as though they have no means to fight back against the Trump administration.

Senators Flake, Corker and John McCain all have the power to check Trump with better ethics and by demanding investigations that limit executive branch excesses before they leave the Senate.

When the president’s own party is fearful their leading party figure has the nuclear codes, that is a problem.

Democrats need to reassess how they celebrate Republicans speaking out against Trump because they have not done anything; it is all vain talk. It’s not like Corker and Flake will suddenly feel enlightened and vote in line with the Democrats. They are not the champions of this political climate.

While I hope more Republicans speak to Trump’s ethical failures, it is more important they feel the pressure to enact real change in the Senate that can check Trump.

I do not have a plan for the Republicans, but they need a new strategy.

They are either going far right to the Bannons of the world, which is absolutely terrifying, or they are moving back to the left for various reasons. I will not go so far to say that I would vote for a “normal” Republican, but I certainly would rather be represented by Sen. Rob Portman than someone twice ousted from the Alabama Supreme Court in Roy Moore, who argues for making the “act of being homosexual” illegal.

Five years ago, the Republican establishment would denounce this kind of crazy, as it did with David Duke and, to a lesser degree, Sarah Palin. Now, Republicans are endorsing men of the same radical white nationalistic agenda.

The party is barely working to save itself.

Stand up for your beliefs, state your opinions and fight against racist xenophobes destroying your party. It is not hard to denounce blatant bigotry and actively work against it.

Maddie Newingham is a columnist. Contact her at [email protected].