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OP-ED: President Trump has left Washington D.C. What’s next for Republicans?

America is attempting to move on from the chaos of the last administration, yet there are many conservatives, especially politicians, who should be contributing to our government and public needs. Instead, they would prefer to hold onto past conflicts and previous disagreements with Democratic members. So, the question remains unanswered: What is the future of the Republican party now that President Trump is out of office, and how will they move forward to unite the nation and their party?

Looking back a year ago, it was Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, election day in America. It was a day filled with anticipation for both Democrats and Republicans alike, as the question loomed in the air: Who was going to prevail in this 2020 Presidential election? Later, in a week filled with controversy and misinformation surrounding the voting system, particularly the counting of each ballot, the election was over and Democrat Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States. This should have marked a new period in American politics, but instead it created another political issue between the two parties. 

Americans will never forget President Donald Trump’s four years in office. It should have taught them that although our democracy is fragile, it is still in the process of healing and learning to adapt to all the rapidly changing social, economic and political circumstances of this country. 

President Trump has finally accepted defeat, or at least the loss of the 2020 election. However, the majority of The Grand Old Party (G.O.P.) has not completely severed ties with Trump’s political agenda. Queens College’s Business Law professor Barry Leibowicz chimed in with his thoughts regarding the G.O.P’s future: “Unfortunately, I believe it has been horrendous,” he explained. “The G.O.P appears to have morphed from a party espousing traditional values of fiscal conservatism and business friendly policies, to one simply focused on the cult of Trump. The result has been a contracting base, and damage in so many ways-the environment, racial division, faltering economy with increased economic inequality, and of course, a complete abdication of the federal parties. Many Republicans disengaged themselves from Trump after that ordeal, however in the following few weeks, the world has seen sympathetic views from a majority of Trump’s allies towards his ‘peaceful transition’.

When asked if Mr. Leibowicz believes that the Republicans will continue Trump’s political practices, he stated, “I do not know, but I hope not.” Many would agree with the fact that they don’t in fact know how the next following years will precede, but all they can do is hope they do what is best for their party, and the country, in the future. Mr. Leibowicz noted, “They need to adopt policies more in keeping with the needs of the nation, and expand their appeal beyond their shrinking rural focused base. I believe they only have a future if they leave Trump behind.”

The issue with the Republicans is their lack of independence from ‘Trump’s America’ and his core belief of “Making America Great Again.” The leadership of the G.O.P party has failed to bring their people together to transition and move forward without raising the temperature of the situation. Conservatives must rethink their core principles and distance themselves moving forward from one specific Republican candidate and their policies while in office. American elections and politics will continue to be a two-party system; the Republican party will be around for decades. 

However, conservatives must change their attitude towards change, understanding when to support and divert their loyalty from one candidate in order to maintain their identity. A political party is bigger than one candidate and one set of policies. The tone of America has changed; therefore, the Republican party must be actively ready to abide by the American people and their concerns. 

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