January 6: collapse of the modern-day Republican Party


   Donald Trump’s Presidency has come to an end. Whether you loved or hated him, it seems like the end of an era, but I feel like more than just his term may come to an end. Donald Trump ran as a Republican, and he certainly has shaken the party up over the past four years. All his antics and tweets aside, in the past few weeks as President, he may have single-handedly ruined the reputation of the Republican Party.

   It may be hard to believe our country was not always run by Democrats and Republicans. For a period of time, however, neither was dominant in U.S. politics, but that changed in the years leading up to the Civil War. In 1850, the two main parties were Democrats and the Whigs, but due to the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, this two-party system collapsed. Out of the rubble came the Republican Party. This act was proposed so that new territories in the west would choose whether or not to have slavery in their region. This proposed act was popular among southern politicians for obvious reasons but was not looked at so fondly by Northerners. The act was passed, and it divided the nation. This act caused the political divide to shift from Democrats vs. Whigs to Northern Democrats and Whigs vs. Southern Democrats and Whigs. The northern defectors from both parties created the Republican Party, and this new party eventually led to the collapse of the Whig party.

   These past events remind me of the current political climate, not because it led to the Civil War or how it creates a direct line from past events to current events, but because it shows how morals and people’s viewpoints on right and wrong can make a political party combust. The northern members of both parties had their differences, but they decided to leave their political parties and create a new one because they could not be in a party that planned to spread the institution of slavery. I think this could happen to the modern-day Republican Party, especially after the Capitol riots which were caused in part by former President Donald Trump.

   No matter what political party you identify with, what happened on January 6 was one of the worst things that have happened to the U.S. in recent years. The fact that our Commander in Chief at the time of the riot encouraged it by proclaiming that an unfair election was stolen from him makes it even worse. After all of this, there are still Republicans, whether they are everyday citizens or Senators and Representatives, who defend him. Some members of the party still hold on to their morals, but how long can they stay in a party that has members who invaded our nation’s Capitol? How long can they stay in a party whose members entered our Capitol, confederate flags in hand, and claimed they were starting a revolution? It seems to be that the Republican party has been ruined by Donald Trump and his supporters. The only way they are to be taken seriously in the coming years is to take a note out of their party’s former members: leave, make a new party that does not believe in lies, does not believe in hypocrisy, but believes in the things that made the Republican party what it used to be.