Goodbye to Trump’s GOP: We’ve left the Republican Party and all other women should too

Republicans face the new power of the purse.
Republicans face the new power of the purse.(Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Call it a divorce. A case of “irreconcilable differences” perhaps, but we’re gone. Splitsville. Outta there.
We left the GOP at different times for sure, but for the same reasons: We watched a party that we both put decades of our professional lives into as young women coming of age in the mid-1980s through 1990s, slowly but surely become a party hostile to women, minorities and any group but white men, rural and rust belt voters.
We watched the party of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Margaret Chase Smith, Everett Dirksen, Ronald Reagan, Sandra Day O’Connor and Jack Kemp turn into a party of aggrieved, angry, anti-immigrant Trumpites.
We’ve watched the party move backward in recent years, as fewer GOP women serve in Congress, and the women who do “make it” too often must stand idly and silently by men like Donald Trump when they get caught openly disrespecting women. As women, our perspective and experiences within the party are in stark contrast to those of the men, many of whom are still comfortably and unapologetically snug in the sexist practices, attitudes and general nincompoopery that have long plagued the GOP, and which has snowballed under Trump.
This doesn’t even begin to address the corruption of historical proportions by Trump and his many jailed former associates. He is, after all, an impeached President, only the third in American history. This so-called “Republican” president has destroyed the GOP, cratered the rule of law, and is an open racist and misogynist.
And if the past week of political headlines is any barometer of where the GOP is headed in the 2020 election, it’s not a good place. President Trump has failed horribly in his duties to protect the nation during the coronavirus pandemic. Over 67,000 Americans are dead from the virus in just six weeks. Over 1.1 million Americans are infected. The economy has lost 30 million jobs. And polling data shows Trump trailing Joe Biden nationally and in key battleground states. The Republican-controlled Senate is now also in play.
None of this is a surprise to us. The alleged “pro-life” party now sees GOP governors caving under Trump’s demands to re-open their states by this weekend, essentially risking thousands of more largely preventable deaths by COVID-19, all in service to Trump. Then there are the militia-men protestors, who stormed the statehouse in Michigan last week with weapons drawn, hurling violent taunts. How do pro-life conservatives square that circle as thousands will be exposed to and needlessly die from the virus?
The Republican Party we once knew and served is gone. Pipe dreams that we can somehow save that party are just that. Donald Trump is now the Republican Party. Trump’s GOP base’s allegiance is bizarre considering he has destroyed every traditional Republican issue they could claim to be their reason for supporting him.
One of us has been investigative counsel to the Republican Majority House Oversight and Investigations Committee and worked under the RNC Counsel. The other was a legislative aide for former House Republican Leader Bob Michel (R-IL), communications director for the House Education and Workforce Committee, and RNC spokesperson. We’ve each logged in hundreds of cable TV pundit hours.
We should be, as many of our former colleagues who are women should be, at the table advising, and helping the party to expand. To bring women into the fold. Build the bench. But conservative men in the party do not allow women to rise or thrive. Don’t take our word for it, just look at the numbers aforementioned. Trump and his band of angry men hate Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Hillary Clinton, Sen. Elizabeth Warren not just because they are Democrats; they despise them because they are women out of their place, women who have gained great influence and great power.
Republican women can no longer ignore the stark contrasts between the two parties in terms of how women are perceived and treated, supported or not supported. In the headlines right now are the sexual assault allegations against former vice president Joe Biden. He addressed the allegations on live television Friday and called for an investigation of the Senate personnel papers to uncover any complaint against him by Tara Reade. Donald Trump has yet to answer dozens of sexual assault and even rape allegations made against him by multiple credible women. He ignores, denies and smears, while his largely Christian base says nothing about his conduct with porn-stars, adultery and the like.
The question on the table now is can the GOP survive largely with just white men and a handful of women who ignore the misogyny?
The short answer is no. Because this election, just like every election since 2016, has turned on the female vote. Take Virginia, which has moved from red, to purple, to blue; it now has women lead both its legislative chambers, thanks in large part to the gender revolt against Trump in the 2017 state elections.

Simply put: Women, particularly suburban women, reject Trump and Trumpism in greater numbers than do men: As a Gallup poll shows, men —largely white men — approve/disapprove of Trump 49/47%. While 37% of women (almost exclusively white women) approve, 60% disapprove.

But how many of them have one foot off the Trump train for the very reasons we left the GOP?

With presumptive Democratic nominee Biden copiously vetting women for the vice-presidential spot, it’s imperative that all women are attuned to the language of bigotry, misogyny, double standards and pressuring to “know your place” — not as victims, but as citizens, leaders, and with the responsibility of writing this part of the history books in our voice.

Because it’s coming — big time. Hang onto your bonnets, ladies, because things are about to get interesting.

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