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Republicans Need to Avoid Becoming Democrats on Purity

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

It’s tempting to jump on the bandwagon and attack Massachusetts Senator by proxy Mitt Romney of Utah, but what does it get you? Nothing. I was initially disgusted by his decision to vote guilty on the first article of impeachment, then I realized I simply didn’t care what he does or thinks about anything. And seeking retribution for something that ultimately doesn’t matter actually takes away from a very powerful weapon the GOP has against the Democrats: their demand for purity.

Democrats are the party of absolute uniformity, demanding conformity from its members. Pro-life Democrats are silenced until they can be run out of the party. Oppose socialized medicine? Better keep that to yourself or else you’ll find yourself with a primary challenger embraced by your colleagues. Refuse to denounce capitalism as a cog in the racist oppression machine that is the United States of America? Good luck holding a town hall meeting without being shouted down as history’s greatest monster.

The Democratic Party has created an outrage mob in which someone who supports their agenda 99.9 percent of the time is their 100 percent enemy, and it is hurting them with voters. Americans don’t like drones, we like winners. That someone disagrees with us on something is not cause to never speak to them again, unfriending/blocking people over a single issue/tweet/post is the domain of the left. Normal people have experienced this firsthand when they read the unhinged comments on Facebook from “friends” when they post anything positive about President Trump, the economy, killing a terrorist leader, or anything insufficiently “woke.”

The Pavlovian freakouts occur constantly, and being able to weaponize this demand for absolute obedience to progressive groupthink is a powerful tool Republicans have effectively used to turn people off to the Democrat mob. That’s why becoming them is a bad idea.

Mitt Romney is an idiot. Changing one’s mind on some issues, even slightly, is expected over the course of your life. Experience always does that, or at least should. But Mitt has done 180s, 360s, 540s, and 720s on so many issues over his political career that he either has no idea what he believes or he “believes” in nothing and will do whatever he thinks will help him at a given moment. Whatever his rationale happens to be, it doesn’t matter.

Romney voted to convict the president on one article of impeachment – so what? We all knew it was possible, even likely. The [resident was still acquitted. That’s what history will record. You remember who won the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, World Series, etc., not the score.

My father taught me that it doesn’t matter if you win by one or one million, what matters is you got the victory. President Trump got the victory. Democrat journalists praising Romney as a hero will be forgotten by history because it did not matter, it didn’t make a difference.

I didn’t believe him either when he was moral-peacocking on the Senate floor about how his faith led him to this decision, but I also didn’t care. When I started seeing people wanting to expel him from the party or ridiculous and constitutionally impossible calls to recall him, I thought they were equally dumb.

Romney votes with Republicans the vast majority of the time, and he’s not up for reelection until 2024. There’s nothing the GOP can and should do to him. It was one vote, one time. Yes, it was a big deal, but it will also be forgotten by anyone not served politically by remembering it by tomorrow. Unless Republicans spend the rest of the year seeking revenge over it and make Mitt into a martyr. 

Romney craves attention, don’t give it to him. Ignore him; freeze him out. When asked about him, on any issue, the response should be a simple, “I don’t really care what he does.” The media will elevate him, we don’t have to play along. 

But don’t try to run him out of the party either. Be bigger than Democrats. Don’t be them. Use their inability to accept differing opinions, to tolerate someone not conforming, hurts them. The endless stream of videos of speakers being shouted down, of people being harassed, is one of the greatest election advantages we have. The “party of tolerance” being intolerant of dissent differentiates us from them. If we join them, we lose that advantage. 

We’ve known we couldn’t count on Mitt Romney since he ran for president in 2008, so his vote really surprises no one. It also changed nothing. President Trump is acquitted, period. Democrats are still unhinged, demanding absolute loyalty to policy and ideology or else. We don’t beat them by becoming them. You want to go after Romney, do it when he’s on the ballot again in 2024, the only time it can be done.

Until then, welcome his vote when we get it, and ignore him when we don’t. With the exception of a very few, history doesn’t remember senators, no matter how beloved they were by the media. Let them write books praising him, they won’t be read because who cares? Keep your eyes on the prize. November is coming. Elections are about the future. Focus your energy on what’s to come, not what’s come and gone. No amount of anger will change his decision, and since it wasn’t even close to being the deciding vote, no one will remember it, or him, either. 

Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.

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