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GEORGE S. SMITH: The way out

Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming.


Third-ranking Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ninety-seven percent conservative voting rating.

Ninety-eight percent of her votes backed President Donald Trump’s agenda.

Her party is turning on her for two “sins”: She voted to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting the Capitol insurrection and she has stated publicly that the 2020 election was not stolen, that Joe Biden won fair and square, time to move on.

Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is showing her party a path–a wide, beautiful path–out of the suffocating quicksand that was the Trump presidency. Her party leaders and party members are ignoring her gracious overtures and are prepared to toss her bodily into any handy briar patch just to shut her up, to diminish her pulpit power.

Instead of saying, “Thank God for Liz and her dose of common sense,” the party leaders and lead talkers, all irregulars in the Department of Truth, are treating her like Hester Prynne in “The Scarlet Letter.”

In a word, this conservative woman who deeply believes in old-time Republican values and has followed the party line to the edge of her personal ethical abyss is declared “unclean” by her peers.

Cheney, Mitt Romney and a few other Republican House members are putting their political futures on the line by simply telling the truth about The Big Lie of a “stolen election” that was not stolen.

This handful of Republicans clearly sees three things:

  1. Following the ideological whims of a disgraced, twice-impeached president is doing irreparable harm to the Republican Party and its brand;
  2. Claiming the Jan. 6 insurrection was no big deal, that Russian influence in the 2016 election was a hoax and that the 2020 election was stolen is folly, and party officials should move on and focus on more tangible issues; and
  3. History will paint the Trump era as a cult of personality and those who partook of his poisonous charisma will forever be portrayed as mere mice following a felonious pied piper into the political wilderness.

If you are a Trumpster today and you do not see the nakedness of your “emperor” in light of current events and judicial rulings, what outcome can you expect by sticking with a disgraced charlatan and felonious politician Neanderthal?

Your history and life-tags are being written as you read this: willing victim or Stockholm Syndrome survivor; easily led patsy; duped rube; one-issue follower and believer.

Regardless of the tag you collect, you are on the wrong side of history and complicit in the unraveling of the core thread of decency that is the United States.

Trump promised you a better America. What you got–what we all received–was a divided nation of haves and have-nots, a racially split country in which civil rights took a huge step backwards, and a nation in which winning became more important than being right or honest or ethical.

The Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney approach to saving the integrity, the very soul, of the GOP is the path out of the political wilderness that is Trump’s legacy.

How many party members will see that Cheney and Romney are right and that continuing to admire the maniacal misadventures of a displaced, tin-pot, would-be dictator is sheer folly and guaranteed to relegate the party to the dustbin of history?

Bull Moose Party? Know-Nothings? Whigs? Federalists? Constitutional Union?

Et tu, Republican Party?

George S. Smith of Sutton is a former longtime Arkansas editor and publisher.

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