On Tuesday, writing for The New York Times, former 2016 presidential candidate Evan McMullin called on Republicans committed to constitutional principles to form a new party if the GOP continues on its current path.
"On Friday, the Supreme Court rejected a Texas lawsuit to overturn the election, a legal challenge that was as frivolous as it was anti-constitutional," wrote McMullin, a former CIA officer and lifelong conservative. "Yet more than 60 percent of House Republicans signed a supporting brief, joining 18 Republican attorneys general who filed their own and embracing entirely the unreality of Trumpism by lending their names to undoing an election that put them in office."
Among those who supported the efforts, he noted, were top Republicans like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Energy and Commerce ranking member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). "That they instead clung to his mad king strategy, like sailors lashed to the mast of a sinking ship, proves that the majority of the party has, at least for the foreseeable future, forsaken democracy," wrote McMullin. "Even though Trump has been defeated, there is still no home for Republicans committed to representative government, truth and the rule of law, nor is one likely to emerge anytime soon."
One of the only potential options left, he continued, is a new conservative party — one that will openly challenge the GOP in 2022 and 2024, and offer an alternative for the Never-Trump right.
"It should start with unyielding commitment to the equality and liberty of all, and then to facts, reason and knowledge," wrote McMullin. "It should champion democracy and its improvement and cherish life in all its phases. It should promote personal responsibility, limited government and government’s vital role for the common good. It should advance for justice to all, and uphold the personal and religious freedom of a diverse people. It should expand economic opportunity, rejecting cronyism and protectionism, while defending innovators and workers from theft and predatory practices abroad. It should recognize immigration as a vital national asset and universal access to quality health care, public and private, a national obligation. It should imagine new methods of learning and work. It should be decent, ethical and loyal to the Constitution."
It is unclear exactly what sort of base would exist for such a party, but it might be a home for those behind the Lincoln Project, or lawmakers like retiring Rep. Paul Mitchell (I-MI) who left the GOP over its attacks on the rule of law.
"Eventually, we will have to make a decision: Will we return to a Republican Party liberated of fear, corruption and authoritarianism, or will we attempt to replace it with a new conservative alternative?" wrote McMullin. "Our hope is that we can still help foment a broad rejection of extremism inside the GOP. But our immediate task is to build our home for either eventuality, and to continue the fight for liberty, equality and truth."