Conservative begged Republicans not to flee the party after Jan. 6 – now he's leaving it himself
Donald Trump (AFP)

On Wednesday, writing for The Arizona Republic, tech lawyer and conservative columnist Robert Gonzalez — who just months before published another op-ed urging wavering Republican voters to stick out the chaos in the GOP and reform it from within — announced that he has had enough, and is leaving the party himself.

"I hoped that the extremism we were seeing – those questioning the results of the 2020 election, those advocating against a peaceful transition of power, those defending the terrorists who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, those ignoring science and advocating for horse dewormer as a public health measure – was a fringe element," wrote Gonzalez. "While many Republicans failed to show leadership during Trump's presidency, it seemed that in the wake of Jan. 6, those leaders would finally stand up for truth and democracy. I was wrong."

Gonzalez pointed to the worsening extremism of his longtime party, including the controversial state Senate-backed partisan "audit" of ballots in his own state from an outside pro-Trump security firm, and the purges of dissent among party leadership, including the removal of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from House leadership for her criticism of Trump's election conspiracy theories.

"I had hope back in February that we could correct course. Especially after Jan. 6, a return to sanity seemed necessary, maybe inevitable. But after months of meeting with folks on the ground, watching the news and seeing the 2022 GOP primaries unfold, I'm less optimistic," concluded Gonzalez. "One of the few remaining tools to influence the Republican Party is to sever ties. So I urge remaining Republicans who stand for truth and democracy to vote with their feet, and leave."

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