On Tuesday, writing for The Durham Herald-Sun, Ned Barnett outlined how former President Donald Trump's ongoing rallies are anchoring the Republican Party from trying to nominate more electable candidates and trapping it in a continuing cycle of fealty to the former president — even as the rallies themselves lose attendance and clout.
"The media are going to have to come up with a new name for Trump rallies. Maybe call them lie-a-thons. The real nemesis at these events isn’t 'radical left Democrats,'" wrote Barnett. "What the former president really takes on is truth. The poor thing took a beating again in Selma on Saturday." Trump and his allies lied about everything from the 2020 election to even the crowd size of the event — claiming 15,000 attendance when the real estimates were around 3,500.
"Eager to have Trump’s base, the Republican Party allowed itself to become the Party of Trump. But as Trump’s drawing power and his base shrink, the party is increasingly split and adrift. What is it now? The Party of Tax Cuts? The Party of Anti-Transgender People? The Party of Sealing the Southern Border? Even Trump doesn’t seem to know," wrote Barnett. "He railed against 'transgenderism' yet he mocked former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory – now a Senate candidate – as the 'bathroom governor.' That’s because McCrory signed House Bill 2, which said transgender people could only use restrooms in state and local public buildings that matched the gender assigned to them at birth."
Meanwhile, Trump is backing Rep. Madison Cawthorn for re-election — even as he has been a continual source of embarrassment for the GOP and state leaders in North Carolina are now trying to get rid of him.
"The best political approach for the Republican Party now is not to rally around Trump," concluded Barnett. "It’s to rally around the truth. Focus on real problems and offer real solutions."
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