I was a fly on the wall at the Gwinnett Republican Convention this year. I was working registration and credentials this year, so I didn’t get to listen in on a lot of what was happening on the floor. The parts I did see were a bit concerning to me. The Party of Trump has taken hold like a vine on a tree that is slowly strangling the life out of the Republican Party. The resolutions of a Republican convention are a glimpse of what is on the collective mind at that moment in time.
Resolutions are mostly useless, in my humble opinion. Resolutions really should be used for honoring the memory of people who have passed on and thanking people for their service to the Party. Over the last decade, the Anti-Establishment Establishment has used convention resolutions as a stick to beat elected officials over the head in hopes of submission. Then there are calls for “unity” after the squabbling has been put to rest.
This year, there were censure resolutions that tried to make rounds around county conventions this year–condemning our Republican Secretary of State and Republican Governor for not fixing the election for former President Donald Trump. Those resolutions, thankfully, did not get adopted by the Gwinnett convention. Resolutions canceling Coca-Cola and Delta, two major companies that provide livelihoods for Georgians, because they disagreed with comprehensive election reforms that were passed and signed into law this year.
It’s a bit ironic for the Party of Trump to complain and condemn social media companies like Facebook and Twitter for censoring conservative voices and then call for boycotts of companies because they say bad things about the Party of Trump. Of course, the people pushing boycott and censure resolutions are probably the same people excited to see an ethically-challenged former Democrat announce his run for governor of Georgia because another former Democrat with questionable ethics said good things about him.
What was notably absent was a resolution condemning the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6th. That day should have been an inflection point for the GOP. That day should have shown that Donald Trump didn’t care about his oath of office or his country–he cared about his power and being worshiped by his ardent followers. He abdicated his duty to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Our nation owes former Vice President Mike Pence for being the honorable man that he is to ensure that the Constitutional process and a peaceful transfer of power occurred.
As far as I know, there was not a resolution rebuking the insurrection by Trump cultists and saying “not in our name” passed at any county Republican convention. That silence is as deafening as President Trump’s silence while the insurrection was taking place down the street. The Georgia Republican Party is afraid of losing Trump voters, and I believe the silence has made that point clear: don’t say anything negative about President Trump, and don’t defend or side with those he considers his political enemy.
The Republican Party had an opportunity to squash this in 2015 and 2016, but we didn’t. We are now seeing the consequences of inaction play out. President Trump has taken zero accountability for the loss of his own election. He has shifted blame and scapegoated other Republican officials rather than realizing that saying “don’t vote” isn’t a winning strategy.
I suppose Georgia Republicans will be fighting the Cola Wars while the Democratic Party of Georgia and Stacey Abrams continue to register voters and find ways of getting ballots to those voters. The Georgia Republican Party needs to stop getting direction from a former New York Democrat who has retired to Florida and start connecting with Georgia voters. We need to understand that culture is changing and listen to a new generation of voters more than lecture about how culture should conform to the Party of Trump.
Perhaps Republicans can still hold off or even reverse the Blue Wave in Georgia, but the culture warrior spectacles that are happening under the Gold Dome and in our Republican conventions are a turnoff. If we keep trying to cancel people and businesses who disagree, then voters will likely cancel Republican officials at the ballot box in 2022.