Charting a New Course for Centrists Left Behind by the GOP
(AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)
Charting a New Course for Centrists Left Behind by the GOP
(AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)
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We are conservative women. We both have been engaged in Republican politics since the late 1980s. Susan is still an active Republican woman, working nationally as a consultant and she’s also a political analyst at MSNBC. Sophia is a proud political independent woman of color who sits on the Unite America board and decided she could no longer be a Republican when Donald Trump became president in 2017.

Fast-forward to 2021. We both care about our country more than we do our political party. We still believe in democracy and the founding principles of America. We are, however, dismayed and stunned at what the House Republicans have done to Rep. Liz Cheney for standing up for the truth about the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. We lament that the GOP is no longer  a big tent, and that the party merely tolerates  women and racial minorities is no longer tolerable. We understand that the demographics of America have shifted dramatically and that the Republican Party has become a tribal and monolithic entity of mostly white men and working-class Americans disenchanted and angry about the state of what they see as their country.

That is why we are part of a new broad alliance of current and former Republicans and independents who have outlined a better vision for the party and the country, and which launches nationwide Thursday. You’ll hear from us about restoring a “common-sense coalition” based on truth and core American ideals, a group that rejects political extremism and offers a unifying vision. Not one that is beholden to a single man, Donald J. Trump, who was twice impeached, and who lost both the House and the Senate during his tenure as president. Our new alliance is not just another group of academics who write op-eds and slink quietly away after. Our coalition includes former members of Congress and state officials, seasoned political strategists, former high-ranking government officials, prominent conservatives, and centrists alike, republican thinkers and writers like the two of us, and tested grassroots leaders across America.

Let’s face it -- there is no GOP civil war taking place. The GOP as it stands is not the party we both joined as optimistic 20-somethings three decades ago. The GOP has lost its way. The party has been corrupted by lies, denial, and personal self-interest. It has stopped being the party of small government, term limits, family values, a strong national defense, and a pro-growth optimism that built America from her beginnings through the days of Ronald Reagan and men like former GOP Congressman (and HUD Secretary) Jack Kemp. These statesmen understood the need for outreach to black and brown voters, and how to take a sunny message of hope, home ownership, entrepreneurship, and resilience to communities often blighted by systemic racism, gentrification, lack of opportunity and lack of basics such as food and housing.

What’s more, GOP attacks on the integrity of our elections and our institutions pose a threat to our democracy and U.S. security. This is bigger than the fate of one political party. This is about the enduring legacy of our great and beloved American story. The story of us. Of all of us working together to build a better future for our children and their children’s children.

As centrist women, we are tired of watching Democratic Party women make all the electoral gains and hold positions such as speaker of the House and now vice president of the United States. Although we are proud of them as women, we would like to be part of a political party that embraces and celebrates women, not divides them as was done recently and glaringly with Reps. Elise Stefanik and Liz Cheney.

In the final analysis, we believe that we must partner with and work closely with pro-democracy organizations, such as the Call for American Renewal, that will work tirelessly for us all to be able to respectfully disagree with one another in the political arena, but to unite in taking down the obvious lies and untruths that divide us. We’ll stand against the fear-mongers and conspiracy theorists. And we’ll invest in a deeper pro-democracy bench by recruiting a new generation of principled leaders to run for office at all levels, and win. Lastly, we want to give voice to the countless Americans who don’t feel at home in either party by creating a home for the politically homeless and mobilizing them to help chart our country’s course forward.

Sophia Nelson is author of “ePluribus One: Reclaiming Our Founders Vision for a United America” and a frequent legal and political commentator.

Susan Del Percio is a Republican strategist and political commentator.

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