“We Have to Move Beyond Donald Trump”

Latest Ripon Forum Looks at Road Ahead for Republicans & Some of the Solutions GOP Leaders are Putting Forward This Year

WASHINGTON, DC — The Ripon Forum kicks off its 55th year of publication with an edition that focuses not only on the road ahead for the Republican Party, but some of the solutions GOP leaders are putting forward to meet the challenges Americans will face in 2021. 

Leading the Forum’s coverage of the GOP’s future are three Republicans who have become leading voices on the subject in the weeks since the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and the subsequent impeachment of Donald Trump. The Republicans are U.S. Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Jaime Herrera Beutler, and Nancy Mace. In separate essays, each expresses strong opinions about the direction the Republican Party should take in the months ahead, and the role that the former President should play in that regard. 

“Where do we go from here?” Kinzinger asks in his essay. “Do we continue down the path of anger, vitriol, and hatred? Do we continue to pledge our allegiance to one man and cancel anyone who doesn’t wholly agree? Or do we step back, take a look at this inflection point and decide we need to change course?” As Kinzinger makes clear, he believes the party needs to change course. “To put it bluntly,” he writes, “we have to move beyond Donald Trump.” 

Herrera Beutler strikes a similar note in her piece. 

“In a world filled with distortion and lies based on political correctness and utopian ideas,” she writes, “to be a conservative is to tell the truth — every day. Part of telling the truth is working to reject baseless conspiracy theories. Denying that a plane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, stating that school shootings are false flags, claiming the 2020 presidential election was stolen — these lies have no place in the Republican Party.” 

Mace agrees. 

“We sit at a crossroads,” the South Carolina first-term lawmaker writes, “one that could determine not only the future of the Republican Party, but the future of our country. We can either cling to the personality-driven, conflict-oriented, us-vs-them tactics of the past, or we can look forward to a party based on our future.” 

The future of the party is very much on the minds of four other Republicans featured in this latest edition, who in three separate essays — two written individually, and one written jointly — discuss some of the key challenges facing America and some of the solutions they will be putting forward in that regard. 

Those writing include U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, who serves as the Republican leader of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and explains why “Now is the Time to Restart and Reinvest in American Research.” 

In addition to Lucas, U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Bob Latta, who serve as the Republican Leaders of the Energy & Commerce Committee and the E&C Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, respectively, write about the importance of “Boosting Broadband Connectivity.” 

And U.S. Rep. John Katko, who serves as GOP Leader of the Committee on Homeland Security, writes why “Homeland Security is Not a Partisan Issue. It’s an American imperative.” 

Also writing for this latest edition of The Ripon Forum are Jon Cowan and Matt Bennett of the Third Way, who explain why President Joe Biden should govern from the political center over the next four years. Bill McKenzie of the Bush Institute, who served as Editor of the Forum in the 1980s, returns to the pages of the journal with an essay about “Democracies and the Reliable Flow of Information.” And Jane Campbell, the President of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, examines the fortifications that have been erected around the Capitol and explains why they should be taken down. 

With America marking the one-year anniversary of the lockdown this month, the latest edition also features an interview with Dr. Eric Toner of Johns Hopkins about the fight against COVID-19 and the effort to vaccinate the American people as quickly as possible and bring the pandemic to an end. 

And in the latest Ripon Profile, Spencer Cox, the newly-elected Governor of Utah, discusses, among other topics, the state of political discourse in America and how things can be improved.  “As leaders,” Cox tells the Forum, “we need to lean into persuasion, steer clear of character assassination and revive the art of the compromise.”

The Ripon Forum is published six times a year by The Ripon Society, a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.