The Ripon Forum

Volume 55, No. 1

March 2021

In this edition

By on March 17, 2021

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 on some of the solutions GOP leaders are putting forward to meet the challenges Americans will face in 2021.

Leading our coverage of the GOP’s future are three Republicans who have 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 for this most recent edition, 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 is not the liberal many in the media are portraying him as. Rather, the pair write, Biden is a centrist. Bill McKenzie of the Bush Institute, who served as Editor of the Forum in the 1980s, returns to our pages 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 since the January 6th insurrection and explains why they should be taken down.

With America marking the one year anniversary of the lockdown this month, we also feature 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 our latest Ripon Profile, we talk to Spencer Cox, the newly-elected Governor of Utah, about, among other topics, the state of political discourse in America and how things can be improved.

As always, we hope you enjoy this latest edition of The Ripon Forum, and welcome any thoughts or comments you may have. 

Lou Zickar
Editor of The Ripon Forum

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