Vol. 55, No. 1

In this edition

This edition of the Ripon Forum 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.

Now is the Time to Restart and Reinvest in American Research

Since the pandemic began, Congress has spent nearly $6 trillion on relief packages. Of that, only .1% has gone to restarting the research work stopped by COVID. We need to change that.

Boosting Broadband Connectivity for All Americans

While the pandemic underscored the strength of broadband networks, it also magnified the lack of reliable and accessible broadband in many parts of the U.S. It’s essential that we close the digital divide.

Homeland Security is not a Partisan Issue. It’s an American Imperative.

Simply being vigilant is no longer enough. Today’s threat environment demands a posture of unwavering resilience. It also requires partnerships across industries and party lines.

Why Staying Centered is Biden’s Best Bet

By governing from the Democratic center with an an actionable agenda, Biden will be best positioned to reach across the aisle as he promised to do.

Democracies Require a Reliable Flow of Information

Disinformation campaigns have intensified during the pandemic, with nations like China and Russia spreading falsehoods or distortions.

Preserving Democracy: Why the Capitol Must Remain Accessible

November’s historic turnout suggests the political coalitions that constitute our two-party system are once again shifting.


The damage being done to our democracy is simply unacceptable. And the losses I’ll face pale in comparison to what’s at stake: the soul of America.

We Have to Tell the Truth — Every Day

A majority of voters in America will put their trust in Republicans again if they see that we’re willing to face hard truths, and then do the right thing.

We Sit At A Crossroads

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.

One Year Into the Fight Against COVID-19

Q&A with Dr. Eric Toner, Senior Scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and a Senior Scientist in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Ripon Profile of Spencer Cox

Utah’s Governor discusses lessons he’s teaching his children and the top priorities for his first year in office.

Ripon Profile of Spencer Cox

Name: Spencer J. Cox

Occupation: Governor of Utah

Book(s) you’ve read that you’re recommending to friends: A Time to Build by Yuval Levin, Them by Ben Sasse, Love Your Enemies by Arthur Brooks, The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and too many more…

Lesson(s) in life that you’re now trying to impress upon your kids: Hard work makes life easier (i.e. stop complaining about the farm). Kindness, humility and empathy first. Politics last. Avoid a scarcity mindset and practice abundance — put other people first. Always be honest and self-aware. Most people would prefer to spend time around a deeply flawed person who knows it rather than an almost perfect person who thinks they are.

Top priorities during your first term as Utah’s Governor: The only thing that matters right now is getting Utahns vaccinated against COVID-19. But we’ve also got an ambitious 500-day plan we’re calling the One Utah Roadmap. The Roadmap sets major goals around strengthening Utah’s economy, investing in education, improving rural infrastructure and economic future, improving health outcomes and access, expanding equity and opportunity to women and people of color, and streamlining and modernizing state government. We’ve assigned teams to tackle each priority and report back every two weeks, and I’m thrilled by how much we’ve accomplished already.

During the campaign last year, you recorded joint ads with your Democratic opponent to promote civility. What’s wrong with our political discourse today and how do we fix it? All too often in public debate today, those who hold different political views are demonized and vilified. Instead of focusing on weak policies or strategic flaws, attacks have become personal and hateful, preventing us from finding common ground and solutions. As leaders, we need to lean into persuasion, steer clear of character assassination and revive the art of the compromise.

Finally, a prediction – how are the Jazz going to do this year? As a lifelong Jazz fan, I try to never get my hopes too high. But there is mounting evidence that this is the best Jazz team ever. And this past 20+ games has been one of the best runs in NBA history. But I’m a little superstitious and don’t dare jinx it with a prognostication.