So if you haven’t already checked it out, give a glance at the following webpage: “A Call For American Renewal” at https://www.acallforamericanrenewal.com/ (1)
What is it, you ask? Well, I answer, it is a political manifesto put out by a number of anti-Trump Republicans who are attempting to take back their party from its current masters, i.e., the Lunatic Right.
And what is in the manifesto? Basically that the Republican Party abandon Trump and act, again, like a real political party rather than an insane asylum for conspiracy kooks and ammosexuals.
You have to admire that.
We need to renew this...
Anyway, to be honest, I know very little about the Call or the people behind it. The Callers are, however, a colorful group. Among others they include Bill Weld, who was governor of Massachussets for several years when I was living there; Tom Ridge, George W. Bush’s Secretary of Homeland Security; Barbara Comstock, the former Congresswoman from Virginia; Anthony (“The Mooch”) Scaramucci, financier and former Deplorable; and on and on. (2)
And behind them, meanwhile, are two even more colorful characters, specifically: Evan McMullin, who is described in Wikipedia as “an American political activist and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operations officer who ran as an independent during the 2016 United States presidential election;”(3) and Miles Taylor, who (again to quote Wikipedia) is a security expert and “an American former government official in the George W. Bush and Trump administrations, best known for his previously anonymous criticisms of Donald Trump. He was a Trump administration appointee who served in the United States Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019, including as Chief of Staff to former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan.” (4)
The two men have a long and honorable history of anti-Trump activism, and the Call was “an initiative” of two organizations which the men founded, i.e., Taylor’s the Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform (REPAIR) and McMullin’s Stand Up Republic, “a nonpartisan watchdog organization meant to ensure that the Trump administration upholds democracy and tells the truth.” (5)
From these beginnings, the Call seems to be shaping up as a co-ordinated effort to change the orientation of the Republican Party. It wants to push the GOP in a more productive direction—i.e., away from Trump and conspiracy theories and total madness.
Which, as I say, I’m all for. Any friend of sanity is a friend of mine, and anything that can be done to move the GOP away from Trump, QAnon, and Jewish Space Lasers is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.
That said, I’m not too sure exactly how the Call is supposed to accomplish its goal. Sometimes it seems to be just a, well, call to action for someone, anybody, to do something. Other times, it seems to want to be a PAC that would support Republican moderates (or even, if need be, Democrats) in contests with Deplorable. And, finally, there are moments when it seems to seriously want to become a new party which would replace the GOP, if the GOP should prove beyond saving.
Could the Call succeed in any of these three? I honestly don’t know. What worries me, though, is that the Callers don’t seem to be entirely sure which, if any, of them they want. Not knowing your goal is, all by itself, a serious handicap. You end up working at cross purposes, and, by trying to achieve multiple ends, you find yourself reaching none of them.
The other thing that bothers me it that the Callers don’t seem to be particularly adept at reaching their potential supporters. This is an age of electronic elections, but, unlike The Former Guy, the Call doesn’t seem to be much involved in things like social media. I’ve yet to find a Facebook account for them, or a Twitter account. They do have a YouTube channel, and in fact ran an online town hall from it on June 24, 2021. (6) Frankly, though, I watched the town hall and it wasn’t particularly compelling. There were a lot of talking heads, but not much in the way of, well, call it charisma.
Which is unfortunate, because, they’ll need all the charisma they can get. Or, to put it another way, at least in this video, they spent too much time talking policy and not enough reaching out to voters. Yes, it’s good to be a shade wonkish. But, in this day and age, they will need a bit less substance and bit more flash if they are ever really going to counter Trump, who has all the flash (and the venom) of a coral snake.
Still, I’m all for them. As I say, any hint of sanity in the asylum is welcome. I will do what I can to support the Call, starting with this blog entry, which, I hope will at least spread their news a little further. I very much wish them the best, and hope that they will succeed in rescuing their Party from madness, or, if need be, in replacing it.
I worry. If they are going to succeed, they will need the support of moderate democrats, independents, and even a few liberals. But, for over forty years now…ever since Ronald Reagan, and particularly after Newt Gingrich imposed his own diseased conception of the party on the GOP, the Republican Party has won by refusing any sort of moderation or compromise. Particularly in the 1990s, they abandoned the concept of the deal, of logrolling and “getting things done,” in favor of the complete rejection and, indeed, demonization of the their rivals across the aisle.
Thus, for almost two generations now, they moved steadily toward extremism, and when they finally arrived at Donald Trump, it was no accident. Their surprise when their ship ran aground on the rocks of 45 was the most remarkable thing about 2016. They knew… or should have known, all along… where they were going.
I wonder, can the Call, or anything in the Republican Party today…
…salvage anything of value from so total a wreck?
Quick aside before I go. I thought it was significant that when I watched the Call’s online video town hall, users were free to comment in the chat section. Fortunately, relatively few Trump supporters appeared to disrupt proceedings, either because they didn’t know about the event or because the organizers succeeded in blocking them. However, there was one extremely libertarian (small l) individual who appeared and soon attempted to dominate the discussion, and to make it about himself. When he wasn’t lecturing the organizers, he was net-splaining other participants on the subtleties of genuinely free economics. He didn’t mention Ayn Rand, but clearly he had reservations at Galt’s Gulch in the near future. Again, there’s a problem there. He was disruptive and may have driven off potential supporters.
This is not to say that Democrats don’t have their own version of the same behavior. Think of “Cancel Culture” in all its gory grandeur. But, the Democratic party itself seems to be a little more open to the concept of compromise, even if all Democrats are not. But the current Republican Party seems to have a far harder time with the concept of splitting the difference. And, so long as the GOP contains within its body politic so many people who possess, in their opinion, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth, and will tolerate no deviation from it, then even without Trump, the party is in serious trouble.
Until next time…
Onward and upward.
Copyright©2021 Michael Jay Tucker
5. See #4