This editorial was composed by the editorial board of the New York Daily News.
Donald Trump has no intention of releasing his stranglehold on the Republican Party anytime soon, but others in the once-proud political organization have a stark choice — or rather, a series of stark choices.
Will they stand up for free and fair elections or cheer on a man who abuses the democratic process by berating Georgia’s secretary of state and telling him “I just want to find 11,780 votes”?
Will they validate the Electoral College count on Wednesday or attack it, happily shredding Americans’ faith in the ballot box?
Will they stand up for free speech, or will they foment hatred against “enemy” journalists and seek to punish social media companies trying to foster the exchange of ideas?
Will they wring their hands about rising debt and deficits or happily enlarge the size of government, including demanding that $600 per-person stimulus checks more than triple in size?
Will they genuinely revere legal immigration or continue to tell their fellow Americans that the country is “full” while trying to slash the numbers of newcomers and put roadblock after roadblock in the path of refugees fleeing war and unrest?
Will they rediscover the value of free trade, or will they demand higher barriers that burden U.S. consumers with higher costs?
Will they at least on paper purport to champion democracy and revile dictatorships the world over, or will they embrace authoritarians who crush dissent and turn U.S. foreign policy into a mercenary machine?
The answers to these questions will determine whether a new and decent genuinely conservative spirit can reanimate the Grand Old Party, or whether the GOP, hollowed out by Trumpism, must be left for dead, and something better created in its place.
Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.