The Republican party has largely embraced former President Donald Trump since his ascent to the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and, subsequently, the presidency.
Trump remains the favorite to win the nomination again in 2024 if he decides to run, but a small number of Republicans have publicly denounced him. These include the late Senator John McCain of Arizona, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, and Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, among others. Nearly all of them have become personae non gratae within the GOP.
In an op-ed for AZ Central this past week, Robert Gonzalez—a conservative lawyer in Tucson—joined their ranks.
To make matters more interesting, Gonzalez had written another op-ed only eight months earlier imploring Republicans not to abandon the party, but to work to make it better instead.
He now acknowledges that premise was wrong, and that he too would be leaving the party, writing:
"I hoped that the extremism we were seeing – those questioning the results of the 2020 election, those advocating against a peaceful transition of power, those defending the terrorists who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, those ignoring science and advocating for horse dewormer as a public health measure – was a fringe element."
He went on to cite the Arizona GOP's embrace of the partisan audit forced by its Republican legislature. That report only further vindicated President Joe Biden's victory in the state.
Gonzalez continued, accurately noting that any Republican who tells the truth about the 2020 election faces cancellation by the right:
"While I still hope for a reasonable, sane, principled Republican Party, I'm no longer hopeful that it can be achieved by working within. I'm not optimistic for the reelection prospects for folks like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, or for the prospects of those in Republican primaries who do not embrace the Big Lie."
Others agreed that the Republican platform can no longer be considered a workable doctrine for the United States.
Others were less sympathetic.
Another one bites the dust.