Saying the future of the GOP is on the line and the party has “lost its way,” U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger launched a campaign to steer the Republican party away from the recent politics of former President Donald Trump.
“Republicans must say enough is enough,” Kinzinger said in a six-minute video released Sunday morning, introducing the website country1st.com “It’s time to unplug the outrage machine, reject the politics of personality, and cast aside the conspiracy theories and the rage.”
Kinzinger (R-Channahon) was one of 10 Republicans to vote in favor of Trump’s second impeachment.
While Kinzinger said he voted for Trump in November, the Channahon Republican has said since he regrets his vote. Kinzinger was outspoken against the president’s rejection of election results and has warned about the dangers of conspiracy theories, such as Q-Anon.
Kinzinger said he was not surprised by the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, because he had been watching the rhetoric leading up to that day, “and took it seriously.”
The congressman said the Capitol violence make him believe the party is heading in the wrong direction and he said now is not the time for silence.
“Hope has given way to fear,” he said in Sunday’s video. “Outrage has replaced opportunity. Worst of all, our deep convictions are ignored. They’ve been replaced by poisonous conspiracies and lies. This is not the Republican road. And now we know exactly where this new and dangerous road leads. It leads to insurrection and an armed attack on Congress.”
The congressman said in the video this wasn’t the party he signed up for, noting the party forgot its principles and he wanted to lead the GOP back to them.
“It’s time to turn back from the edge of darkness and return to the ideals that have long been the guiding light,” Kinzinger said. “The party of first principles must once again put principles first. What we do will determine where American goes from here. Will we prey on people’s fears or draw upon their hopes. Will we feast on anger, or summon better angels? Will we join the left to take American backwards, or will this Republican Party lead America forward and upward.
“If we choose the right answer, then our country’s future is truly unlimited.”
Kinzinger told the Los Angeles Times he is realistic about the challenges he may face from within his party. Just Saturday, the La Salle County Republican Central Committee hosted a rally against him that drew about 150 people to Washington Square in Ottawa.
Kinzinger told the LA Times he’s OK with letting extreme members leave the party, such as “the Proud Boys,” because he believes it may draw in others in the middle who voted in favor of Joe Biden to be president.
In his unveiling of the video Sunday on his Facebook page, Kinzinger said the campaign isn’t about him. There has been chatter about a possible bid for Illinois governor for Kinzinger, and he has not ruled that out.
“I may be among the first to stand up, but I know I won’t be standing alone,” Kinzinger said in Sunday’s Facebook post.
On Wednesday, House Republicans will hold a discussion and potential vote on whether U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) should remain as chairwoman of the Republican conference after she voted in favor of impeachment.
Republican leaders, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California), recently met with Trump in Mar-a-Lago in Florida to discuss the former president’s role in the party moving forward and looking ahead to 2022 elections, according to Associated Press reports. McCarthy said Jan. 13 Trump “bears responsibility for [the] attack on Congress by mob rioters,” but he voted against impeachment.
Kinzinger was optimistic in his video if Republicans adopt a different direction, it can sustain itself.
“We need only remember what we stand for, then we must stand together and stand our ground,” Kinzinger said, noting the Republican party was instrumental in ending slavery, securing women’s suffrage and fighting against Communism influences. “The foundation of the Republican party is as strong as ever as and so is the foundation of American itself.
“The choice is ours. I’ve made mine and I hope every Republican, and every American who shares our values will choose to join me. Let’s take back our party.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle