President Donald Trump will be speaking at a rally Saturday night in the Houston area. So, of course, the governor, lieutenant governor and a host of other Texas officials will be there.
I wish they wouldn’t.
I’m disappointed to see so many talented Republicans join a rally where Trump is the main speaker and sure to spread his conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
It is 2022. It’s time for Republicans to move on. They can appreciate Trump’s time in office while supporting a different candidate for 2024 and working for a better conservative party.
Texas officials, from Gov. Greg Abbott to members of Congress, are eager to appear with Trump in Conroe and tout his endorsement, especially a month before the Republican primary. For now, having Trump on your side is a key to victory in the GOP. But at some point, Texas Republicans have got to break away.
Before Trump ran, I supported his bid. His business acumen seemed a better bet than another Clinton in office. Many Texans agreed. In his four years, Trump upheld a semblance of conservatism, appointed hundreds of incredible legal minds to the judiciary, including three Supreme Court justices, supported religious liberty and fast-tracked COVID-19 vaccines.
However, when Trump lost the election, he failed to do so with the grace and class expected of someone in that office. Some conservatives, including him, believe the election was rigged and he actually won. Election integrity is important, and there are always pockets of fraud that need to be addressed. But there’s no legitimate case that the presidency was “stolen” from Trump.
Even if Trump genuinely believed fraud took place, he should have stepped aside, appealed to the courts and awaited results. His inability to lose with grace set an ugly, divisive tone for 2021. (President Joe Biden hasn’t helped counter that, either.)
Trump is not the only Republican capable of winning the presidency, nor is he the best face for a conservative movement that wants to move forward in Texas or elsewhere. To really save America, conservatives — including Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton — must let Trump go.