GOP Icon- Trump Vs Santos
Robert A. Levine
In this age of mass communication, particular figures become representative of their political parties because of repeated exposure on television and social media. For the Republicans during the last six or seven years this figure has been Donald Trump, aka The Donald. He has dominated the news and sucked the air out of every venue where he has appeared with a constant array of controversial statements, misstated facts and outright lies. Since his defeat in the presidential election of 2020, he has played the role of victim, insisting that the election was stolen from him without an iota of proof. However, the Republican base loves his bluster and lies, with the majority of Republicans believing that the election was indeed stolen from him.
Now that he is being indicted on criminal charges for the first time, which he describes as the result of a witch hunt, it appears that the majority of Republicans are remaining in the Trump camp. However, as more and stronger charges are brought against him by other prosecutors, will his base remain loyal? Will he remain the symbol of modern Republicanism? It is quite possible that as the criminal charges against Trump pile up, large numbers of Republicans will abandon him and seek another standard bearer for the party.
There are a number of candidates who would be glad to assume this position if Trump were found guilty of criminal charges, especially if he wound up in prison. One of the leading candidates would be Marjorie Taylor Greene, a GOP Congresswoman from Georgia who loves to bask in the public spotlight. While she would be a fine icon for the Republicans, she might be a little too far out for some, though after Trump, who knows? MTG was an open supporter of Qanon, believed that the California wildfires were caused by space lasers and that a plane did not crash into the Pentagon on 9/11, among other bizarre theories. Even though her Georgia district voted for her twice overwhelmingly for congress, Republicans overall might not appreciate her views.
Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House is the highest ranking Republican in government right now and could also be a candidate for GOP icon. However, it took fifteen ballots for him to get elected and he had to make deals giving away some of his power. He is also seen by some Republicans as too wishy-washy and not a figure who projects strength.
Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri saluted the rioters on January 6th when they stormed the Capitol and later was seen running away from the chaotic scene. These actions sort of disqualify him from being the Republican icon. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is disliked by many in the Republican Party for his know-it-all and superior attitude, so he would not make a decent icon. Mitch McConnell is too old and not photogenic.
Therefore, I propose that George Santos replace Donald Trump as the new GOP icon. He has many similar qualities, including the ability to lie, cheat and steal money from his campaign contributors. Much of his biography is also false as was The Donald’s. Despite all the negative attributes of Congressman Santos, the Republican Party has been unwilling to dissociate itself from him. He would make a fine figure to represent the GOP, as did Trump.
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