Former Congressman Says He’s Leaving Republican Party: ‘This Has Become A Cult’
Former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma announced on Thursday that he is leaving his party because it has become unrecognizable under President Donald Trump’s leadership.
“It’s gone. I mean there is no Republican Party anymore that has values, principles, morals, anything,” Edwards said, stressing that he still agrees with what used to be the GOP’s platform.
“We thought taxes could be too high and harmful, we thought regulation could be too much and harmful, we should have a strong military — I agreed with all of that,” he continued, noting that he idolized Republican politicians growing up.
Edwards served in the House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993. In 2016, when Trump entered the political arena, he issued a letter deeming him unfit for office.
The letter was signed by 30 former Republican members of Congress, but it had no effect, given that Trump went on to win the GOP nomination and ultimately defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the general election.
Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden, but it took him more than two months to finally admit defeat. He did so after a violent group of his supporters stormed the Capitol building, in an attempt to stop lawmakers from certifying Biden’s win.
According to Edwards, Republican Party leaders and lawmakers “knew better” and were well aware of the fact that Biden legitimately won, but nonetheless indulged Trump’s evidence-free theories about the presidential race.
Oklahoma’s Congressional Delegation objected to the Electoral College vote count even after the storming of the Capitol, Edwards pointed out, arguing that this shows what the Republican Party has become.
“This has become a cult. It’s no longer a political party. It’s the kind of a cult that when the leader of the cult does anything, no matter what it is, or how awful it is” others follow, Edwards said.
“They voted to question the election results even after people came into the Capitol,” he continued, slamming Republican politicians for putting their ambition first.
He mentioned Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri, Ted Cruz of Texas and James Lankford of Oklahoma by name, saying that he can no longer support the GOP.
Conservative-leaning Americans disagree with Edwards, polling suggests. For instance, in a recent Axios-Ipsos poll, a majority of Republican voters said that Trump should run for president again in 2024.