If Americans were shocked and appalled by Wednesday’s invasion of the U.S. Capitol, it will be incumbent upon them to curtail such explosive ideology now and during the next four years.
Doing so will likely require moderates to do more to rein in their party representatives who have shuffled along quietly as President Donald Trump pulled the Republican party further from its previous principles.
There’s signs that the snapback, like a rubber band stretched until it breaks, has already started as more moderates and freshmen congressmen on Capitol Hill have distanced themselves from the rhetoric that led to disgruntled people smashing their way into congressional offices and halls of business.
Moderation has been hard to come by lately and why not, as political leaders have seen little reason to not feast on animus to score quick gains.
But you can already see the divide in the House versus the Senate. In the House, about two-thirds of Republican lawmakers voted in objection to certifying election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, objections built on a foundation of unfounded, unsubstantiated and repeatedly unproven allegations of vote fraud.
Northeast Indiana Rep. Jim Banks was among those more than 100 House members.
Step over to the Senate chamber, however, and you found less than 1-in-5 supporting the effort.
Sen. Todd Young had indicated he would certify, but more interestingly, Sen. Mike Braun, who tweeted a photo of himself signing the objection papers for Arizona, suddenly lost his appetite for the effort after he spent a few hours evacuated from the Capitol. Did Braun suddenly feel the election wasn’t stolen or, more likely, did Braun finally get burned by the fire he’d been playing with?
The disparity makes sense, looked at politically. Senators have to win races across an entire state. House members run in carefully cut districts that are rarely competitive.
Young voting for certification of the 2020 results likely guarantees that he will face a primary challenge in 2022 by a Trump-style candidate far to his right. Braun, who next faces voters in 2024, will have to face a referendum on whether Hoosiers still support his style of rhetoric or if they’ve had their fill.
Indiana is still a red state, day-to-day, so the impetus for change will have to start with Republicans. Will they continue to support Trumpism or will they return to conservatism?
For moderates who have been flattened by the Trump train and for those turned off by Wednesday’s violence, it’s an opportunity to be heard again.
If you want a different direction on the national stage than the one of the last four years, step up.
Reach out to your lawmakers and share your thoughts and concerns. Support what you support and rebuke what you don’t. Vote in primaries and vote in November.
Elected officials do listen, more than they get credit for — their ears are very tuned to shifts in the political winds.
So make your opinion heard if you want to chart a different course ahead.
OUR VIEW is written on a rotating basis by Dave Kurtz, Grace Housholder, Michael Marturello and Steve Garbacz. Publisher Terry Housholder is also a member of the editorial board. We welcome readers’ comments.