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Mark Archibald, Daily Sun columnist

Recently, someone inquired if I would rejoin the Republican Party after Donald Trump is no longer president. This seemed like a reasonable question given that I have considered it my political home since I filled out my first ballot in 1996.

Bob Dole possesses class and courage. He maintained unimpeachable political convictions throughout his career, even as he humorously noted that Republicans outnumbered Democrats in his district when he initially entered public service. Did I mention that I admire the former presidential candidate’s intellect?

I’m not avoiding the original question, it’s just that I don’t yet know where I’ll fit. Since I’ve understood politics, being a conservative meant supporting a limited government, and finding the best path to a reasonable process, while providing the greatest opportunity. In this era however, many equate compromise with weakness, and champion picking fights over finding solutions.

These days, the spirit of agreement between the two major parties for the benefit of the American people seems rare. Conviction remains, until members of both parties realize their elementary school style bickering has cut into their recess time.

No, I’m not sure I’ll willingly rejoin either major party, neither has made an overture that they will soon return to something I recognize. The events of the last year have saddened me and seeing the United States capital assaulted left me disgusted.

Shortly after hostilities inside the capital were put down, Republicans were quick to blame others. Investigations are necessary to fully conclude who among the hoard were guilty of crimes, but a bedrock principle of conservatism is taking personal responsibility for one’s actions.

For too long the President’s supporters have made excuses for the man they seem to admire. In turn, he encouraged their reprehensible behavior because it served him. He and others passed the buck then melted away like snowflakes.

I wonder what William F. Buckley Jr. would think? He was an intellectual who welcomed high minded discussion in the arena of ideas. Buckley never exalted readers of the National Review to engage in “trial by combat,” but Rudy Giuliani is Trump’s disgraced lawyer, who couldn’t hold a candle to Buckley, let alone Nathan Hale.

Republicans often use the word rat used to describe members of the Democratic Party. Childish practices like these are meant as rhetorical insults. In reality they’re nothing but lowbrow word play, unworthy of a decent political cartoon let alone discourse. Some consider fresh condemnation and resignations offered in protest as heroic gestures, but political vermin of all stripes only jump ship when their careers are in jeopardy. Absolution shouldn’t be offered to those who propagate this plague. This act is getting old, the cracks are showing in the foundations of our national institutions.

Some may view my words and actions as throwing stones at something I helped build. However, I’m attempting to protect the art and science of politics from destructive forces. I’ll keep my eyes sharp and independently look to the horizon, until the bad actors complete their welcome fall from grace.

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