June 24, 2022

Evan McMullin launches new political movement for Republican Party reform

After Representative Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Was ousted from the GOP House leadership on Wednesday, more than 150 prominent Tories signed a letter threatening to quit the party if it does not reform and return to ” founding American principles ”.

Former Republican political strategist and 2016 independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin spearheaded the letter, first published by Deseret News on Thursday. The declaration of principles sets out 13 precepts to guide a “renaissance of the American cause.” It is signed by co-organizer Miles Taylor and 150 other Republicans or former Republicans.

“We therefore declare our intention to catalyze an American renewal and either to reinvent a party dedicated to our founding ideals, or to accelerate the creation of such an alternative,” the statement said. “We call for a renaissance of the American cause and do so in partnership and in fair competition with others committed to preserving our Union.”

The signatories include four former governors, including Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford; 27 former members of the United States House of Representatives, including Barbara Comstock, Charlie Dent and Paul Mitchell; and a former senator, David Durenberger. Other prominent names included lawyer George Conway, husband of Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway; former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci; former Department of Homeland Security official Elizabeth Neumann; and former DHS General Counsel John Mitnick.

The 13 principles set out in the declaration are democracy, founding ideals, constitutional order, truth, rule of law, ethical government, pluralism, civic responsibility, opportunity, freedom of expression, conservation, common defense and welfare and leadership.

McMullin and other disgruntled Tories argued for months about forming an alternative to today’s Republican Party. In early February, weeks after the Capitol uprising, McMullin, Taylor and more than 100 others gathered in a virtual meeting to explore a new political party or a unified bloc within the party. Attendees included Representative Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Dent and former Trump administration officials.

A straw poll at that meeting revealed a split between forming a new party and creating a faction within the GOP – 43% supported a new movement, while 40% supported the formation of a new party.

“We need to provide a home for Republicans who leave the party or choose to stay in the party, but want to partner with something more principled and more optimistic about America and its future.” McMullin told Deseret News. last month. “Whether they’re inside or outside the party, we need to create a ‘super identity’ that they can relate to.”

McMullin and Taylor both see the Jan.6 attack as a turning point for them. “It took (the events) of January 6 to really wake people up, that there were certain undemocratic forces and movements in our own country that needed to be addressed,” Taylor said.

McMullin confirmed: “This was a violent insurgency led by a sitting president, who sought to overturn a free and fair election, in order to retain power for himself illegally and illegitimately. And it is as direct a threat to our republic as I can imagine. “

The recently released policy statement emphasizes the truth and rejecting the conspiracy. “We oppose the use of fear, conspiracy and lies and instead support policy making based on evidence and honest speech,” it read.

It remains to be seen whether McMullin’s move will have any influence on today’s GOP. While Taylor said in April that “Trump’s (on the GOP) influence is waning day by day,” the vote against Cheney shows continued loyalty to the former president and his movement. And McMullin’s commitment to accuracy can also run into some hurdles – as former Senator Jeff Flake, R-Arizona wrote. in the Washington Post this week, “(C) this is your contemporary Republican party, where today there is no greater offense than honesty.”

Although Thursday’s statement shows an openness to continued cooperation with the current Republican Party, if some reforms are not made, the group says it will explore an “alternative” party.