US Representative Adam Kinzinger, one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach US President Donald Trump in the Senate last month, wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post in which he said that the famous British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.
All Americans, especially my fellow Republicans, should remember this wisdom during the Senate trial of former President Donald Trump.
I say this as a lifelong Republican who voted to impeach Trump last month.
In fact, all of my colleagues on the right side of the lane took the opposite path.
Most of them felt it was a waste of time – the political theater that distracts from the bigger issues.
The vast majority of Republicans in the Senate seem to feel the same way about the condemnation. But this is not a waste of time.
It is an accountability issue.
If the Republican Party does not take a stand, the chaos of the past few months, and the past four years, could quickly return.
The future of our party and our country depends on facing what happened – so it does not happen again.
The writer explained: The direct reason was Trump’s impeachment on January 6, but the rally that President Trump called and the resulting riots on “Capitol Hill” did not come out of a vacuum.
It was the result of four years of anger, abuse and outright lying.
Perhaps the most dangerous lie – or at least the most recent – is that the elections were stolen.
Of course it was not, but many Republican leaders encouraged the belief that it was.
Each time this lie was repeated, riots on January 6 became more likely.
“Until now, many Republicans refuse to acknowledge what happened.
They continue to fuel anger and resentment among people.
On January 6, that outrage led to the killing of a Capitol police officer and the deaths of four other Americans.
If this anger is still building, where does it go from here?
Accountability provides an opportunity to say: enough is enough, said Kinzinger.
Every American, regardless of party affiliation, should be forced not only to remember what happened on January 6, but also to remember the path that led there.
After all, the situation could get much worse – with more violence and more insurmountable division.
The further down this road, the closer we get to the end of America as we know it.
He added: The Republican Party that I joined when I was young will never go this way.
The Republican Party that inspired me to serve in uniform and then run for public office thought the future would be brighter.
We have championed equal opportunity, the firm belief that a poor kid from the South Side of Chicago deserves the same opportunity as a privileged kid from Highland Park.
We knew that if we bring everyone to the promise of America, we will unleash a new era of American progress and prosperity.
When leaders like Donald Trump changed that dynamic, many of my fellow Republicans walked with him without question, and many are still there because they believe the average Republican voter is there as well.
But I think this is just an illusion.
Anger and violence lead to a much larger group of people who reject this approach.
Worse, many remained silent because they assumed that the party leaders would no longer represent them.
They are waiting for the leaders who will say what they know is right.
The Republican Representative said: Since I voted to impeach Trump, I have heard from tens of thousands of voters.
Their reaction was overwhelmingly supportive.
Republicans of all backgrounds and expectations have told me that they appreciate my efforts to return the Republican Party to principles rather than character.
I’ve even heard from many Democrats.
They don’t agree with me on a lot of issues, but they want the Republican Party to be healthy and competitive.
I firmly believe that the majority of Americans – Republican, Democratic, Independent, you name it – reject the madness of the past four years.
But we will never ignore what happened or refuse to hold those responsible accountable.
It will encourage the few who drove us here and discourage the many who know America is better than this.
It will increase the likelihood that we will see more anger, violence and chaos in the coming years.
The author concluded by saying: The best way is to learn the lessons of the recent past.
Condemning Donald Trump is necessary to save America from going down a sad and dangerous path.