Many have said that President Donald Trump isn’t a Republican. They are correct, but for a reason more fundamental than those usually given. Some focus on Trump’s differences from mainstream GOP policies, but the party is broad enough to embrace different views, and Trump agrees with most Republicans on many issues. Others point to the insults he regularly directs at party members and leaders, but Trump is not the first to promote self above party. The fundamental reason why Trump isn’t a Republican is far bigger than words or policies. He stands in opposition to the founding principle of our party — that of a united country.
We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, and our founding principle is our commitment to holding the nation together. This brought us into being just before the Civil War. The first resolution of the platform at the party’s first national convention states in part that “the union of the States must and shall be preserved.” The issue then was whether we were one nation called the United States or an assortment of sovereign states, each free to go its own way. Lincoln believed that we were one nation, and he led us in a war to preserve the Union.
That founding principle of the party is also a founding principle of the United States. Even when we were a tiny fraction of our present size and breadth, the framers of our Constitution understood the need for holding ourselves together, whatever our differences. They created a constitutional structure and a Bill of Rights that would accommodate within one nation all manner of interests and opinions. Americans honor that…
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