Opinion: GOP’er says it’s time to move past Trump era

I was a freshman at the University of Georgia in late 1997 when Warner Brothers released the box-office bust, The Postman. The film had an $80 million budget but grossed only $20 million at the box office. Americans at the time showed little interest in a post-apocalyptic world where America had crumbled under the weight of societal breakdown following a war ignited by militia leader Nathan Holn, and thereafter by a plague.

With COVID-19 ever-present, watching the events unfold on Capital Hill on Jan. 6, the film’s plot is a touch prophetic. The History of politics in the United States, just as the history of politics is in the rest of the world, has always had unsavory elements. These elements derive from the unfortunate aspects of human nature, but in America we have consistently been able to move beyond the small for a belief in something that is much larger. What worries me now, and has always about Trump, is that in his mind nothing looms larger than Trump himself. Nothing is more important than Mr. Trump; and that includes the United States of America.

James Whitley

Credit: contributed

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Credit: contributed

My home state of Georgia was just placed at the epicenter of American politics; the outcome of which it is not an overstatement to say will have a global impact. The full force of all that is ugly and wrong about politics came bearing down on our beautiful state. Friends, families, neighbors, and coworkers were driven apart by vicious partisan rancor from both sides. The amount of money that was wasted, again by both sides, could have been better spent saving and improving the lives of millions, both here in Georgia and across the U.S. It was a sad waste of resources.

Through it all, I was a staunch advocate for senators Perdue and Loeffler, in no small part because I appreciate balance within our government. Our founding fathers brilliantly constructed a system of checks and balances which yielded the greatest civilization the world has ever known. I believe in my heart that most Americans love our country, have centrist rather than radical beliefs, and thus appreciate a balanced, deliberate system of government.

I pray the leaders in Washington, and those on the way will embrace the spirit of respectful political discourse and balance. I pray they will respect the ingenious system of government that has created more prosperity and freedom throughout the world than any society in recorded history; as President Obama himself said, “the free market is the greatest producer of wealth in history -- it has lifted billions of people out of poverty.” I hope that his fellow Democrats do not sunder that system to achieve short-term gains at the expense of long-term prosperity and stability.

Trump’s ego cost senators Perdue and Loeffler the election, and the petulant display during his address on Jan. 6th while Vice President Pence certified the Electoral College results on Capitol Hill galvanized the worst aspects of human nature, and lead to a disgraceful display of insurrection by a few of his supporters. What an unbelievably sad day that was for America. The vast majority of Trump supporters are good people who passionately love their country. To those fellow citizens I say, Trump is not good for you, he is not good for the Republican Party, and most importantly he is not good for the America you love. He is a near real-life version of The Postman’s Nathan Holn.

It is time for critics and fans alike to move on.

James Whitley served on former U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s campaign finance committee and as co-chair of the Georgians First Commission appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp.