- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Roughly 70% of Republicans said in a new poll that they’d either definitely or “maybe” join a political party formed by Donald Trump. 

As Bernie Sanders might say: That’s yuuge. 

Yuuge enough to set Republicans in Congress on notice about the political perils of impeachment, at least.

The party is not the party. 

According to CBS News/YouGov, 33% of Republicans asked if they’d join a political party formed by Trump said “yes”; another 37% said “maybe.” Only 30% completely dismissed the idea and said “no.”

And fully 71% said that Republicans in Congress who supported or continue to support the impeachment and conviction of Trump are “disloyal.” That’s compared to 29% who considered these pro-impeach types “principled.”

There are at least 10 Republicans who maybe could’ve benefited from this poll last month — before joining Democrats in the vote to impeach Trump. Right?

More and more Americans are awakening to the sad truth that the parties in Washington, D.C., do not represent their interests and wills so much as those of their elitist members. It’s one thing to stand on principle for the system — as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has, and does and no doubt, always will. The country needs strong political leaders who can keep a firm hand on process and order and calm steering through partisan storms. But it’s another thing to claim to stand on principle while throwing the president from one’s own party under the bus — as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has, and does, and no doubt, always will.

“Mitch McConnell Said To Be Pleased About Trump Impeachment Efforts,” The New York Times wrote in January.

“Why McConnell Dumped Trump,” The New Yorker wrote in January.

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell let it be known he wished to be rid of Trump. … ‘Do not underestimate how divided and confused their party is right now,’ posits David Brooks. ‘Do not underestimate how much Republicans trust [Joe] Biden personally,’” wrote The Intelligencer in January.

But the people don’t feel the same way.

Conservative voters in America still love Trump, still support Trump — and still think the election in November was stolen from Trump. The Republican Party leadership could learn a thing or two from this poll.

Thing One: Tread carefully. The party is not anti-Trump, no matter how detestable a thought that is to the party’s elite.

And Thing Two: Remember the tea party movement of 2010. That’s when scores of unknowns, untrained, unschooled in the ways of behind-doors schmoozing rose to political office and pushed out the entrenched and elite. That’s when scores of conservatives rose up and reminded — at the ballot box — the entrenched who was in charge.

And funny, but McConnell couldn’t wait to squash the tea party, either.

Elites are always in it for themselves, over the people.

Only 21% of Republicans in this CBS/YouGov poll believe Trump actually incited the violence on Jan. 6 on Capitol Hill when he called for his supporters to “fight like hell,” Newsweek wrote.

That means 79% of Republicans are still willing to “fight like hell” to keep the elites from erasing Trump and silencing his supporters. Party leaders should pay attention.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.

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