Op/Ed: We are one

By Viraj Joshi, Special to The Times

Viraj Joshi

Four years ago, I felt great pride and joy when I saw Donald Trump taking the oath of office on the United States Capitol steps. However, as the Trump presidency went on, my support and the joy I felt when he took the oath of office slowly dwindled as the days of his presidency went on. I soon realized that Donald Trump was not just destroying Republican values that I stood for, but also American values that every single American, whether Republican or Democrat, stand up for every single day. Values that our brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers in uniform risk their lives fighting for.

On May 31 of 2018, former House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio stated “there is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump party. The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere.” The statement held true the moment Boehner said that and still holds true today. Unfortunately, not many Republicans realized that the Republican Party was being misrepresented in the four years of Trump’s presidency. However, after the Capitol riots ensued, that soon might change. Although I have always had hope that the Republican Party would return to the party I know it is, I now fear that the Republican Party might not return to the party I know it is.

The Republican Party I know is the Lincoln’s Party. The party that has the ability to not play identity politics and come to compromises for the betterment of the American people. The party that does not think about themselves, but also think about the American people and stand for what they believe is right rather than being a puppet to someone who does not show the true meaning of what being a Republican really means. Most of all, the party that respects our Democracy and our democratic process rather than undermining it for one’s own benefit.

We had a man who put a great stain in the Republican Party. Obviously, this is a stain that can be cleaned but one person will not be able to clean this stain that has been created. This will take a group effort and all Republicans must come together and clean this. I believe that the first step to clean the mess that Donald Trump has created is that all Republicans needs to come together and realize the mess that Trump has created. Some Republicans have realized that after the Capitol riots ensued but that is not enough. Republicans should also realize the damage that Trump has caused over the course of his presidency. We need to realize how Trump has put a bad image to the Republican Party and figure out ways we can fix their image to appeal more to the American people.

As President John F. Kennedy said in his inauguration speech, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” In order for that to happen, that requires every single one of us, whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent, to get up every single day and ask ourselves “what can I do today that will make this country a better place?” Granted, we did that. However, Donald Trump does not ask that question in the morning. Instead, he asks “what can I do today that will put myself in a better position,” which put the country would obviously be in peril. Due to the mindset Trump has had, that has also led to other Republicans to ask, “what can I do today that will further Donald Trump’s agenda?” The second step to bring back the Republican Party is to do away with this mindset and go back to the mindset that Kennedy wanted all of us to be in.

The Republican Party can do this by practically growing up. I know that it is harsh to say that, but I could not put it in any other way. Republicans are now scared to stand up for what is right and stand up for Republican values. Donald Trump created an environment of fear and hatred which has caused many Republicans to become puppets to him. Republicans have to now overcome that fear and realize that they have to stand up for what is right not just for their own party, but for the American People. If this does not happen sooner or later, then I fear that we will not be able to get back to Lincoln’s Party.

The third, and final step, to rebuild the Republican Party is the most important one. It is something that Republicans and Democrats have to do. We all have to stop playing identity politics. We are not European Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, Latino Americans. We are Americans, period. Let’s stop having the mindset that we are not going to get along with a person just because they are part of the opposite political party that we associate with. If we keep doing this, then we are not going to be able to get things done and we won’t be able to progress our country further.

Let’s face it, these are dark times. These are troubling times. The only way we can get through this is that we all come to a realization that we are not separated by parties. We also have to realize that we all are one and that it is ok to be different from one another. The one thing I like to say is that Republicans and Democrats have one thing in common. They both want the United States of America to be the best country for every single person, regardless of race, religion, and gender. The only thing that separates them is that they both believe that there are different ways to make this country a better place. I believe that if we all start working together and come to compromises, then we can start to make advancements in this country and create a less toxic political climate. As George W. Bush says “we are not partisan combatants, we are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God. We rise or fall together, and we are determined to rise.” Let’s rise together.


Viraj Joshi is currently a Freshman at Penn State University studying Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations. He currently lives in Chadds Ford. Viraj has led the voter registration project at Unionville High School as he believes in civic responsibly. He has volunteered as an intern for State Senator Tom Killion. He also has performed many science research projects and is a co-author for a chapter in a book being published by Springer Publishers.

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