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A model for Johnston Republicans

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It was the spring of 1959, and the occasion was my high school senior class trip to New York and Washington, D.C.

The Lincoln Memorial stood out as a larger-than-life President Lincoln looking out over our nation’s capitol. In the years since, while visiting Washington, D.C., the Lincoln Memorial and the knowledge of the greatness of this man have never diminished.

Lincoln was a Republican. So it is only natural that a group of deeply concerned traditional Republicans have created an organization and movement they have named the Lincoln Project.

I would challenge the thoughtful Republicans of Johnston County, including the leadership of the Johnston County Republican Party, to take a careful look at the Lincoln Project and give it due consideration for support. I also give this challenge to my member of Congress, Rep. David Rouzer, who continues to give his full support to Donald Trump.

A group of conservative Republicans created this political organization. They include George Conway; Steve Schmidt, a former adviser to Sen. John McCain; former Ohio Gov. John Kasich adviser John Weaver; former New Hampshire Republican Party chairwoman Jennifer Horn; and conservative pundit Rick Wilson.

An opening statement laying the groundwork for the Lincoln Project reads as follows: “We do not undertake this task lightly nor from ideological preference. Our many policy differences with Democrats remain. However, the priority for all patriotic Americans must be a shared fidelity to the Constitution and a commitment to defeat those candidates who have abandoned their constitutional oaths, regardless of party.”

CBS News further reports that Conway, Weaver and Wilson refer to those Republicans who continue to support Trump as “enablers” who have abandoned Republican principles in favor of “Trumpism, an empty faith led by a bogus prophet.”

In an article in USA Today, several of the Lincoln Project creators said, “Trump’s actions are possible only with the craven acquiescence of congressional Republicans who have embraced and copied Mr. Trump’s cruelty and defended and even adopted his corruption.”

The Lincoln Project is named for President Abraham Lincoln to commemorate his role in signing the Morrill Act of 1862, which laid the groundwork for the United States’ public university system. Lincoln understood that an educated electorate was essential to not only sustaining our constitutional republic but also a necessity in seeking to create a more perfect union.

This columnist is grateful for the creation of the Lincoln Project and its emphasis on educated, informed and active Republicans who refuse to be swayed by “bigly,” rowdy political rallies or “alternative facts” created to deceive and misinform the citizens of this great republic.

Edward “Ned” Walsh of Princeton is a retired Baptist denominational worker and former executive director of Johnston County Habitat for Humanity.

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