Americans have made their choice. We have elected Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States. Kamala Harris will be the first woman, and woman of color, to be vice president.

While Mr. Trump is tweeting fraud and how he won the election, the facts are that there is no evidence of widespread fraud, nor did he win the election. Such are the rantings and ravings of an immature narcissist.

Most Americans have been fed up with the divisive rhetoric and behavior of Mr. Trump for some time. It was time for a change, and a change has come. We can finally feel like we can breathe again. A celebration was and is in order.

Besides getting the pandemic under control, fixing a broken economic system and addressing racial injustice, there are in-house tasks that need to be addressed.

The question looms large as to whether the Republicans can break the Trump cult and restore the party to being the “party of Lincoln.”

Currently, Donald Trump rules the Republicans with Jim Jones-like characteristics. They are afraid to question his actions and bathe in conspiracy theories.

They refuse to tell him that he lost the election, instead rallying around him as if he is their savior.

The Trump cult includes not only misguided individuals that believed he would protect their interest, but the cult also consists of white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys.

It is a dangerous situation that easily could result in armed conflict. The saddest thing to observe is how Mr. Trump does not care about those who follow him unquestionably. He only cares about himself. Such is the character of cult leaders.

Can the Republicans restore the basic principles of the party that made them a great party? Only time will tell.

If the Republican leadership had confronted Trump’s antics when he became president, we would not have the trouble we have today. The past is the past and it cannot be changed.

The Republicans can, however, do something about the present and the future. We shall see if they have the courage and integrity to be the “Grand Ole’ Party” or will they continue to succumb to the Trump cult.

In the “Second Treatise of Government,” John Locke wrote: “As usurpation is the exercise of power, which another hath a right to; so, tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which nobody can have a right to. And this is making use of the power anyone has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private separate advantage.”

Locke reminds us that liberty is not doing whatever one wants to do. Liberty, for Locke, is the freedom to do what is right.

Liberty is to act with a commitment to the common good. When we divide into rigid ideological groups, we threaten democracy at its core.

We must reject fascism as ardently. Too many Americans died in World War II fighting against fascism. We cannot allow fascism to now rule under the authority of Mr. Trump and his cultic followers.

I believe that we can be the democracy we ought to be. We can overcome racial injustice. We can put an end to this global pandemic. We can revive and restore the economy. We can effectively and responsibly act regarding climate change.

The power is in our hands. But we must rid ourselves of cultic worship and xenophobic reaction. We must commit to building a more perfect union. Only if the Republicans and the Democrats work together do we have a chance to restore the common good.

It begins by the Republicans breaking ties with the Trump cult and being the statesmen and stateswomen they know they ought to be.

I call on every American to lay aside their ideological differences and commit to reimagining and creating the common good. Justice is at the core. There can be no love or unity without justice.

So, let us put on our hard hats and grab our lunch pails and diligently work for “a more perfect union.” There is much to be done, so let us get on with it.

About opinions in the Missourian: The Missourian’s Opinion section is a public forum for the discussion of ideas. The views presented in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Missourian or the University of Missouri. If you would like to contribute to the Opinion page with a response or an original topic of your own, visit our submission form.

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