Wayne Dawkins is a writer, and a professor of professional practice at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.

By Wayne Dawkins
Special to the AFRO

The GOP is having a nervous and mental breakdown.

It has censured Republican members who had the morality and courage to point out the obvious, that the former 45th president treasonously stoked insurrection against his government. U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy , Pat Toomey , Ben Sasse and Richard Burr were censured by their state parties. 

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, was disowned by his whole family for criticizing Trump and his treachery! 

And U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, a wild west, Red State Republican whose daddy Dick Cheney was the Darth Vader of politics, was almost censured because she too condemned Trump’s behavior. 

Yet, out of office and out of the conversation for a month, thank God, Trump is to return and give the opening speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 28. 

Why, pray tell? GOP mental illness is following this Trump guy. 

U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina, said he’s sticking with a winner. 

The “winner” being the guy who lost the White House, the House of Representative majority in 2018 and the Senate last month? 

Said “winner” who learned Feb. 22 he lost his final court appeal to hide his sketchy tax returns from state prosecutors?

I am thrilled that the U.S. Senate is 50/50 Democrat-Independent vs. Republican, with Vice President Kamala Harris, Democrat, as the tie-breaker vote. But truth be told, the two Democratic underdog senators won their seats because Trump and Georgia Republicans were dumb strategists, and enough Black, Asian and progressive White voters rose up and spanked them.

Meanwhile, at least 140,000 Republicans withdrew from that party after the Jan. 6 Capitol siege. Did they run to the arms of the Democrats? Probably not; they are very likely independent voters. 

For more than two decades I’ve witnessed Independents’ growing voting power in my adopted state Virginia. When Republicans seized state legislative power from southern Democrats in 1998, the GOP controlled all the levers of power. 

In time, too much power corrupted them. By the mid-2000s, Virginians began electing Democratic governors – Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and Terry McAullife – while the state senate and general assembly remained in control by the GOP. 

Democratic governors were rewarded by their base, along with independent voters who were one third of the electorate and generally fiscal conservatives but social moderates. 

In two decades, I witnessed the Commonwealth of Virginia evolve from red, to purple and the blue when both houses of state government flipped recently to majority blue.

Hey GOP, does the current climate look like winning, with Trump as your leader? 

Do you really want to pander to domestic terrorists, QANon cultists and science deniers wrapped around Trump? 

How about a center-right party that values small government and strategic global leadership that were once respected? 

In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan leads by example. He is Republican, definitely conservative fiscally, and politically sane. He leads the national governors association and coordinates with peers from both political parties. And Hogan has criticized Trump constructively. Hogan is like his dad, who said Republican President Richard M. Nixon did wrong in 1970s and needed to get gone.

Sensible Republicanism used to be a counterweight to center-left Democrat governing and fair warning not to tilt too far left and lose influence. 

And in a tip of the hat to the Congressional Black Caucus on its 50th anniversary, Black citizens especially need to be represented in both political camps because we should have not permanent friends or enemies, but permanent interests

If Republicans don’t get their act together soon, they could go the way of the Whigs, the party that used to dominate American politics, back in the 1850s.   

The writer is a professor of professional practice at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.