The GOP must maintain Republican principles

The GOP must soon make some major policy decisions, or it will become a split party with two factions — one a single-person party cult and the other a Republican party based on principles such as small government, free markets, low taxes and individual freedom.

I have been around the political system for a long while, and at the end of the day it’s a numbers game. You either have the votes, or you don’t. If you have control, you can set the agenda and usually prevail. If you fraction your party, the other side sets the agenda and prevails.

I have always been a Republican. I voted twice for Donald Trump and supported him financially. But this year, he lost the election by seven million votes. There must be uniformity and positive identification in the voting process. Nonetheless, both Congress and the Supreme Court acknowledged the result of the election and certificated the presidency of Joe Biden.

I served with then-Sen. Joe Biden for more than 20 years. So my wife Nancy and I know both he and his wife, Jill, and our families have skied together. They are very decent Americans who have lived through tragic experiences with their children.

During the presidential campaign, Joe Biden espoused numerous causes with extreme liberals, most of which conflicted with many of the GOP ideals, including mine.

But the bottom line is that Donald Trump himself lost his own election — due, to a large extent, to his own ego. Time and again, he saw fit to aggressively take issue and attack individuals when it was unnecessary. Case in point was his loss in Arizona — a Republican state which he should have won easily. But his constant attacks on John McCain, a great American patriot and hero to Arizonans, was self-defeating. Because Trump spoke against McCain, Cindy McCain actively campaigned against him. Arizona followed her lead and Trump lost Arizona.

Many Republicans had hoped that the Trump family could temper his tweets and responses, but unfortunately, that did not happen.


Alaskans can thank Trump for moving many of our projects along, including leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, leases opening parts of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, approval of the Ambler Road, the Tongass Roadless Rule exemption, and support for the Izembek land exchange.

I personally had the opportunity to provide background and counsel with some of the Interior personnel who were working tirelessly to get approval so that these vital projects could be passed into law before the change of administrations. Unfortunately, Biden may rescind many of Trump’s executive orders because of pressure from environmental groups.

If we lose control of our GOP and end up with two factions in the party, we will divide our power and lose again to the Democrats in 2022, and say “goodbye” to all the projects we need to bring back Alaska’s economy.

I encourage all our Alaskan friends to stay focused on the belief that we have one big Republican tent to accommodate contrasting views with room for all. We must act collectively as a party of people and principles who support the fundamentals and guidelines of our nation’s founders. We are not a party of one person.

Frank Murkowski served as governor of Alaska from 2002-2006, and was previously a U.S. senator for Alaska.

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Frank Murkowski

Frank Murkowski is a former governor and United States senator from Alaska.