When I left my job as a senior policy analyst for the Republican National Committee, I found myself in a political wilderness that has been filled with partisanship, fear and the occasional punch in the gut.
It’s a world I never thought I would enter.
And I’m not alone.
As my new book, “American Tragedy: The GOP and the Tragedies of 2016,” comes out, I’m seeing the same things over and over again.
The GOP, and the American people, have not been heard in this era of hyperpartisan politics.
We are still reeling from a devastating economic collapse and the election of President Donald Trump.
Our democracy is at stake.
But our politics are changing, too.
The party is being replaced by a new and powerful faction that’s not afraid to say what it thinks and does.
And the voters aren’t listening.
In the aftermath of the 2016 election, I was struck by the same themes that have been haunting me since.
How did our political landscape transform from one in which partisan rancor and distrust of the other party were commonplace to one in where Republicans and Democrats were in agreement?
And what does it mean for us as a nation if we don’t take the fight to the other side?
So I set out to unravel the roots of this polarization and explain why the GOP has changed so little in the past 40 years.
I came to believe the party was in crisis and I didn’t want to be part of it.
My book, which is a companion to my new HBO series, “Inside the Beltway,” examines the rise and fall of this party.
But it is also a call to action: When we turn to our party leaders and ask them what they think about our current state of affairs, they will only speak of the importance of “passing a health care bill.”
This is the kind of thinking that created the Tea Party movement and created Trump.
We have the power to turn back the clock.
The answer to our country’s problems lies not in government, but in our people, our ideas and our values.
The Republicans who lead us to a different future are a party of hope, a party that believes in America first, not politics.
Our party’s founders envisioned a country that is both free and united.
We believe in a society where everyone has a chance to succeed, no matter where they live, what they look like, where they call home or what their race is.
The Founders believed that America would always be a nation of law and order.
We believed in the importance and necessity of justice.
We also believe in individual rights.
The American story is a story of progress and change.
We owe it to the next generation of Americans to be a party with the same vision for our country, and to make sure we continue to have that vision as we build a new future for this country.
That’s why, in this first chapter of my book, I ask the question that so many people ask: Why are we living in this dangerous, divided and dysfunctional political world?
I am writing about this moment because it is our time.
And it is up to us to choose whether we continue on this journey together or whether we will leave it behind and become a nation that has lost faith in the future of the nation and the world.