OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After a lifetime dedicated to the Grand Old Party, former Oklahoma congressman Mickey Edwards said he no long considers himself a Republican.
“It’s gone. I mean there is no Republican Party anymore that has values, principles, morals, anything,” Edwards said Thursday.
They’re harsh words from a man who registered as Republican as soon as he was allowed. As a young man, Congressman Edwards idolized Republican leaders.
“We thought taxes could be too high and harmful, we thought regulation could be too much and harmful, we should have a strong military – I agreed with all of that,” Edwards said. “It’s true today. I still agree with that.”
From 1977 to 1993, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives, proud to lead his party.
But when Donald Trump ran, he voiced his dismay, writing a letter that said Trump was unfit for office. The letter was signed by 30 former Republican members of Congress.
Congressional objections to the November 2020 presidential election were the tipping point. Edwards said he could not understand how even after Republican, Trump-supporting governors and legislators confirmed it was a fair election, members of Congress continued to call it into question.
“The members of Congress knew better. They knew better. Lankford knew better. Members of the house delegation knew better,” Edwards said. “They knew the results, they had the information. They saw that it was Republican Trump supporters all across the country who were saying, ‘no, we lost.’”
He pointed out that Oklahoma’s Congressional Delegation objected to the Electoral College vote count even after Trump supporters attacked the Capitol Building.
“This has become a cult. It’s no longer a political party. It’s a cult. It’s the kind of a cult that when the leader of the cult does anything, no matter what it is, or how awful it is, they voted,” Edwards said. “They voted to question the election results even after people came into the Capitol, tried to kill them and killed a police officer who was trying to protect them. And they did that.”
He has chosen to leave the party, and has now registered as an independent.
Edwards said he hopes its leaders will soon find the courage to do what’s right.
“You’ve got the Josh Hawleys, and the Ted Cruzes and the James Lankfords, and these people who are letting their personal ambition, and fear of the voters, they want to inherit those voters, and it’s leading them to real dark paths. So I don’t know what the future is,” Edwards said, “but for me it’s outside of the Republican Party.”