The Republicans backing Trump again would be the definition of insanity.

Who said that, you ask. A Democrat perhaps? Or a journalist? An academic? No, as hard to believe as it may be, the speaker was a prominent member of the Republican Party. He is, in fact, Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland.

I dimly seem to remember a time when moderate conservatives and liberals were a major part of the GOP. Names like Nelson Rockefeller, George Romney (father of Mitt), Mark Hatfield, Jake Javits and Margaret Chase Smith (leading foe of McCarthyism) come to mind. And of course going further back we even had progressives, chief among them Teddy Roosevelt, and then back to the beginning, the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln.

And here’s an interesting piece of trivia: Two of the landmark American civil rights laws, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, were supported by a greater proportion of Republican members of Congress than Democratic ones.

But now it’s largely a Trump party, more fascist than conservative. So while moderates still exist—Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, for example, and of course Liz Cheney, not so moderate but at least anti-Trump—they are a sparse scattering among the 261 representatives and senators in Congress.

It is therefore refreshing to hear from Governor Hogan with his anti-Trump message. He not only speaks out against the former president but actively backs Republicans around the country who have stood up to Trump, including those who have faced Trump’s wrath for supporting his impeachment. And he promotes those who will oppose Trump in the future.

He recently warned Republicans, “We won’t win back the White House by nominating Donald Trump or a cheap impersonation of him,” adding that the party was “desperately in need of a course correction.” He has branded Trump a loser, stating that the four years under Trump were “the worst four-year period for the Republican Party since the 1930s, …We lost the White House, the Senate, the House. … Trump kept saying, ‘We’re going to be winning so much, we’re going to get tired of winning.’ But all we did was lose, and I’m tired of losing.”

Hogan is apparently eyeing a bid for the White House in 2024 himself. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Governor Hogan as the Republican candidate could not only restore sanity to the Republican Party, it could restore confidence in American democracy.

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