Mark Sanford writes new book on the future of the post-Trump GOP
When Republican Mark Sanford lost his 2018 congressional primary after not getting close enough to then-president, Donald Trump, the former congressman and governor of South Carolina admitted his political mistake.
But he didn’t apologize.
“A lot of people would come up to me during this campaign and say, ‘Are you for or against Trump?’ and I would say ‘I’m neither for nor against Trump, ”Sanford said in his concession speech that night.“ I’m for ideas that I have long championed throughout my time in politics and based on a limited government. “
He will then quote a key holder of the Republican Creed of South Carolina: “I will never curl up in front of a master, except my God. “
Now, in a new book due out August 24, Sanford will unveil what he has long described as Trump’s “cult of personality” and the lasting damage he believes the former president has done to the Republican Party.
Sanford’s book will also promise another way forward as the Republican Party grapples with Trump’s continued influence and questions whether the GOP should abandon him or support him.
The book is titled “Two Divergent Roads: A Second Chance for the Republican Party, the Conservative Movement, the Nation and Ourselves”. It will be published in hardback and e-reader format.
The title is a nod to Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken”, which ends with the author’s statement: “I took the less traveled one, and it made all the difference” .
Sanford announced the news in a tweet Monday morning.
The book is published by Vertel Publishing, a brand of Arcadia Publishing and The History Press, a regional publisher based in Charleston. Sanford’s 336-page account is partly a brief and partly a call to political action.
A book summary listed on Amazon.com provides more details.
“Sanford analyzes the immense harm he believes the Trump presidency has done to the lies, cronyism, shady deals and intimidation done to our country, and in particular to the Republican Party,” the blurb said. “In four years, the GOP was synonymous with fake news, extreme divisions and brazen lies. Rather than grow big again, the party had degenerated into a personality cult centered around Donald Trump. But Sanford firmly believes the Republican Party has a choice at its current crossroads. “
In the book, Sanford writes that he’s no stranger to second chances. He focuses on two times when he should have been “a dead man walking” politically: first, in 2009, when as governor, he left South Carolina for a trip to Argentina that exposed his extramarital affair and destroyed his marriage. Then, in 2018, when his criticism of Trump cost him his seat in Congress.
In 2020, Sanford issued a brief Presidential Main Challenge to Trump. It ended after 65 days when Sanford’s post, which focused on the national debt, failed to gain traction.
“As it was, the GOP was given a second chance …” reads the book’s summary, “if the party members are wise enough to recognize it and brave enough to take it.”
Sanford’s book joins a growing chorus of former Republican lawmakers who are openly debating their party’s future after Trump lost the presidency in 2020 to Democrat Joe Biden.
Former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan in a May 27 speech at the Ronald Reagan Library warned of the party’s reliance on one figure.
“If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of a personality or second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere,” Ryan said.
Soon, two other South Carolina politicians will also address what they see for the future of the party.
Former United Nations Ambassador and SC Governor Nikki Haley and current US Senator Tim Scott will both be appear in the series of lectures “The time to choose”, the same series Ryan was on last month.