What does it mean to be a Republican in 2017?
It’s a question that’s been much talked about following the release of Arizona Senator Jeff Flake‘s book criticizing the party, which he believes has “lost its way.” And it’s a question that Congressman Charlie Dent (R-PA) appears to be openly grappling with, to some degree.
Friday, the Pennsylvania Congressman appeared on MTP: Daily with Chuck Todd. And he said that Republicans are currently judged, by some in the party, by the degree to which they show fealty to President Donald Trump.
“It really comes down to ‘How loyal are you to the president?’ And that’s how you’re being judged,” Dent said. “So if you have a more nuanced position, some will consider you an infidel or a traitor.”
Dent, as the interview concluded, sounded like a man who is open to reconsidering his party affiliation.
“I feel like we’re experiencing a political realignment going on right under our feet,” Dent said. “I would usually say that Republicans embraced open market and free trade, but that’s obviously been tested under this administration to a certain extent. Things are shifting and I don’t know how this is going to sort itself out over the next couple of years.”
Todd, at the end of the conversation, brought up the idea of Dent switching sides.
“Who knows?” Todd said. “Maybe in ten years, you come here, and there’s a different party label here next to you and it’s not D or R.”
Dent nervously chuckled, and said nothing.
Watch above, via MSNBC.
[featured image via screengrab]
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