Once, it was Republicans themselves who administered the litmus test: Anyone who strayed from party orthodoxy on bedrock issues such as abortion, guns, school choice or, for some reason, relations with Israel could get labeled a RINO and risk a primary challenger from the right, or a sustained online smear campaign, or a kink in the flow of political donations.

This was before the Jan. 6 Trump Insurrection, when everything changed. Since that day, along with a handful of GOP elected officials and appointees who have stepped down or announced their retirement, hundreds of thousands of rank-and-file American voters have renounced the Republican Party by changing their affiliation.

Between Jan. 2 and Jan. 30, 2021, the number of registered Republicans in North Carolina dropped by 86,815. Forsyth County contributed 3,603 of them, certainly enough to sway a close countywide election these days. Guilford County lost 4,208 registered Republicans in that timeframe.

One can only presume that this defection is the direct result of the insurrection at the US Capitol, which was clearly incited by then-President Trump and some key allies.

And yet, the Guilford County GOP is doubling down as the party of Trump in advance of the next election cycle. A group email from Tina Forsberg, chairwoman of the 6th Congressional District Republicans, sent last week asserts as much. Some excerpts:

  • “As I watch the damage being done to America by the fascist oligarchy (aka Biden administration), I weep (literally) for the wrecking ball that has been taken to America — the America I sought to preserve for my grandchildren and yours.”
  • “[I]t is my assignment to think on things that are true, noble and admirable. My thoughts turn to President Trump and his ‘leadership in exile.’ While you may be tempted to only read provocative headlines (third parties and such), don’t be fooled by them…. America First, the Trump Agenda, is firmly at the helm in the RNC.”
  • “Going forward…these next weeks, as the sham impeachment redux rolls out, you will be further challenged. Remember the words of Ben Franklin: We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall surely hang apart. Grieve the injustices we have suffered, but don’t get stuck there. Eventually, we must all come together to undo the significant damage we are witnessing and once again, as far as our politics goes, put America First.”

Believe it: The Guilford County GOP, and what remains of the party at large in North Carolina, is working to maintain the Big Lie — that Trump actually won the 2020 election — and is continuing to peddle insurrectionist rhetoric.

And while it’s true that we can’t paint all registered Republicans with the same brush, party leadership has spoken.

So, there’s a new bar to clear for Republicans now, and it’s being set by everyone else. All who run under the GOP banner from here on out must renounce the Big Lie, or risk feeding into sedition.


  1. What a crock of liberal BS. The author suggests Republicans are “leaving” the party by pointing to declining numbers in a 30 day “snapshot” of Party registrations. In that same period, in Guilford County, TOTAL registrations dropped by nearly 23,000 and Democrat registrations dropped by nearly 11,000. Hell, Einstein editors, where did they go? To the Green and Constitution Parties? (BTW, both of those “fringe” Parties were just decertified by the State Board of Elections). COVID must be taking its toll, or the TCB Team analyzing the results must have SH*T for brains.

    • Suck it up Buttercup!!! Democrat Voters came out, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, College Students, Progressive Women, Black Churches, Etc!!! Your side SUCKED UP TO YOUR GOD AND KING TRUMP! Then you all burned bridges with the Confederate Crap, then you wonder why Blacks and Latinos don’t Vote for you all, especially Black Women. No Kanye or Lil Wanye can help!!! The only way you all can win is to Cheat and Try to stop Minorites from Voting!!!! You all are scared your way of life is coming to a end…..WHITE NATIONALISM!!!!

    • By “staff” flipping cowards…..
      If you cannot put your name to an opinion you are faceless gimp to start with.
      1st The “Defection” is predominantly limp wristed Rs to start with. These are the same as the Bernard Goldbergs and the Lincoln project types.
      The “supposed” conservatives that flipped over 1/6 were spinless to start with and AND OR ignorant shills … or those easily influenced by leftist media.
      Everyone that I’m aware of that had an inkling of observation skills over the past 25 years sat back and waited for the truth to spill forth… an it did.
      Yet the guilford Gop is….
      well the Chair is my friend and a TP conservative and a hellion (for 60+)… Tina F is …. still an unknown in my book but one person matters not…
      ” the Trump Agenda, is firmly at the helm in the RNC.”
      That being M.W. who swept into the state at the behest of Trump and was elected chairman. This was a gut punch for TP amd grass roots as we saw the same ship getting ready to happen all over again… Well the state went to Trump and by most accts, MW has done a good job . HOWEVER he is still on the outside of where we have been aiming to go to and there it PLENTY he is not picking up in terms of getting the ground “right” in NC….. I rather made that known in zoom call. A rather animated call from my end….
      We are working to solve our problems on the ground and county to county. ( perhaps I should have run for OC Chair… but it was not my turn)
      “and what remains of the party at large in North Carolina, is working to maintain the Big Lie — that Trump actually won the 2020 election — and is continuing to peddle insurrectionist rhetoric.”
      politely…. I would slap the shit out of this ignorant asshat.
      there are but 2 question any person (with integrity) need ask:
      1) Who is charged by law to make/change Election Law?
      2) were there entities OTHER than the answer to #1 that Made?changed Election Law?
      Those people with no integrity need not answer… and they can register as fence sitters and let the splinters pin their post orifices. They are the “country clubbers” that have strapped us with worthless floaters like Thom Tillis. They “produce” (cough) “conservatives ” from the urban hubs of Mech and Wake County…. the George Holdings…. PHHHHFFFTTTTT
      THE SAME LOCATIONS that rail against Closed Primaries…. to they can flood the zone with half assed candidates and the UNA can “aid”conservatives in “selecting” mediocre candidates….
      Screw that. Screw Them….
      I’ll be carrying a damn length of cane with me from now on to any meeting the NC GOP has the stones to call in person. I’m ready to leave a mark upon any flipping fence sitter. These “Staff Writers” are media, there are not the calories short of minor amount of spittle.
      Chris Weaver
      Person County GOP Chair

      • Hi Chris. The editorial is always unsigned — it’s a newspaper convention. But I wrote it. And your comments seem to drive it home.

        Good luck with the Big Lie, your insurrection and the canings.

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