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Republicans need to have a real heart-to-heart conversation before they get into the 2022 campaign season. They need to really decide what kind of political party they want to be moving forward.

Is simply being a Republican “good enough” to earn a vote? Do they care nothing about principles, values and beliefs?

These are questions that Republicans must grapple with in the next few months. They must.

Rewind a few short months. After all five Republican members of Iowa’s congressional delegation (Sen. Chuck Grassley, Sen. Joni Ernst, Congressman Randy Feenstra, Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Congresswoman Ashley Hinson) voted to confirm Joe Biden’s victory — how did you feel?

Did you agree that was the right thing to do? Did you believe there was indeed fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election? Did your Republican representatives represent you, your beliefs and your wishes with their vote on Jan. 6, 2021?

Did Republican Senators like Ben Sasse and Mitt Romney annoy you with their criticisms of President Donald J. Trump? Did Republican Congressional “leader” Liz Cheney irritate you with her constant berating of President Trump?

If you are shaking your head in agreement or answering yes — then you need to figure out what you’re going to do in 2022.

It is really, really, really easy to be a “strong conservative” when Joe Biden is President and Democrats control the House and the Senate. It’s easy to tell people you are standing up to “radical Leftist” policies. It’s easy to send out fundraising emails vowing to oppose Biden’s radical border policies.

Those efforts shouldn’t be applauded or celebrated — they should be expected.

Republican voters in Iowa need to remember where these “conservative champions” were on Jan. 6, 2021.

We need to remember that each one of them — Grassley, Ernst, Hinson, Feenstra and Miller-Meeks — voted to certify Joe Biden as the President of the United States of America.

Iowa is the only state to have multiple Republicans in the U.S. House and both U.S. Senators representing the GOP to have zero — ZERO, Z-E-R-O — of the congressional delegation vote to object to Biden’s victory.

At a time Iowa Republicans needed the five of them to step up for election integrity and fight, they backed down. They submitted. They threw in the towel. They crowned Biden.

They can grandstand all they want now that Biden is President and Democrats control the House and Senate — but that’s all it is — grandstanding.

Biden is doing exactly what Republicans expected him to do. If Iowa’s five Republican members of Congress really wanted to fight Biden’s radical agenda, they would have done it on Jan. 6, 2021 by demanding a 10-day audit of the vote.

But they didn’t.

We need to remember that.

Many Iowa Republicans have expressed disdain toward Mitt Romney — and for good reason. Heck, I’ve been doing it since 2011.

But many of the same Iowa Republicans will have no problem standing and applauding our own home-grown Romneys. They’ll overlook the betrayal that was Jan. 6, 2021, and then the next time congressional Republicans let them down, they’ll scratch their heads in disbelief and wonder how it happened.

And it will happen — again and again and again.

Because too many voters will continue to do the same thing while expecting a different result — voting for a Republican to beat a Democrat simply because they identify as a Republican.

The R in Republican doesn’t make someone a Republican. The principles, the values, the beliefs and, yes, the fight of an individual makes them a Republican.

Some readers may disagree with this, but I assure you the biggest enemy of conservatism is not Democrats. Democrats are simply doing their job. They play for the other team. If they score baskets against us, we shouldn’t be surprised or upset.

But these “moderate” Republicans. These “establishment” Republicans. These folks who rode the coattails of President Trump to victory only to knife him the back first chance they had — they are scoring baskets against us and they’re supposed to be on our team.

Yet we keep suiting them up and putting them on the court to represent us.

Why?

Ask yourself, is 12 years of a RINO really that much better than two years of a Democrat?

Is it?

Is the modern-day GOP doing an adequate job of actually standing up for, promoting and advancing conservatism, or is it just trying to keep us where we are and avoid hopping aboard the Looney Liberal Express?

Say what you will about the Democrats, at least when they get power they use it. They advance their causes so much that when Republicans regain control, much of the time is spent unraveling what the Democrats did, which prevents the GOP from advancing its own agenda.

For some people, they’ll vote for any Republican over any Democrat no matter what. I understand that way of thinking.

But that is how we end up with five Republicans in Congress all unwilling to stand up and fight for election integrity and defend President Trump. Because they know no matter what, they’ll be rewarded with Republicans’ votes for re-election.

And maybe that’s what we want. Maybe that’s good enough. Having someone willing to have “REPUBLICAN” slapped across their yard sign or included in their commercials.

But if that’s what we keep producing, we can’t be surprised when we keep getting let down.

The 2022 election is going to be significant — and I’m not talking about the general election. The most important election of 2022 isn’t going to be the one that takes place in November, it’s going to be the primary in June.

Republicans have to decide — do we want to be a party that elects Republicans who truly champion and push our principles, or do we just want to elect Republicans that will do their best to oppose the Biden-Harris agenda?

For me, it isn’t enough anymore to simply be the opposition. It isn’t enough to be playing defense. Republicans must embrace what makes the GOP the conservative party. At the same time, they must remind the voters over and over and over that the Democrat Party is the one who clings to cringe-worthy, radical ideas like 57 genders and countries without borders.

There may well be choices in the 2022 Republican primary elections in Iowa. Republican voters would be wise to really examine their choices and ask themselves what kind of party they want the GOP to be.

It isn’t just the future of our party that may hang in the balance, but the future of our country.

Meet the candidates. Get to know the candidates. Listen to your gut. Find out which person you believe will truly fight for the next generation. Ask yourself which candidate will champion the most crucial issues of the day.

Then do everything you possibly can to get that man or woman elected. It is time Republicans return to standards. And it is time to hold our own to at least the same — if not higher — standards that we hold Democrats to!

Again, the future of the country may be depending on you.