Mace: We Need to Rebuild Our Party
February 16, 2021
Washington - Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC-01) spoke with The Washington Post last month about her backstory, what led her to run for Congress, and where the Republican party goes from here. Read the piece here and see an excerpt below.
After dropping out of high school and working, you then applied to The Citadel, where you would be the first woman to graduate. That’s a massive challenge. How did you decide to do that?
I decided to go to The Citadel because I had something to prove to myself, personally: that I could face adversity, that I could face an obstacle unlike any other, and I wouldn’t quit. Because in high school I quit. I gave up on myself. I gave up on everything. Gave up on my future. Gave up on my friends, my family. I shut it all down. I was so angry at the time, and I knew I needed to channel these self-destructive qualities and turn that negative into a positive. And that, for me personally, no amount of therapy or medication would get me there. That I had to do it on my own. I was successful there. And that was the journey and the catalyst that brought me out of the darkness into the light.
I think it’s important to share some of those stories because, oftentimes, I think people are put on a pedestal, especially when you’re the first woman to graduate from The Citadel. And it’s, like: No, I’m totally imperfect. And so that makes me a perfect messenger for all of our failings as human beings, right? In a way, President Trump changed the paradigm in American politics where you could be more, I think, true to yourself and authentic. I mean, that’s important to relate to the American people, especially in times of struggle. I think people want to hear that honest voice. That rawness, that realness. No matter how flawed it is.
Did you see anything in that day, that night, or its aftermath [of January 6] that gives you hope that maybe people are willing to come together and tone down the rhetoric?
I want to be part of the conversation within my party on how we move forward and how we earn back the trust of the American people. How we ensure that we communicate our conservative ideas and policies in a way that shows just how compassionate they really are.
But we’re in a situation now where we have a Democratic president. And because of the rhetoric, we lost the Senate in Georgia. We don’t have a majority in the House. We’re going to be very hamstrung. It’s going to be an enormous challenge for us to be able to do that now. And so we really reap what we sow. But I’m going to work hard and try to seek out moderates and build relationships. That’s what it’s going to take. And both parties need to recognize that there is a problem and take responsibility. Moving forward, we can’t have a vacuum of radicals on the left or the right. We’re never going to get anywhere if we do.
Read the full Q&A here.
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