I am leaving Conservatism.
And I’m leaving it because I believe the best way forward for the party and for conservatism is to be more open and honest about our shortcomings and our failings.
That means acknowledging our shortcomings.
It means admitting that the conservative movement was built on lies, racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, and other poisonous beliefs that have made our country less safe, less free, and less prosperous than ever before.
I believe we must take these problems seriously, that we must embrace and work toward solutions that will help Americans succeed.
But in order to do that, we must first acknowledge our failures and then come together to build a more just, compassionate, and just society.
And the best and the most effective way to do this is by recognizing that conservatism was built to divide and conquer, not to unite.
In the past four decades, we have built a powerful coalition of voters and leaders who believe that America should be strong and that our country has a responsibility to protect the rights of all Americans.
Conservatives know that we cannot defeat our enemies by retreating to our darkest and most hateful corners.
But they also know that the only way to defeat our adversaries is to defeat them head-on.
Conservatives believe that the best defense is a strong offense, and that when we do this, we will make our country stronger and better.
I will do this by taking a hard look at our party’s mistakes, and by coming together with other conservative leaders and leaders of faith and conscience to take steps to make America a more compassionate and just country.
We must begin by admitting our own failures and failings.
We have to come to terms with our mistakes and our shortcomings, but we must also acknowledge that the past is not over.
We are a nation of winners, and we must remember that we have a long way to go.
We will never win this war unless we stop making our enemies pay for their sins.
But we can make a difference if we do not become the enemy.
So I am moving to a new and much more inclusive party that will embrace and build on the progress we have made, while continuing to embrace and promote the values that made our nation great in the first place.
And we are going to start by being more open about our failures.
We need to make sure that our party doesn’t get stuck in a rut of ideological purity.
The only way we can fix our party is to open it up and listen to the people who are leaving it.
It is time for us to begin to rebuild the party that we used to know.
I am confident that I will be back in Congress soon and I look forward to continuing to work with all members of Congress to get our country back on track.