Republicans offer competing views about what to do about Trump. American democracy hangs in the balance.

On Nov. 9, in a speech at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications, Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney (a conservative Republican) says that Trump is a “dangerous and irrational man” who is “at war with the rule of law and the Constitution.” We need a Republican Party that is “based on truth,” Cheney says, “one that puts forward our ideals and our policies based on substance, one that is willing to reject the former president’s lies.”

On Nov. 12, in an op-ed in the Union Leader, Republican District 1 candidate Matt Mowers gives his standard campaign spiel (Biden and Pelosi undermine our values, the country is slipping away, a new Congress will make us proud, and so forth). In contrast to Cheney’s speech, however, Mowers’s op-ed never mentions Trump, or Trump’s lies, or Jan. 6, or the threat Trump poses to our nation.

Viewed together, Cheney’s speech and Mower’s op-ed reveal a significant Republican split. Cheney wants to hold Trump accountable. Mowers clearly does not. Cheney wants to defend the Constitution. Mowers wants to let Trump run free.