Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan isn’t running for reelection.
That means he’s free to offer his opinions on former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s current political trajectory, which he’s done in a new book entitled “GOP 2.0: How the 2020 Election Can Lead to a Better Way Forward for America’s Conservative Party.”
“The book began before the last national election debacle that played out also here in Georgia,” said Duncan, who remains a supporter of Trump’s policies but has become a nationally outspoken critic of the former president himself.
“We have to find a better way to talk about our politics and move forward with the party. It’s becoming an unwinnable strategy, and Donald Trump has zero percent chance of becoming president again in 2024. The sooner we come to grips with that reality, the better it will be for the Republican Party.”
Duncan had a front-row seat as Georgia became the focus of Trump’s national battle to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“I didn’t start out to take on a sitting president as I wrote the book,” he said. “But Trump forgot to remind 250 million American voters why our conservative values are so good and what he stood for.”
“A vocal portion of the Republican Party had become unquestioning followers of the man in the White House,” Duncan writes in his new book. “He had convinced these good people that if you didn’t carry his same tone and support his every decision, you were with them, not him.
“When the president strayed from long-standing Republican positions, his fans went right along, egged on by other party leaders. At the extreme, some acted as if anyone who dissented didn’t count — as a member of the party or, increasingly, simply as a citizen. A chilling tone had descended on the party: You’re either with us or against us. … That’s not how you govern a state like Georgia.”
Duncan, who was elected to the state House in 2012 following the 2011 House redistricting, is finishing up his one and only term as lieutenant governor. Earlier this year, he announced he would not seek reelection after contradicting Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.
Now, Duncan acknowledges a freedom to express his political views without worrying about future electoral ramifications.
“It’s an unfair reality, and it shouldn’t be the case, but Trump was continuing to wreak havoc inside the state and trying to disrupt the election process from top to bottom,” he said.
Trump continues to have a strong presence in Georgia. He returned to Georgia back in September for the first time since the January 2021 U.S. Senate runoffs and has endorsed University of Georgia football legend Herschel Walker in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock next November.
Duncan is taking a wait-and-see approach regarding the first-time candidate.
“It’s encouraging to see Walker beginning to distance himself from Trump,” Duncan said. “Some of his recent ads don’t mention the former president. It’s going to be imperative for him to continue doing that, because it doesn’t help the party or the nation for him to win a primary and then lose a general election. … We still need to figure out who Herschel Walker is.”
Duncan is noncommittal about his future political plans.
“I enjoy the job of lieutenant governor,” he said. “In Georgia, conservative values over the last 18 months have balanced lives and livelihoods more than any other state in the country. I’m not certain about my future, but I want to build support for using empathy to grow the conservative tent.
“We have to find a better way to talk about our politics and move forward with the party. The last election shows honesty should be our No.-1 political philosophy. We have to look for opportunities to put our conservatism on display.”